Western Sydney Wanderers have come from behind to end Adelaide United’s three-match A-League Men winning run with a thrilling 2-1 victory at Coopers Stadium.
After a slow start, the visitors worked their way back into the contest and goals to Ramy Najjarine and Phillip Cancar cancelled out Craig Goodwin’s stunning opener.
Wanderers coach Mark Rudan was full of praise for his side’s performance, saying two things had stuck out for him.
“One was the win obviously, but in the manner coming back from behind away from home and winning away from home, I think is massive for the mentality of this group,” said Rudan.
Reds coach Carl Veart felt United had created enough chances to avoid defeat.
“It was disappointing to concede in the second half,” he said.
“We had enough opportunities to get a goal though.”
Adelaide made a flying start and opened the scoring in the eighth minute thanks to a spectacular free kick from Goodwin.
Zac Clough had been brought down 25 metres from goal and was lining up the set piece along with Goodwin, but it was the Reds skipper who pulled rank and unleashed an unstoppable curling shot around the wall.
United pressed and looked threatening but their lead didn’t last long with Wanderers equalising on 26 minutes.
The Reds failed to clear and Western Sydney recycled possession, with Keanu Baccus playing a one-two with Dimi Petratos before threading a delightful pass through Adelaide’s defence for Najjarine.
The attacker brilliantly controlled the ball, darted forward and slid his shot past onrushing Adelaide ‘keeper Joe Gauci from just inside the area.
Adelaide produced a slick counter on the half hour with Goodwin finding Louis D’Arrio with an impressive, outside of the foot pass, but the midfielder’s shot was thwarted by Daniel Margush who was quickly off his line.
In first-half injury time, Goodwin again tried his luck from a set piece on the edge of the area, but Margush got down low and parried the effort clear.
Adelaide started the second half with purpose and almost found a second.
Ryan Kitto broke through the Wanderers defence and squared a ball for Hiroshi Ibusuki but the Japanese striker knew little about the cross and headed over the bar.
On 76 minutes the visitors took the lead after a dangerous left-footed corner from Najjarine.
The corner was whipped in with pace and with Gauci caught under it, the ball hit the deck.
Substitute Alexandar Popovic could only clear it straight into the lunging Cancar with the ricochet looking to have crossed the goal line.
Play continued and Tomi Mrcela eventually banged the ball into the back of the net with replays confirming the goal for Cancar.
Adelaide pressed hard for an equaliser but their knack for finding a late goal eluded them on this occasion.