Adelaide United FC has closed its regular season with a point after Jake Barker Daish’s injury time equaliser gave the Reds a 1-1 draw with Perth Glory at nib Stadium.
Adelaide United FC has closed its regular season with a point after Jake Barker Daish-s injury time equaliser gave the Reds a 1-1 draw with Perth Glory at nib Stadium.
Barker-Daish-s first Hyundai A-League goal came in the 91st minute and cancelled out Adrian Zahra-s 58th minute opener, the result leaving the Reds in fourth position on goal difference behind Melbourne Victory who take on the Wellington Phoenix on Sunday in New Zealand.
Adelaide United will jump up to third if the Phoenix defeats the Victory by two goals or more, which would then see the Reds face Perth again in an Elimination Final on April 7. Otherwise the Reds will finish fourth and host fifth placed Brisbane Roar in an Elimination Final at Hindmarsh.
Needing a win or a draw to book their place in the finals, Perth had everything to play for and the game lived up to its billing as a finals rehearsal early on.
Ryo Nagai fired an early warning shot for the home side in the 8th minute but Eugene Galekovic, fresh back from Socceroos duty, made a smart save to his left, the Reds captain breaking Travis Dodd-s record for the most number of Hyundai A-League games for the Reds as he was making his 138th appearance for the club.
Next it was the Reds- turn to threaten as an Iain Ramsay corner was met authoritatively by Djite in the 12th minute but he could not keep his header from going over the bar.
Nagai was posing a constant danger down the left and in the 24th minute he won the Glory a penalty as Cameron Watson was adjudged to have brought him down in the box.
But just when the Japanese midfielder looked to put the home side in front, his post kick was brilliantly saved by Galekovic as he dived to his right and forced the ball onto the post and away with his glove.
The Glory enjoyed the better of the play for the remainder of the half, the Reds forced to defend desperately to not fall behind.
Eight minutes after the break Zahra missed a great chance to break the deadlock, but he soon made up for his miss as Steven McGarry drilled a ball across from the right, Zahra sticking a boot out at it and although Galekovic managed to deflect it onto the underside of bar, he could not prevent it from crossing the goal line.
With the Glory ahead 1-0, the Reds needed a response and substitute Jeronimo Neumann almost provided it, as firstly Vidosic and then Djite played the Argentine through on separate occasions, but he could not find the target.
McGarry then had the chance to seal the result in the 84th minute after good work from Dean Heffernan down the left, but he shanked his shot wide with just Galekovic to beat.
With time running down, Barker-Daish made the most of the let off to put the Reds back on level terms in the first minute of stoppage time. Persistence from Watson saw the ball go into Glory box, the ball spilling out enticingly for an open Barker-Daish on the edge of the area to strike his shot well with enough venom to dissect a crowd of bodies and beat Glory keeper Danny Vukovic.
Perth hearts were suddenly in mouths with two minutes to go as the Reds came in search of a dramatic late winner, and they nearly snatched one when Vidosic rifled a long range free kick aimed just inside the left post, but Vukovic came up with a clutch save to ensure his team would feature in the finals.
The 1-1 result is not exactly the momentum United Coach Michael Valkanis would of hoped for heading into next Sunday-s knockout final, but with the return of some key personnel, together with his team-s strong finish to the game against the Glory, it will give him optimism that the Reds can make an impact in the pointy end of the season.
Match Details Perth Glory 1 (Zahra 58-) Adelaide United FC 1 (Barker-Daish 90+1-) Referee: Kris-Griffiths Jones Crowd: 16,707 @ nib Stadium
Perth Glory starting line-up: 1.Danny Vukovic (gk), 5.Steve Pantelidis, 7.Jacob Burns (c), 8.Dean Heffernan, 11.Adrian Zahra (6.Nick Ward 76-), 12.Ryo Nagai (28.Daniel De Silva 86-), 14.Steven McGarry, 18.Matias Cordoba, 19.Josh Risdon, 21.Scott Jamison, 23.Michael Thwaite Substitutes not used: 22.Ndumba Makeche, 30.Lewis Italiano (gk) Yellow Cards: Heffernan 56-, Burns 70- Red Cards: Nil
Adelaide United starting line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik (18.Fabian Barbiero 62-), 4.Jon McKain, 5.Iain Fyfe, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 17.Iain Ramsay (24.Awer Mabil 84-), 19.Jake Barker-Daish, 22.Fabio Ferreira (21.Jeronimo Neumann 69-) Substitutes not used: 20.Paul Izzo (gk) Yellow Cards: Djite 59-, Neumann 84- Red Cards: Nil