Craig Goodwin had a hand in all three goals as Al-Wehda kept up their chase for an AFC Champions League spot after coming back to beat Saudi Pro League strugglers Damac FC.
Strikes from Youssouf Niakate, Anselmo and Luisinho recovered the game as the Knights of Mecca clinched a 3-2 win King Abdul Aziz Stadium on Saturday morning AEDT.
Goodwin’s side, also known as the Red Giant, are fourth in the Saudi Arabian top flight after 21 matches – a point behind three-time champions Al-Ahli, who sealed a 1-0 win against Al-Feiha.
The top three sides advance to compete in the Asia’s premier football competition, and Uruguayan head coach José Daniel Carreño’s side appeared set to fall behind in the race when Abdullah Al-Jawaey put the 14th-place side ahead at half-time.
Featured image courtesy of the Al-Wehda FC Media Centre
Goodwin’s free-kick led to the equaliser on 55 minutes, as the Socceroos attacker hit the visitor’s wall with a strike at goal before the ball was recycled and French striker Niakate turned in the rebound after South American playmaker Anselmo’s effort was parried.
Anselmo turned goalscorer six minutes later to put the home side into the lead, after Goodwin’s delivery made its way to Luisinho and the Brazilian found his compatriot with a whipped cross to score from a bullet header.
Goodwin’s 80th-minute corner caused chaos in the away side’s area and Luisinho capitalised on a poor clearance from Damac’s Algerian goalkeeper Moustapha Zeghba to make it 3-1, before Argentina forward Emilio Jose Zelaya grabbed a late consolation.
Meanwhile, in the Hyundai A-League, Mitchell Duke was on the scoresheet to notch his 11th goal of the season but the club captain could not stop his Western Sydney Wanderers side falling to a 3-1 reverse against Robbie Fowler’s Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
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