Adelaide United secured their first win of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season following a convincing 3-0 triumph over Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Sunday.
Here are three things we spotted from the dominant display:
No FFA Cup hangover
Any talk of a potential cup hangover following the emotional high of winning the FFA Cup 2018 Final were quickly dispelled as the Reds raced to a two-goal lead. They were more dynamic in possession and asserted themselves on the match by implementing a high-pressing game. Marco Kurz also made three alterations, some forced and others tactical, meaning there was also an element of freshness in the squad.
Isaías and Nathan Konstandopoulos, in midfield, were further crucial to Adelaide’s success as they played a lot of vertical passes to pick out the space in behind the Mariners defence. A lack of ruthlessness in front of goal was the only criticism in an otherwise near-perfect outing.
Goodwin’s red-hot form continues
What a week for Craig Goodwin. After netting a simply stunning brace against Sydney FC in the Final last Tuesday, the 26-year-old backed that up with another double, while also assisting Apostolos Stamatelopoulos. He scored the equaliser against Newcastle Jets in Round 2 too.
That translates to five goals in his last three games, taking his overall tally to eight in seven across all competitions. And the winger is showing no signs of slowing down as his case for a Socceroos call-up is becoming indisputable. Long may his purple patch continue!
Stamatelopoulos impresses in first league start
Young striker, Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, was thrown into the starting line-up for his first league appearance of the season after returning from Young Socceroos duty. With injuries to fellow strikers, George Blackwood and Baba Diawara, the 19-year-old will be hoping to enjoy an extended period in the first eleven, as he aims to make the most of his opportunity. And against the Mariners he did not disappoint.
He offered a reference point in attack and allowed Ben Halloran to move to his more natural position on the wing. Stamatelopoulos played an instrumental role in United’s first-half goals – first picking out Goodwin with a pin-point cross before roles were reversed as he clinically converted Goodwin’s cross from close range.
Adelaide United host Perth Glory in Round 4 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Sunday, 11 November at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 4.30pm ACDT. Gates open 1.30pm. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports and streamed on the My Football Live App.