Adelaide United has secured their fourth consecutive home win after beating the Central Coast Mariners 3-1 at Coopers Stadium.
Second half goals from Craig Goodwin, Pablo Sanchez, and Mate Dugandzic ruled out Fabio Ferreira’s 67th minute conversion giving the Reds the three points and helping to cement their place in the Hyundai A-League’s top six.
A slight breeze brushed over Coopers Stadium as the Mariners kicked the match off in perfect temperatures for Saturday afternoon football, the Reds looking to make it seven games unbeaten and secure their fourth successive home victory.
And it was United the quicker off the starting line, dictating the game’s tempo and their visiting opponents.
Ten minutes in, Jimmy Jeggo was put through on goal, beating his man with ease and precision and sending him one-on-one with Central Coast’s goalkeeper, Alastair Bray. But Jeggo was unable to hit the target, dragging his strike wide of the back post.
Craig Goodwin was the next Red to have a chance on goal, cutting back onto his right foot and sending a stinging effort towards Bray, but the ‘keeper managed to catch the swivelling strike.
Then, in the 30th minute, United were awarded a penalty when a tricky back-heel from Goodwin smacked the arm of Mariners’ Captain, Nick Montgomery. But Marcelo Carrusca was unable to convert the spot-kick, his drive clipping the crossbar on its way over the bar.
Just before the stroke of half-time, the Mariners were randomly awarded a penalty when Michael Marrone was judged to have fouled Harry Ascroft in the box. Former United winger, Fabio Ferreira, however, was unable to beat Reds debutant, Daniel Margush, blazing his shot over the crossbar.
United’s dominance continued into the second half, and on the hour mark, Goodwin finished off a fantastic team goal to put the Reds deservedly in the lead.
Pablo Sanchez was sent into acres of room on the right flank by Marrone, before the Spaniard sent a sumptuous cross in Goodwin’s direction. United’s No. 16 composed himself with an outrageous touch on his left foot before smacking home a deliciously with his right boot.
Five minutes later and Central Coast went in search of an equaliser, and if it hadn’t been for an outstanding Margush diving save toward the top corner, the visitors would have been level. But despite Margush’s heroics, a clinical finish from Ferreira in the 67th minute brought scores back to parity.
With the game in a tight deadlock and rather stop-start due to numerous fouls, it took until the 81st minute for the Reds to regain their lead, Pablo Sanchez glancing header at the near post brilliantly, following a classic Jeggo corner.
The Reds put the game to bed in stoppage time when Mate Dugandzic slotted home a Goodwin Cross from the left flank, scoring his first goal for United and ensuring the hosts made it seven games without defeat.
With the three points wrapped up, Head Coach of United, Guillermo Amor, said he was happy with his squad’s performance, but lamented the fact the Reds weren’t able to kill of the game earlier.
“This win is good for us and we deserved this result,” Amor said. “We had control of the game and we created a lot of chances to win this game (earlier).
“They (levelled) the game in an instant and football is like this. You can have all the control but in a minute you can lose the game.
“We had a few anxious moments, but had we closed the game off earlier, it would have been a more comfortable match.
“We dominated and won this game, this is important.”
Saturday, 16 January 2016
Hyundai A-League Round 15
Adelaide United 3 (Goodwin 60’ Pablo Sanchez 81’ Dugandzic 90+2’)
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Ferreira 67’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium