April 05, 2015 10:16:47 UK
Coach Josep Gombau hailed Eugene Galekovic as the best goalkeeper in the A-League after the 33-year-old produced a masterclass in Adelaide United’s 1-0 win over Sydney FC.
Galekovic, who was in Australia’s squad when they won the Asian Cup in January, is a front-runner to win the league’s top goalkeeper award this season.
The eight-cap Socceroo underlined his credentials to pick up his fourth goalkeeper of the year award – he won for the third time last season – with nine saves in the Reds’ victory at Allianz Stadium.
His game with the feet is perfect and also with the hands. He’s a very good goalkeeper and we have to enjoy that we have him in the team.
He also helped set up the winner for Adelaide, who are 4.50 to win the Grand Final, as his long kick downfield found substitute Awer Mabil who cut inside and curled home an excellent finish with eight minutes left.
Sydney coach Graham Arnold said Galekovic had had “the game of his life,” and his opposite number Gombau had no hesitation in labelling the veteran gloveman as the best keeper in Australia.
“He’s doing very well and he’s showing his capacity, not just saving the ball but also how many passes he does for us,” added Gombau.
“His game with the feet is perfect and also with the hands. He’s a very good goalkeeper and we have to enjoy that we have him in the team.”
Adelaide took over top spot in the A-League and damaged the Sky Blues’ prospects of winning the premiership – it was the second home defeat in a row for Arnold’s side.
The only black mark on the victory for the Reds, who are 1.75 to win their next game against Brisbane Roar, was when Mabil was forced off with a recurrence of a quad injury.
It was the youngster’s first game back after an injury lay-off and Gombau sent him on with half an hour left to replace Bruce Kamau.
Three minutes after scoring, though, Mabil had to be replaced, with Gombau commenting later: “In the same time he scored he felt pain in the same place. I’m very worried because we might lose him for two or three weeks more.”
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