Reds fall to 10-man Roar

Adelaide United have fallen 2-1 to 10-man Brisbane Roar at Coopers Stadium on Saturday.

Fahid Ben Khalfallah profited from a rare mistake from Isaías, before turning provider to play in Massimo Maccarone who produced a world-class finish to chip Paul Izzo.

George Blackwood gave the Reds hope of a comeback when he tapped in from close range, but the hosts were unable to take their plethora of chances.

Marco Kurz made two changes to the starting XI which beat the Central Coast Mariners on Boxing Day. Ersan Gülüm returned from suspension to replace Taylor Regan and Nathan Konstandopoulos came in for the injured Vince Lia. Meanwhile, Johan Absalonsen started proceedings on the bench, following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a quad injury.     

Following a hard-fought opening couple of minutes, the Reds completely dominated the game for the next half an hour, with the Roar camped in their own half.

Gülüm, Ryan Kitto and Ryan Strain all had chances either blocked or saved by the visitors as Adelaide could not find a way through.

But in the 33rd minute the Roar would score against the run of play when an errant back-pass from Isaías was intercepted by Ben Khalfallah, who rounded Izzo.

And more than 10 minutes later Khalfallah assisted Maccarone after dispossessing Nathan Konstandopoulos, with the Italian executing an audacious dink over the ‘keeper.

However, the drama was not over when on the stroke of half-time Brisbane skipper Matt McKay was dismissed with the help of VAR for kicking out at Nikola Mileusnic.

After the break, the Reds continued to apply pressure and eventually pulled a goal back through Blackwood.

Despite their endeavour and persistence, United could not grab an equaliser in what will be considered a case of three points dropped.

Key moments:

16’ | Gülüm’s connects with Isaías’ set-piece and his looping header is caught by Jamie Young.

18’ | Blackwood drives forward and finds Mileusnic, whose low cross picks out Konstandopoulos but his effort is blocked.

19’ | Strain cuts inside and his shot is wide of the target.

26’ | The Roar have their first effort on goal when Petros Skapetis shoots straight Izzo from Maccarone’s cross.

33’ | GOAL: Ben Khalfallah capitalises on an error by Isaías to open the scoring into a vacant net.

39’ | Mileusnic makes space for himself and his incisive low ball finds Kitto on the six-yard box though it is agonisingly blocked.

45’ GOAL: Maccarone makes it 2-0 after Ben Khalfallah threads a pass to the ex-Empoli striker, who chips the ball over Izzo.

62’ | Michael Marrone, on his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance as a Red, cuts inside and strikes the crossbar.

69’ | GOAL! Adelaide finally halve the deficit when a ball in midfield deflected through to Mileusnic, who dribbled past Young and smashed the upright with the ball falling to Blackwood to tap into an empty net.

88’ | Johan Absalonsen’s header hits the roof of the net in the last real opportunity for Adelaide.

Match details:

Saturday, 30 December 2017
Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Round 13
Adelaide United  1 (Blackwood 69’ )
Brisbane Roar  2 (Khalfallah 33’ Maccarone 45’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Attendance: 9,875