Reds held to 1-1 draw by Perth

Adelaide United could count themselves unfortunate not to claim all three points after recording a 1-1 draw against Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.

Dylan McGowan opened the scoring midway through the first stanza, but Perth responded in controversial circumstances on the stroke of half-time, via Diego Castro’s penalty. 

There were three changes made to the starting XI by Head Coach, Guillermo Amor. Marcelo Carrusca and Riley McGree returned to the midfield from suspension and international duty respectively, while Tarek Elrich replaced Ben Garuccio at left-back.

Sergio Cirio had the best chance early on when Isaias played a delightful through ball over the top of Perth’s backline. The winger would get himself into a one-on-one position before shooting straight at Liam Reddy.

United looked to attack down the left side of the Glory’s defence with Nikola Mileusnic, Michael Marrone and Carrusca heavily involved in several intricate passing moves.

In the 21st minute, McGowan came within inches of scoring, but was unable to steer his volley on target from Cirio’s corner.

But two minutes later, McGowan put the hosts ahead again from a corner, tapping home from close range, after Taylor Regan’s initial header struck the upright.

Baba Diawara’s stellar form continued, holding up play exceptionally during the match – to bring his teammates into the game as well as prevailing in a number of areal duels.

Marrone also tried his luck from distance with a powerful effort which smacked the top of the side netting after venturing on an impressive run.

Reds Captain Eugene Galekovic made a solid diving save low to his right denying Chris Harold a minute before the interval.

However, late in stoppage time, Perth were awarded a penalty when Castro went down from minimal contact. He would subsequently convert the ensuing spot-kick to draw his side level.

The re-start saw Adelaide really take the game to Kenny Lowe’s side with United throwing numbers forward in an attempt to retake the lead.

McGree demonstrated why he was selected in the recent Socceroos squad, following an absolutely scintillating second period. The 18-year-old was unplayable at times, gliding past his opponents leaving them in their tracks – thanks to his remarkable technical ability and low centre of gravity.

McGree’s most exciting passage of play occurred when he surged forward, threading a through ball into the path of Diawara, only for the Senegalese marksman’s shot to be saved by Reddy’s foot.

Garuccio’s introduction also added another dimension to the Reds’ attack as he was heavily involved, marauding up and down the left wing.

However, despite Adelaide’s endeavours the match ended all square, as Amor’s men extended their unbeaten streak to five matches in all competitions.

Following the game, Amor said he was pleased with the strong performance, particularly in the second-half, as the Reds showed the initiative to find a winner.

“The bad thing is conceding in the last minute (of the first-half),” Amor said. 

“(But) the team I think in the second-half played well.

“We showed character, personality and we controlled (the game) well.

“I think the game was very good.”

Match details:
Friday, 31 March 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 25
Adelaide United 1 (McGowan 23’)
Perth Glory 1 (Castro 45’+1’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Attendance: 7,307