Goodwin delivers more magic as Reds land decisive blow
In a match that hung in the balance for long periods, it was the class and experience of Craig Goodwin which ultimately proved the difference for Adelaide United.
While Western Sydney Wanderers boss Markus Babbel entrusted his faith in the youngsters, it was the experience of the Reds’ star man which shone brightly at ANZ Stadium.
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Goodwin turned out to be the match-winner for Marco Kurz’s men, his piercing low drive midway through the second half giving his side a 2-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The 27-year-old – who many believe could be in the UAE now with the Socceroos – has been superb all season and produced a couple more moments of magic on Friday night.
It started as early as the eighth minute when Goodwin sprung the offside trap to charge onto the ball and inside the Wanderers box.
He could easily have blasted at goal from a tough angle but showed his composure to beat one defender and pass to an on-rushing Vince Lia to score.
It was one of seven chances Goodwin created for teammates in the 90 minutes, taking his tally to the season to 44, to sit second in that department behind Newcastle’s Dimitri Petratos.
Then – after the Wanderers had got back on level terms early in the second half – Goodwin delivered a killer blow soon after.
Receiving the ball at the top of the box, he shimmied past Tate Russell onto his left foot and struck a thunderous low drive into the bottom corner.
In contrast, Babbel’s desire to blood the kids – the likes of Tate Russell, Tass Mourdourkatis and starting debutant Mathieu Cordier – will surely have long-term benefits for the club.
But – at least for now – the results aren’t falling the Wanderers way, with the defeat to Adelaide their fifth in a row which has equalled an unwanted club record.
It means the Wanderers have now dropped 13 points behind the top six, with plenty of work to do in the second half of the season to mount a charge to the Finals Series.
How Babbel would love a player of Goodwin’s ability and confidence right now!