A late first-half fight-back from Adelaide United has produced a 2-2 draw against Perth Glory in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Coopers Stadium on Wednesday night.
Adelaide found themselves 2-0 down approaching half-time, before two goals in as many minutes from Ken Ilsø and Mirko Boland immediately extinguished Perth’s commanding position.
In fact, having restored parity the Reds were rather unfortunate not to come away with the win after dominating the second-half as well as being denied what appeared a clear-cut penalty.
Jordan Elsey inadvertently volleyed Fabio Ferreira’s cross into his own net, while Tomislav Mrcela scored a screamer to double the visitors’ advantage.
However, the match turned on its head instantaneously from kick-off as Ilsø won and subsequently slotted a penalty following a clear foul.
And no sooner did Adelaide pull one back, Marco Kurz’s men drew level through Boland’s low drive.
The Reds began dictating proceedings early in the match before the Glory managed to wrestle back the momentum.
In the 11th minute, Tony Popovic’s men profited from Elsey’s unfortunate clearance after unintentionally guiding the ball past a helpless, Paul Izzo, in goal.
The hosts went in search of an equaliser and nearly found one through Ilsø. An intricate passing move involving Isaías and Boland ended in the Danish attacker controlling, and then volleying his effort onto the crossbar from the edge of the area.
But luck eluded the Reds and 13 minutes later, Perth were two goals to the good. Standing outside the box following a corner, the ball fell to an opportunistic Mrcela, who took a touch before striking his half-volleyed shot past Izzo.
Adelaide, however, showed immense character, desperate to salvage something from the half.
Ilsø ventured into the box and was caught by two Perth players leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.
The Dane confidently buried the ensuing spot-kick, sending Liam Reddy the wrong way and placing the ball into the bottom right corner.
And in the blink of an eye, the Glory’s lead was gone. Ilsø’s was again involved in the action as his initial close-range shot was blocked before Boland, from just inside the 18-yard box, unleashed a low, right-footed daisy-cutter beyond Reddy.
Striker, Baba Diawara, was brought into the fold at the start of the second stanza and he linked up well with George Blackwood, Ilsø and Boland.
Adelaide enjoyed a couple of inviting chances through Blackwood who found more space; his first curling effort flew inches wide of the top corner, while the second attempt on 59 minutes forced Reddy into a smart save down to his left.
The youngster would also later be denied a seemingly stonewall penalty. Blackwood got in front of his marker before the Glory defender took his legs out and breaking the forward’s stride in the process, though the official waved away the protests.
Despite Adelaide improving in the second-half, neither side could be separated.
Nevertheless, it was another strong hit-out ahead of next week’s FFA Cup 2018 Quarter Final meeting with APIA Leichhardt.
Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Adelaide United 2 (Ilsø 45’ Boland 45+1’)
Perth Glory 2 (Elsey OG 11’ Mrcela 44’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium