Adelaide United FC’s unbeaten run under John Kosmina has continued after the Reds played out a gripping 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Adelaide United FC-s unbeaten run under John Kosmina has continued after the Reds played out a gripping 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar at Hindmarsh Stadium.
For the first time under Kosmina-s tenure, the Reds were forced to come from behind after Issey Nakajima-Farran put the visitors in front in the 59th minute.
But the mettle of this United side is a far cry from the one that was soundly beaten when the two sides last met and Sergio van Dijk converted from the penalty spot to give the Reds a point and make it four games undefeated.
For periods of the game the Roar showed why they are the reigning Hyundai A-League title holders and the measuring stick of the competition, but with a vocal home crowd behind them, the Reds managed to hold their own and match them where it counts - on the scoreboard.
Kosmina knew this game was going to be serious test for the Reds, but just as he was three days earlier after the win over Melbourne Heart, he applauded his team-s character.
“You-ve got to be (happy with the result). They (Brisbane Roar) are the best side in the country based on their championship last season, their 36 games undefeated, they move the ball around well and they-re a difficult side to play against, and our guys pretty much matched them,” Kosmina said.
“We were smart, we showed some ticker when we needed to, we came from behind which was fantastic and we made some terrific opportunities, so it gives us plenty to work with.”
In a first half that was as intense as it was intriguing, Roar midfielder Massimo Murdocca had the first serious chance in the 10th minute when he was given too much time in the penalty area, his shot going only inches to the wrong side of the post.
The Reds were sitting deep, inviting the Roar to try and pick a way through, but the home side was proving it had learnt from the last time the sides met and were scrambling and covering well at the back.
The Roar continued to probe forward, Eugene Galekovic at his sharpest to save a quick fire attempt from Besart Berisha, before Brisbane had claims for a penalty waved away when Rocco Visconte went down in the box.
But the Reds were not without their opportunities, a swift counter nearly bringing about the first goal as the lively Fabian Barbiero stung the gloves of Roar keeper Michael Theoklitos with a venomous long range effort, before a cross from Bruce Djite narrowly missed the head of Dario Vidosic.
Conditions became difficult as a torrential rain rolled in from the west, but it did not stop the Reds creating a superb chance when Vidosic released Cameron Watson down the right, his squaring ball across the goal face narrowly missing Djite-s outstretched boot.
Galekovic was alert to a curling Mohamed Adnan free kick in the 39th minute and a drama filled first 45 minutes continued when Barbiero was dispossessed from behind by Nakajima-Farran, allowing Berisha a one on one chance with Galekovic, the Reds skipper coming up with a brilliant block to keep scores level.
Nakajima-Farran and Barbiero clashed again a minute later as tensions began to rise, the pair both shown yellow cards for the altercation.
The rain subsided after the break as the arm wrestle continued, the ability for players to keep their footing at a premium. Just as it looked like neither side was going to buckle, on the hour mark the Roar made the breakthrough when Nakamjima-Farran side footed the ball past Galekovic after silver service delivery from Visconte, who did well down the left to create the opening.
Kosmina made a tactical change introducing Iain Ramsay for Vidosic with half an hour to go and the winger tried to ignite the Reds but an equaliser was still not forthcoming.
The Reds had pleas for a penalty when it appeared Berisha handballed in the box from a corner, but while that was turned down, less than two minutes later they had a penalty decision go their way when van Dijk was felled by Matt Smith after Watson did brilliantly initially to head the ball into the area.
Smith could have counted himself unlucky as contact from Djite made him lose his footing and bring down van Dijk, but nevertheless the striker was not going to waste the opportunity as he stepped up and smashed the ball into the roof of Theoklitos- net to the roars of the United faithful.
Djite thought he had beaten the offside trap with less than ten minutes remaining only for the linesman to raise his flag before Watson went close with a free kick, the Reds daring to dream of snatching a winner.
The Roar had a final chance at the death, Berisha-s glancing header from a set piece going harmlessly wide leaving the points to be shared. Next up, the Reds are back at AAMI Park to face Melbourne Victory on Friday 13 January.
Match Details Adelaide United FC 1 (van Dijk 78- (pen)) Brisbane Roar 1 (Nakajima-Farran 59-) Referee: Ben Williams Crowd: 11,274 @ Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 3.Nigel Boogaard, 5.Daniel Mullen, 7.Zenon Caravella (2.Osama Malik 67-), 9.Sergio van Dijk, 10.Dario Vidosic (17.Iain Ramsay 58-), 11.Bruce Djite, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 18.Fabian Barbiero (15.Jacob Melling 76-), 21.Francisco Usucar
Substitutes not used: 20.Mark Birighitti (gk) Yellow Cards: Barbiero 45-, van Dijk 54- Red Cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar line-up: 1.Michael Theoklitos (gk), 2.Matt Smith (c), 3.Shane Stefanutto, 5.Ivan Franjic, 6.Erik Paartalu, 7.Besart Berisha, 8.Massimo Murdocca, 11.Issey Nakajima-Farran (9.Kofi Danning 78-), 14.Rocco Visconte, 16.Mohamed Adnan, 17.Mitch Nichols (18.Luke Brattan 34-)
Substitutes not used: 4.Matthew Jurman, 20.Andrew Redmayne (gk) Yellow Cards: Nakajima-Farran 45-, Smith 77- Red Cards: Nil