Craig Goodwin stars as Adelaide beat Sydney FC to lift FFA Cup
Craig Goodwin scored two superb goals as Adelaide beat Sydney FC 2-1 at Coopers Stadium to lift the FFA Cup.
Goodwin spectacularly continued his run of rich form -- he scored five goals in the tournament and also netted in the A-League last Friday night.
The 26-year-old, who rejected Sydney FC overtures in favour of returning to his birth city this season, put Adelaide in front after 25 minutes with an outstanding free kick, but just three minutes later the holders levelled via an Adam Le Fondre penalty kick.
But Goodwin produced the winner in the 74th minute with a rocket into the top corner.
Before a 14,448-strong crowd, Adelaide turned the tables on Sydney, reversing the Sky Blues' 2-1 win over the Reds in last year's cup final.
Goodwin's initial goal came after being bowled over in an off-the-ball tangle with Rhyan Grant.
Settling over the free kick from 24 metres out, Goodwin struck with perfect timing and placement, curling over the wall and into the top right corner to beat a despairing dive from Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne.
But Adelaide's joy was short-lived as a blunder from Reds defender Jordan Elsey gifted Sydney an equaliser.
Elsey feebly played a back pass intended for his 'keeper Paul Izzo but the dribbling effort played in Sydney captain Alex Brosque.
As Elsey tumbled to the ground, Brosque took a left-footed touch away from the charging Izzo, who felled the Sydney striker in a clear penalty.
Le Fondre converted despite Izzo guessing correctly -- diving to his right, he had scant chance of saving the fiercely struck spot kick.
Both sides battled to craft genuine chances until the 53rd minute when lightning almost struck twice for Goodwin from a dead-ball: he took aim from almost 30 metres out and another left-footed blast narrowly missed.
But Goodwin did eventually secure his status as Adelaide's hero with the cup-winner.
After being fortunately played in by teammate Ben Halloran, Goodwin clipped a first-time right-footer into the right-side netting from the edge of the box.
All that was left for Goodwin was to walk from the field to a standing ovation as a 91st minute substitute as the cup returned to Adelaide, who won the inaugural 2014 tournament and became the first team to lift the trophy twice.