Reds’ four-match unbeaten run ends in Sydney
Craig Goodwin’s penalty was not enough to inspire a comeback as Adelaide United lost 2-1 to Sydney FC at Jubilee Stadium on Sunday night.
Goodwin slotted a 50th minute spot-kick moments after Jacob Tratt’s thumping header doubled the lead for the Sky Blues, following Siem de Jong’s controversial first-half free-kick.
It was a frustrating result for the Reds, made difficult by the early setback with the visitors struggling to match the intensity and aggression they illustrated against Melbourne Victory midweek.
Marco Kurz made just the one alteration to his starting 11 with Vince Lia returning from suspension for Nathan Konstandopoulos who dropped to the bench.
Adelaide were sluggish to start, but they fell behind in questionable circumstances after Nikola Mileusnić won the ball when tackling Milos Ninkovic.
The referee thought otherwise, however, giving a free-kick and from there de Jong duly obliged, unleashing a sensational free-kick past a rather helpless, Paul Izzo in goal.
Adelaide settled somewhat after that, controlling possession but with little to show for their dominance.
Ken Ilsø had a half-chance from the edge of the box when he snatched at Mileusnić’s lay-off from an inviting Scott Galloway delivery.
Trailing 1-0 at the interval, Adelaide would have been determined to come out all guns blazing in search of an equaliser.
However, it did not go according to plan when some static defending from a corner allowed Tratt to smash his header beyond Izzo on 48 minutes.
George Blackwood, who was summoned at half-time, was immediately impactful thanks to a mazy run which saw him elude Aaron Calver before fouling the striker inside the area.
Goodwin stepped up and despite Redmayne guessing the correct way, the 27-year-old nonchalantly dispatched his penalty into the bottom left corner.
Sydney believed they had made it 3-1 when de Jong was played through audaciously by Adam Le Fondre. But the goal was ruled out with the help of VAR, after the Englishman was offside in the lead-up.
It would be a frenetic end to proceedings with Sydney dangerous on the counter-attack as United threw numbers forward.
And they were so close to stealing a point in the dying minute of play.
Michael Marrone’s low ball cross from the right found an unmarked Ryan Kitto, but his finish was exceptionally saved by a diving Redmayne to deny a share of the spoils.
13’ | GOAL: A free-kick is contentiously awarded following an apparent foul on Ninkovic and de Jong dispatched the dead ball into the top corner.
48’ | GOAL: Sydney make it 2-0 when Tratt’s towering header gives Izzo no chance from Brandon O’Neill’s corner.
49’ | PENALTY! Blackwood evades the attentions of Calver before being pulled back by the centre-back and a spot-kick is awarded.
50’ | GOAL! Goodwin nets his third in four matches and sixth this league season, calmly converting his penalty.
63’ | de Jong’s goal is rightfully disallowed following the intervention from VAR after replays showed Le Fondre, involved in the build-up, coming back from an offside position.
90’+3’ | CHANCE! Kitto’s shot from Marrone’s low cross from the right is saved by Redmayne.
Sunday, 13 January
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 – Round 13
Sydney FC 2 (de Jong 13’ Tratt 48’)
Adelaide United 1 (Goodwin 50’)
Venue: Jubilee Stadium