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Craig Goodwin set to miss Socceroos’ two-match series against New Zealand

Adelaide United winger Craig Goodwin’s hopes of playing for the Socceroos in next month’s two-match series against New Zealand have been all but dashed by a groin injury.

Goodwin remains unavailable for the Reds’ Australia Cup campaign, which continues on Wednesday night with a quarter-final clash against Brisbane Roar at ServiceFM Stadium.

“’Goody’ still needs a little bit more time – he’s another two to three weeks away (from) joining the team,” Adelaide coach Carl Veart said on Tuesday.

With the Socceroos to meet New Zealand in Brisbane on September 22 and in Auckland three days later, it’s hard to envisage Goodwin – who was part of Australia’s successful World Cup playoffs campaign in June in Qatar – being available for the next national squad.

“He’s got some groin issues,” Veart said.

“He had a few issues there last season but we managed to get through all of last year with it, but then when he as away with the Socceroos, it escalated a little bit from that, and it just hasn’t settled down as we expected it to.”

However, Veart was confident the injury would not jeopardise Goodwin’s hopes of being selected in the Socceroos squad for November 20-December 18 World Cup in Qatar.

“We’ve put a plan with the Socceroos in place to get him back fit enough for selection for the World Cup,” the Reds coach said.

“It’s more of a loading issue. We’ve got it in mind that he needs to be fit and playing at the beginning of the A-League season (on October 7), and then go to the World Cup if he has a good start to the A-League.”

Veart was confident Adelaide could win without Goodwin on Wednesday night but was wary of a Roar side containing former English Premier League striker Charlie Austin.

“He’s a very difficult customer, especially in and around the box. That’s where he does all of his work so if we can limit the opportunities that can get him and limit him getting into our box, it’ll make it a much easier night for us,” he said.

In Wednesday night’s other Australia Cup quarter-finals, NPL Victoria club Oakleigh Cannons host Sydney FC, while Macarthur FC meet Wellington Phoenix at Campbelltown Stadium.

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