Adelaide United match-winner Craig Goodwin with the FFA trophy. Picture Sarah Reed.
Adelaide United match-winner Craig Goodwin with the FFA trophy. Picture Sarah Reed.

United Cup star Goodwin on Arnie’s Roo radar

CRAIG Goodwin's match-winning goals for the ages delivered a dream FFA Cup title and irresistible highlight reel for Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.

Goodwin showed Sparta Rotterdam and Dutchman Dick Advocaat the force that should still be lighting up the Eredivisie with a brace that floored Sydney FC in Adelaide United's 2-1 FFA Cup final at Hindmarsh on Tuesday night.

Goodwin watched his World Cup hopes freeze over when cast aside by Advocaat at Sparta in January this year but returned to Adelaide with two aims - Reds silverware and an Socceroos, Asian Cup comeback.

Goodwin is ahead of schedule after the "best goal of my career".

Arnold has always been a believer in Goodwin's ability and the feeling is mutual.

"I think he has done really well with Sydney in the past few years and with Central Coast. I am really excited about the future of the Socceroos with Graham Arnold. It would be good to get that opportunity to progress," Goodwin told The Advertiser.

"I got called into the national squad quite regularly for the two years I was over there at Sparta. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to get on the field much and show what I could do but I was in and around it.

"It was nice to be involved in the World Cup qualifiers and obviously it is something I am trying to push into now.

"I have showed I can play well overseas and been called up to the squads on multiple occasions. I have shown when I am playing consistently I can match it with the Australian squad and feel I have the ability to go a step further."

Goodwin's FFA Cup final double will have given new Australia boss Arnold foot for thought ahead of games next month against Korea and Lebanon. The Asian Cup starts in January in the United Arab Emirates.

Goodwin, who scored six goals in five FFA Cup games this campaign, left Sky Blues keeper Andrew Redmayne flat footed with 24th minute free kick rocketing into the top left corner. Ben Halloran's perfect lay-off set up Goodwin's, right foot, 74th minute winner into the top right corner.

"It's as good as anything I've done in my career. I've won the A-League grand final with Adelaide but, for me personally, this is as good as that," Goodwin added, who replaced Aaron Mooy in Australia's friendly against England at the Stadium of Light two years ago.

"When I came back here after a little bit of a difficult time in Europe this is exactly how I wanted to start things off.

"I'm really happy for myself but particularly for the team as well, because we deserve it."