Brave Reds play out 1-1 draw with Western Sydney
A gallant Adelaide United has been held to a 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night, as both sides finished the hard-fought contest with 10 men.
Tomi Juric marked his first start in seven games with a goal against his former side after a clinically taken header. It was the talisman’s fifth goal of the campaign.
However, the hosts were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time after Louis D’Arrigo received a second yellow card, adjudged to have obstructed Mitchell Duke when replays suggested there was minimal contact.
The midfielder’s first booking also appeared impulsive, given it did not appear to warrant a caution.
Simon Cox levelled soon after coming on for Western Sydney in the second stanza, despite United’s relative dominance.
The Wanderers would also finish the match with 10 after Mark Natta received a straight red card for a blatant hold on Stefan Mauk as the last defender.
The result was just the second draw of the campaign for Adelaide who are back in action at Coopers Stadium on Wednesday night against Macarthur FC.
Adelaide started strong and implemented its high-pressing game plan to put the Wanderers under pressure.
In the 11th minute, the Reds found a breakthrough courtesy of the first-class service provided by Ben Halloran.
The winger drove to the byline before clipping his cross on a plate for Juric to guide his glancing header into the net via the assistance of the post.
D’Arrigo unleashed a curling shot from distance which was parried by Margush, while at the other end Western Sydney had spells of possession in the final third without troubling Joe Gauci.
Al Hassan Toure was introduced at half-time for Juric due to load management.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, it was Adelaide that began the second-half with more urgency, demonstrating immense character.
Toure provided dynamism and trickery in attack and continuously harassed and harried the Wanderers back four with his energy.
Ryan Strain came close to doubling the Reds’ lead after a neat one-two with Mauk, but the right-back’s wait for a maiden goal eluded him, placing his angled attempt across the face of goal.
Gauci was called into action one minute before the hour; rushing off his line to smother Bruce Kamau’s shot who was through on goal.
Carl Robinson made a double change to spark life into the visitors and he was rewarded when Cox – one of his substitutes – controlled Duke’s header and finished confidently into the corner beyond the outstretched gloveman on 68 minutes.
Natta would then be red carded nine minutes later as Western Sydney after Mauk cleverly controlled George Timotheou’s long ball and appeared set to go one-on-one with Margush.
Bernie Ibini then squandered a golden chance at the death, blazing wide as it finished honours even.
Carl Veart made two enforced changes to his starting line-up with George Timotheou and Tomi Juric replacing injured pair Michael Jakobsen and Kusini Yengi respectively. Meanwhile, Ryan Kitto, Al Hassan Toure and Michael Marrone returned via the bench.
11’ | GOAL! Juric rises highest and heads in Halloran’s clipped cross from the right byline.
45’ | SECOND YELLOW: D’Arrigo brandished a second yellow card after the referee determined he impeded Duke on the break.
54’ | CHANCE! Strain almost scores his first Reds goal but his open goal attempt on the angle is wide.
68’ | GOAL: Cox controls Duke’s header and expertly buries his effort.
77’ | RED CARD! Natta is shown a straight Red for being the last man as he held Mauk and preventing him from bearing down on goal.
Saturday, 14 April 2021
A-League 2020/21 – Matchweek 16
Adelaide United 1 (Juric 11’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Cox 68’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium