Reds and Phoenix share spoils
Adelaide United have held on for a 1-1 draw against Wellington Phoenix thanks to another Paul Izzo penalty save at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night.
Kristian Opseth gave the Reds the advantage after the break with a classy header before Jaushua Sotirio restored parity almost instantly.
The ‘Nix then missed a penalty for the lead three minutes from time after Izzo thwarted Ulises Davila from the spot; his sixth career penalty stop in the competition.
Carl Veart was forced into making one change to the line-up that defeated Brisbane Roar last week. Lachlan Brook received his first start of the campaign, replacing the injured Nikola Mileusnić on the wing.
Adelaide and Wellington exchanged spells of possession to begin the match until it was the South Australians who began to dominate and dictate the tempo.
Taras Gomulka in just his second game was a calming presence in midfield, distributing the ball with accuracy and linking up well with Stefan Mauk and Riley McGree.
Ryan Strain also looked to venture forward whenever the opportunity arose.
And in almost identical fashion from the last game, Opseth met Strain’s delivery with a diving header only for Stefan Marinovic to sensationally deny the Norwegian before half-time.
Wellington improved after the restart and applied more pressure going forward.
But it was Adelaide that found the breakthrough on the hour mark via an exceptionally crafted goal.
Ben Halloran drove down the right wing to the byline and his accurate cross was nodded in by Opseth for his second goal is as many matches.
The lead was only fleeting however, as Sotirio broke the offside trap with his first strike saved by Izzo before finishing on the follow-up.
From there it was the Phoenix that looked more likely to score. Mohamed Toure provided a spark off the bench, though conceded a penalty for a clumsy trip on Reno Piscopo in the 86th minute.
Davila stepped up but Izzo guessed the right way to ensure Adelaide would not walk away from the contest empty handed.
The result means Adelaide, currently sixth, remain unbeaten under Veart as they tackle Perth Glory on Thursday night.
41’ | CHANCE! Strain clips a cross into the box and Opseth’s diving header forces a reflex save from Marinovic.
60’ | GOAL! Halloran marauds down the right flank and his inch perfect cross picks out Opseth and clinically finishes his header across the goalkeeper.
65’ | GOAL: Sotirio levels things up at the second time of asking after his initial one-on-one effort was saved but Izzo but he is there to bury the rebound.
87’ | SAVE! Izzo saves Davila’s penalty, anticipating the Mexican’s effort almost before making contact with the ball.
Saturday, 25 July 2020
Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Sotirio 65’)
Adelaide United 1 (Opseth 60’)
Venue: Bankwest Stadium