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Returning hero propels United to FFA Cup victory

Soccer

Adelaide United hero Craig Goodwin says he’s lived a dream with a stunning brace which delivered the Reds the FFA Cup with a 2-1 victory against Sydney FC.

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Goodwin produced a top-shelf double in last night’s final in Adelaide as United became the first club to win the cup twice.

Goodwin spectacularly continued his rich run of form – he scored five goals in the tournament and also netted in the A-League last Friday night.

“I’m really happy for the team and for myself,” Goodwin said.

“Obviously to score two goals at home in the cup final is the kind of thing that you dream about.

“But for the team, it’s a credit to our hard work … massive credit to the team.”

The 26-year-old rejected Sydney FC overtures in favour of returning to his birth city after spending the past two seasons in Holland.

“That is why we tried to sign him,” Sydney coach Steve Corica said.

“In the end, that is what it came down to – two cracking goals from Goodwin.”

The Adelaide winger slotted a screaming free-kick in the 25th minute to wow the parochial 14,448-strong Adelaide crowd.

And after Sydney’s Adam le Fondre equalised with a penalty three minutes later, Goodwin sealed the win with a crunching first-time volley in the 74th minute – which he rated the better goal, as it came from his non-preferred foot.

Goodwin’s feats, and feet, helped Adelaide turned the tables on Sydney from last year when the Sky Blues beat the Reds 2-1 in the cup final.

His initial goal came from the sweetest of free kicks from 24 metres out: struck with perfect timing and placement, the ball curled into the top right corner.

But Adelaide’s joy was short-lived – two minutes, to be precise.

Craig Goodwin celebrates one of his two goals. Photo: AAP/David Mariuz

In the 27th minute, a blunder from Reds defender Jordan Elsey gifted Sydney an equaliser – he feebly played a back pass intended for his ‘keeper Paul Izzo but the dribbling effort played in Sydney captain Alex Brosque.

Brosque took a touch away from the charging Izzo, who felled the striker with le Fondre converting from the spot – his third goal in as many games for the Sky Blues.

In the 53rd minute, Goodwin almost repeated his first goal: aiming from close to 30m out, he thumped a left-footed blast which narrowly missed the target.

But just 21 minutes later, Goodwin secured his status as Adelaide’s hero with the cup-winner.

After being set-up by teammate Ben Halloran, Goodwin smacked a right-footed volley into the side netting from about a dozen metres for the Reds to follow their 2014 cup triumph.

– AAP

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