A resilient Adelaide United earned a 0-0 draw against the Western Sydney Wanderers at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night.
The Reds produced no notable chances, but were largely well structured from a defensive aspect. Nevertheless, goalkeeper Daniel Margush was called into action on few instances to preserve the clean sheet.
There were two changes made to the starting line-up, following the Club’s midweek exertions in China. Marcelo Carrusca returned to the midfield at the expense of Nikola Mileusnic, while Michael Marrone dropped to the bench and superseded by Ben Garuccio.
In wet and slippery conditions, both sides took their time in adapting to the greasy surface, with several players losing their footing.
Adelaide, however, did make a bright start when Carrusca threaded a perfectly weighted pass to Sergio Cirio, whose cross ricocheted and fell to gloveman Vedran Janjetovic.
But following that early incursion into the area it was virtually all one way traffic from the Wanderers thereafter, with the Reds standing resolute.
Taylor Regan and Dylan McGowan made several crucial interceptions to thwart Western Sydney’s forward play.
McGowan ensured parity persisted after denying Lachlan Scott from close range with a brilliant goal-line clearance on 22 minutes.
The Reds continued to cope with the relentless attacks from the Wanderers, as the likes of Tarek Elrich threw his body in the way of a couple of shots.
Tony Popovic’s men thought they had taken the lead in the 39th minute after Dimas scored, but the referee determined Margush was fouled in the process.
The Reds soaked up the pressure during the first-half as both teams went into the sheds goalless.
The second-half saw the Wanderers pick up where they left off, dominating possession as well as threatening the Adelaide goal.
Margush was again called into action in quick succession, first tipping over Terry Antonis’s curling effort before making a reflex save off Scott’s glancing header.
United made a rare foray forward on 62 minutes after a defence-splitting pass from Elrich found Cirio, who rounded the custodian only to see his angled shot cleared.
A procession of yellow cards were brandished late on, indicative of the weary bodies on the park, with both sides returning from Asia on short rest.
However, despite the drop in tempo, Antonis almost scored a stoppage time free-kick, but his strike rattled the top of the bar.
The result means Adelaide’s last three visits to New South Wales against the Wanderers have ended in goalless stalemates.
After the match, Amor said he was fairly pleased with a point and content with the team’s recent performances, considering the hectic schedule.
“We knew that it would not be an easy game,” Amor said.
“Western Sydney is normally strong and we tried to win today, but in the end one point is better than none.
“The performance and the attitude of this team has been good.
“The three games this week in (Melbourne) Victory, China (against Jiangsu Suning) and today (versus the Western Sydney) the level of the team was very good.”
Saturday, 4 March 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 22
Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Adelaide United 0
Venue: Spotless Stadium