Reds fightback to earn draw with Wanderers

Adelaide United have played out a 1-1 draw against the Western Sydney Wanderers thanks to a maiden goal from Apostolos Stamatelopoulos at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.

Adelaide finally took advantage from one of their corners as Stamatelopoulos came off the bench to emphatically secure a deserved point and cancel out Jack Clisby’s opener.

With the Reds undermanned for the clash, Marco Kurz, fielded a 3-4-3 formation and made two changes to the starting XI which defeated Perth Glory 3-0. Missing from the game were Nathan Konstandopoulos, Johan Absalonsen and Daniel Adlung, all who incidentally scored on Friday. Their absence saw Jordan O’Doherty receive his inaugural league start of the campaign, while Ben Warland featured for the first time since the Westfield FFA Cup Final. Youngsters Lachlan Brook and Apostolos Stamatelopoulos began proceedings on the bench.

The first 45 was played at a frenetic tempo with both sides having several chances to open the scoring.

Steven Lustica had the best chance for the hosts but was marvellously rejected when a fully-stretched Jordan Elsey slid across the goal-line. 

At the other end, Baba Diawara came the closest when his one-on-one was swiftly saved by Vedran Janjetovic.

After the re-start, WSW broke the deadlock when the Reds were caught napping defensively with Roly Bonevacia breaking the offside trap to feed Clisby.

But Adelaide dominated large periods of the second-half, but were unable to convert their chances.

Ersan Gülüm was resolute defensively and had to make several vital interceptions and also had two good headed chances to restore parity.

And with Adelaide staring down a loss, 18-year-old Stamatelopoulos levelled the affair.

Key moments:

15’ | Oriol Riera smashes the crossbar after being played in before Lustica is incredibly denied on the follow-up by a goal-line clearance from Elsey.

21’ | Lustica picks out Mark Bridge at the back post and fires his volley wide of the bottom far corner.

25’ | Gloveman Daniel Margush makes a brilliant diving save to stop Bridge’s first-time shot from the edge of the 18-yard box.

30’ | Diawara’s close-range effort is blocked by Janjetovic after Nikola Mileusnic’s scuffed strike fell to the striker.

52’ | GOAL: Clisby taps in Roly Bonevacia’s cut-back after the Reds back-four was caught square.

60’ | Nikola Mileusnic is found by Warland, but the winger hesitates and his opportunity goes begging.

74’ | Mark Ochieng agonisingly shoots wide of the target after being played in by Strain.

86’ | GOAL! Isaías’s corner is kept in by Ryan Strain who finds Stamatelopoulos unmarked and he rifles his finish into the net.

Match details:
Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Season - Round 15
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Clisby 52’)
Adelaide United 1 (Stamatelopoulos 86’ )
Venue: ANZ Stadium