Reds held to stalemate in Wellington

Adelaide United had to settle for a point in Round 1 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season following a 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

Danish winger Johan Absalonsen was impressive and scored his maiden league goal for Adelaide to cancel out Dario Vidosic’s early opener.

In charge of his first league game for the Club, Head Coach, Marco Kurz, handed Ersan Gülüm, Karim Matmour, Absalonsen and Daniel Adlung their Hyundai A-League debuts. Striker George Blackwood was entrusted to lead the line at the expense of Baba Diawara, while Ben Garuccio started at left-back.

A fast start from the hosts saw ex-Red Vidosic make it 1-0 inside five minutes with a clever header back across gloveman Paul Izzo.

However, in the 10th minute the Adelaide got back on level terms when Absalonsen scored a glancing header thanks to Nikola Mileusnic’s accurate cross.

Chances were few and far between in what was a scrappy second-half as neither team had the killer instinct to take the ascendency and claim the three points.

Key Moments
5’ | GOAL: Vidosic scores against his former side after Matthew Ridenton’s free-kick was only cleared as far as Krishna and his cross found the 30-year-old, who headed past Paul Izzo.  

9’ | Matmour fires a shot straight at goalkeeper Keegan Smith just inside the edge of the area.

10’ | GOAL! Absalonsen heads home Mileusnic’s precise cross from close range to restore parity.

31’ | Mileusnic strikes the upright on a tight angle following a defensive miscommunication between Smith and Ali Abbas.

39’ | Paul Izzo stands tall to make a solid one-handed save, denying Kaluderovic who was played in on goal by Alex Rufer.

63’ | Jordan Elsey replaces Taylor Regan, with the latter sustaining a leg injury.

76’ | Smith makes a brilliant reflex save to prevent Blackwood’s header from making it 2-1 after connecting with a lovely cross from Mileusnic.

78’ | Matmour tees up Absalonsen but the 32-year-old is unable to keep his first-time shot on target.

90’+5’ | Gülüm fires a stinging drive from distance but Smith is able to handle the Turkish international’s effort.

Match Details:
Sunday, 8 October 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 1
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Vidosic 5’)
Adelaide United 1 (Absalonsen 10’)
Venue: Westpac Stadium
Attendance: 8,154