Reds sink Mariners with dominant display


Adelaide United showed no signs of an FFA Cup Final hangover after an impressive 3-0 win over Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Sunday evening.

A first-half blitz saw the Reds jump to a 2-0 lead after 16 minutes thanks to goals from Craig Goodwin and Apostolos Stamatelopoulos.

Goodwin, who scored a brace in the Final, continued his stunning week by grabbing his second, courtesy of a goalkeeping error from Ben Kennedy, as the Reds collected their first win of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season.

Stamatelopoulos set up Goodwin to open the scoring before the winger returned the favour for the young striker to clinically finish.

Marco Kurz made three changes to the starting eleven from the FFA Cup 2018 Final win. Nathan Konstandopoulos received his first league start of the season, featuring alongside Isaías, while Ken Ilsø returned to the midfield. There was also a place for Stamatelopoulos offering a focal point in attack, as Ben Halloran returned to his more favourable position on the wing.

Despite Adelaide coming off an emotional high after winning the FFA Cup on Tuesday, the Reds illustrated they had well and truly moved on with a dominant display.

Kurz’s men dictated the tempo of proceedings and their intensity overpowered the Mariners.

And the visitors broke the deadlock in the ninth minute through Goodwin’s header. Ben Halloran released Stamatelopoulos on the wing before the 19-year-old picked him out with a beautiful cross.

One-nil soon became 2-0 as roles were reversed. Goodwin chased down Scott Galloway’s ball after Kennedy initially hesitated coming out and the 26-year-old squared to the striker, who dispatched a first-time effort into an empty net.

Adelaide were forced onto the back foot in the final few minutes of the first period but were never really troubled.

The Reds demonstrated a great sense of concentration after the re-start to thwart any hope of a Mariners comeback.

Goodwin fortuitously put the game to bed on 56 minutes after his free-kick went through the hands of the Central Coast gloveman.

Tommy Oar and Matt Simon caused United a few concerns but they held firm, with the former denied a goal when Paul Izzo made a diving save.

Kurz had the luxury of giving minutes to Ryan Kitto and Nikola Mileusnić in the final half an hour as they continue to build fitness following respective injury lay-offs.

Kitto had two golden opportunities to etch his name on the scoresheet but it was rendered inconsequential.

The resounding victory sealed a memorable week for the Club, and climbed into third place in the league standings after three games.  

Key moments:

9’ | GOAL! Goodwin connects with Stamatelopoulos’ cross and his header at the front post takes a deflection and beats Kennedy.

Craig Goodwin scores early to put the Reds in front.

16’ | GOAL! Goodwin puts the ball on a silver platter for Stamatelopoulos who makes no mistake from close range.

Craig Goodwin turns provider for Apostolos Stamatelopoulos to double the lead.

56’ | GOAL! Goodwin’s free-kick flies straight through the gloves of Kennedy, in what is a moment he would rather forger.

Craig Goodwin scores his fifth goal in 10 days from a free kick.

66’ | Kitto is played through on goal but his right-footed shot is held by Kennedy.

71' | Great save by Paul Izzo to deny Oar's shot from distance.

Paul Izzo finally called into action.

Match details:
Sunday, 4 November 2018
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 – Round 3
Central Coast Mariners 0
Adelaide United 3 (Goodwin 9’ 56’ Stamatelopoulos 16’)
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Attendance: 6,043