Gutsy Reds dig in to take point from Sydney

John Kosmina’s second stint at Adelaide United FC has started with an absorbing 2-2 draw against Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium.

John Kosmina-s second coaching stint at Adelaide United FC has started with an absorbing 2-2 draw against Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Goals from Daniel Mullen and Dario Vidosic saw the Reds take the lead twice only for the home side to find a response both times courtesy of a Karol Kisel penalty and a Dimi Petratos strike.

The result could have gone either way as both teams had chances to win it, but while the physically taxing encounter did not end in a fairytale finish for Kosmina against the last club he coached in the Hyundai A-League, he was proud of the display from his charges.

“It was a good battle. I think the game turned into a really good game. From our point of view I think the blokes showed a lot of character,” Kosmina said.

“When you look at what has happened in the past few weeks, certainly in the last two home games against Gold Coast and the Central Coast, they showed a lot of ticker out there tonight and we were down to eight men at one stage, so I was really happy with them and I think there is plenty there to say ‘right, we-ve got a good base, now let-s work on that-.”

The 88th minute send off of Iain Ramsay and a nasty but unintentional cut above the eye to Mullen meant the Reds were forced to tough it out as Sydney FC pushed hard for a late winner.

They managed to hold on and Kosmina was delighted by the Reds- resilience, even admitting that on another day, all three points could have been heading back to Adelaide.

“We got in behind them (Sydney) a couple of times so maybe we could have come out with it, and you look how Sydney equalised with a miss hit and then a lucky bounce, that-s just how it goes sometimes,” Kosmina said.

“But you make your own luck. Sydney played well, they-re a good side, they-re well drilled, they-re disciplined, but our guys showed some ticker today and you can-t complain about that.”

Flattened by Gold Coast United in their last outing, the Reds received the dream start to this game as they went ahead after just eight minutes.

A badly miscued attempt to find the sideline from Sydney captain Terry McFlynn gave the Reds a corner and they took full advantage. Excellent delivery from Dario Vidosic found Mullen, and despite receiving close attention from Brett Emerton, the defender positioned himself perfectly to head the ball home at the near post.

Two minutes later the Reds almost had a second from another corner as an in swinging ball from Vidosic again created some uncertainty in the Sydney six yard box.

Mullen was in everything, receiving the first yellow card of the night before producing a crucial defensive header to diffuse a dangerous Petratos cross.

Sydney-s reply came in the 19th minute when Nigel Boogaard was alleged to have brought down Bruno Cazarine in the penalty area as the Sky Blues striker possibly surprised the Reds defender as he turned on his left.

The referee pointed to the spot and Kisel stepped up to slide the spot kick inside Eugene Galekovic-s right hand post to level the scores.

The next 20 minutes was a tight tussle, the Reds digging in as Sydney FC began to ask questions of United-s defensive resolve.

Fabian Barbiero made a goal saving tackle just before half time to deny Cazarine after he was in on goal when Mullen lost his footing trying to release a pass under pressure, the scores remaining 1-1 at the break.

Five minutes into the second half the woodwork prevented Cazarine from putting Sydney in front with his header before the tide again turned in favour of the Reds on 56 minutes.

Using his strength in the penalty area, Bruce Djite was taken down by Sydney FC keeper Liam Reddy after the Reds striker firstly got the better of Shannon Cole.

Vidosic-s penalty attempt was smartly saved by Reddy but the rebound fell favourably for the Reds midfielder, who gratefully knocked made no mistake the second time around.

The tempo lifted as Sydney FC was again chasing the game, a Kisel rocket stinging the gloves of Galekovic who managed to keep the shot out.

But in the 66th minute the home side had their equaliser when a high defensive header from Cameron Watson lobbed at the feet of Petratos and he struck it on the half volley, the ball hitting the inside of the post on its way into the back of the net.

Ramsay missed a quality chance to put the Reds ahead for a third time with ten minutes left when Milan Susak did well to beat two Sydney players before his squaring ball was left by Djite for an open Ramsay, but the Reds winger could not steer his shot past Reddy from close range.

Kosmina brought young defender Antony Golec on for his Hyundai A-League debut in a Reds shirt as he replaced Barbiero with less than 10 minutes to go.

Ramsay-s dismissal for a second yellow card in the 88th minute made it a tense finale for the Reds, and their cause was made even more difficult when an accidental elbow to the head of Mullen left United with nine men in the dying minutes.

But determined to take something out of the game, the Reds held on for a gallant point away from home.

Adelaide United-s next test and their final match for 2011 comes at home against the Wellington Phoenix on Friday 30 December at Hindmarsh Stadium. Tickets are available through Ticketek.

Match Details Sydney FC 2 (Kisel 19- (pen), Petratos 66-) Adelaide United FC 2 (Mullen 8-, Vidosic 56-) Referee: Jarred Gillett Crowd: 10,212 @ Sydney Football Stadium

Sydney FC line-up: 1.Liam Reddy (gk), 3.Jamie Coyne, 4.Pascal Bosschaart, 5.Michael Beauchamp, 7.Brett Emerton, 8.Karol Kisel, 9.Bruno Cazarine (24.Mitchell Mallia 80-), 11.Dimi Petratos, 12.Shannon Cole, 15.Terry McFlynn (c), 23.Rhyan Grant (18.Juho Makela 60-)

Substitutes not used: 2.Sebastian Ryall, 20.Ivan Necevski (gk) Yellow Cards: McFlynn 43-, Reddy 55-, Bosschaart 64-, Cazarine 70- Red Cards: Nil

Adelaide United line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 3.Nigel Boogaard, 5.Daniel Mullen, 7.Zenon Caravella (2.Osama Malik 80-), 10.Dario Vidosic (16.Spase Dilevski 67-), 11.Bruce Djite, 14.Cameron Watson, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero (12.Antony Golec 82-), 21.Francisco Usucar, 22.Milan Susak

Substitutes not used: 20.Mark Birighitti (gk) Yellow Cards: Mullen 14-, Boogaard 18-, Ramsay 34-/88- Red Cards: Ramsay 88-