Reds knockout Phoenix on Boxing Day

Goals from Craig Goodwin and Michael Marrone saw the Reds run out 3-0 winners over a 10-man Wellington Phoenix at Coopers Stadium

The 11,655 Reds fans that piled into Coopers Stadium were treated to a dominant United display with Craig Goodwin getting the assist for the Reds’ first – a Manny Muscat own goal – before getting one for himself with Michael Marrone topping it off with his first ever Hyundai A-League goal. 

With the wind wreaking havoc in the early stages of the match, both teams made a conscious effort to keep the ball on the deck to counter the gusty conditions at Hindmarsh. But the Reds were the ones that enjoyed the majority of the possession in the opening minutes, despite shooting against the breeze. 

The inclusion of Bruce Djite in the starting XI brought great forward presence for United, Djite relentlessly hassling Wellington’s central pairing of Andrew Durante and Vince Lia. 

Goodwin terrorised Troy Danaskos on the Reds’ right flank, using the width afforded to him well to curl in a number of quality balls into the box, but also through balls with his teammates positioned more centrally. 

With nearly a quarter of an hour on the clock, Jimmy Jeggo latched onto a laid back ball and struck a fierce effort that cannoned towards Glen Moss in goal for the visitors, but it drifted just wide. Jeggo had another effort soon after, but it too failed to bust the net. 

Jordan Elsey had a chance to score his second career goal for United in the 29th minute, but it was smothered and scrambled clear. 

But in the 42nd minute, the Reds took the lead when Goodwin’s low cross deflected off Muscat and snuck past Moss to make it 1-0.  

Then, in the 56th minute, the visitors were reduced to 10-men after Albert Riera was sent from the ground when he received his second yellow card for a foul on Jeggo. 

From here United dominated the play and put the Phoenix under copious amounts of pressure, which proved too much for them to handle in the 73rd minute. With few options on the touchline, Goodwin fired a low cross into the box that rebounded off Muscat and into the net. 

Michael Marrone made it 3-0 just two minutes later when he finished off an attack lead by Goodwin on the right. Goodwin cut in from the flank and struck a stinging effort towards goal that cannoned off the upright, Pablo Sanchez then tried his luck from the rebound, but that too hit the woodwork. Luckily, Marrone was on hand to riffle the ball into the back of the net. 

United saw out the remainder of the match confidently and were unlucky not to add to their total, nevertheless, the Reds Head Coach, Guillermo Amor, praised his side’s performance against a very tough opponent. 

“My impressions of this game are very good and positive,” Amor said. “We’re very happy for this result, for the condition of the game, for our attitude, and for our hard work. 

“It’s a good day for us because we deserved (this type of result) in our last game. 

“Wellington is a very good team and they’re a team that’s (very competitive) in the league with a lot of good, fast players. 

“But I have always had confidence in our players and in our football, even in those difficult moments we had earlier in the season. 

“We have always had this hunger to do better and obviously after a few wins you acquire more confidence, but it must be said, this team has always worked properly and have excelled, even when the results weren’t that good.” 

Match details: 
Saturday, 26 December 2015
Hyundai A-League Round 12
Adelaide United 3 (Muscat (OG) 42’, Goodwin 73’, Marrone 75’) 
Wellington Phoenix 0
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Attendance: 11,655

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