Ryan Kitto's fifth goal of the season earned Adelaide United a 1-0 Boxing Day victory over Central Coast Mariners, lifting the team to fourth in the A-League.
Kitto reacted quickly to turn the ball home at the end of a well-worked move after 14 minutes, although Adelaide had goalkeeper Paul Izzo to thank for keeping them in front.
Izzo produced three saves in quick succession as the Mariners chased an equaliser, while Kitto came close a second at the other end, when his headed effort was cleared off the line by Josh Rose.
Another Kitto opportunity drew a save from Ben Kennedy before the interval, but with Izzo on form, his early strike looked set to be enough.
Kitto: "We believe in ourselves and have some important players coming back for us...it is exciting times ahead and healthy competition. We are looking forward to it." #ADLvCCM #ALeague — Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) 26 December 2017
Izzo kept out further strikes from Kwabena Appiah and Connor Pain to climb above Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory, leaving the Mariners seventh.