AAP Soccer

Reds hand Wanderers a fifth straight loss

By AAP Newswire

Craig Goodwin scored one goal and set up another to help Adelaide to a 2-1 win over Western Sydney, consigning the hapless Wanderers to a fifth successive defeat on Friday night.

Overlooked for Australia's Asia Cup defence by Socceroos coach Graham Arnold last month, Goodwin helped the Reds to an early lead when he set up Vince Lia before cancelling out a Rolieny Bonevacia free-kick with smart finish of his own midway through the second half

It finished the job for Adelaide, who move level with the fifth-placed Wellington on 22 points, some 10 points clear of the chasing pack for the finals with 13 games to play.

"It's three important points on way to us reaching finals," Adelaide coach Marco Kurz.

"It's good to know we beat an opponent for the finals.

"But at the end we have a lot of work to do because points are not enough when our big goal for the season is to reach the final again."

Meanwhile, the Wanderers' season is hanging by a thread, now 13 points back on the finals and the Reds, with their streak of losses at ANZ Stadium stretching to six.

"I'm not thinking about this (finals)," Wanderers coach Markus Babbel admitted.

"I'm happy if we can win a game or maybe a point. At the moment the results are very bad because we're not taking the opportunities we have."

The hosts' woes started in the eighth minute when Lia latched onto a Goodwin ball from the edge of the box.

After Goodwin wriggled free on the left he pulled the ball back for Lia who made no mistake with a low drive into the back of the net.

But Lia went from hero to villain four minutes after halftime when he fouled Wanderers midfielder Nick Fitzgerald just outside the box.

From the subsequent free-kick, Bonevacia curled the ball beautifully over the wall and into top-left-hand corner to level the scores.

However, axed Socceroos wideman Goodwin cancelled out that strike 16 minutes later when Nikola Mileusnic picked him in the box and he beat Nicholas Suman, in the Wanderers goal with a cool finish.

There was some suggestion of an offside in the lead-up, and the Wanderers' frustrations were increased when Mathieu Cordier was downed in a challenge from Ryan Strain in the box but play was waved on despite a VAR review.

It came after the Wanderers claimed they were wronged by a soft penalty call against them late in their 4-3 loss to Perth last week.

"What can I say, for me it was even worse than the Perth penalty," Babbel said.

"If the screen is not totally lying, then for me (Milesunic) was half-a-metre offside.

"If this is the truth, it is very, very painful for us."