Adelaide United made their presence known after testing second-placed Adelaide Comets in a 2-2 draw in Round 13 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues at The Parks Football Centre on Saturday.
The Reds held a steady 1-0 lead on home turf before halftime, courtesy of defender, Zak Waters, and kept the Comets scoreless for 45 minutes.
Heading into the second half, the Yougn Reds needed to remain focused, but Connor Gollan equalised for the hosts.
Head Coach, Huss Skenderovic looked to his bench, and made the right decision to bring on Ryan James, who gave his side the lead once again.
However, the league’s leading goal scorer, Andreas Wiens, added to his tally as well as diminishing all hope for United with an 88th minute leveller to settle the score.
It was a much-improved Adelaide United side who stepped onto the field under Skenderovic, and were unfortunate not to take down one of the best teams in the competition, after being the better side in the first stanza.
The Reds were on a mission for the maximum points, as a few great passes into the final third led to Waters sneaking through the back of Comets defenders to slot past ‘keeper, Alexander Woodlands within two minutes after the opening whistle.
The McCabe brothers were pivotal in midfield, as well as recently signed Nathan Konstandopoulos wearing the Red shirt again.
In the 10th minute, Wiens crossed in for Kusini Yengi, to header over the crossbar, from inches away.
A superb through ball by Pacifique Niyongabire cut past defenders magnificently, for Captain, Josh Mori to take strike.
Mori’s blitzing shot was headed for the back of the net, but was left ill-starred as it merely missed the mark, in what could have doubled the lead for the deserving Captain.
A determined Lewis Farquhar charged relentlessly to get his side back into the game, but United’s defence remained level-headed.
Liam McCabe then sent a thunderbolt towards goal, that rattled the crossbar, and off of the deflection, Konstandopoulos struck, but into a Comets defender.
Adelaide United were bound for glory, and had an eagerness to silence any critics, but Theo Tsiounis’ men were not going down without a fight.
Aladin Irabona and Liam McCabe had two early chances, but were no real threat to Woodlands.
Near the hour mark, Gollan found the ball at his feet and hit from distance, as his shot struck the upright and past Isaac Richards, who had been solid.
Substitute, James claimed the lead back, slipping past to strike into the back of the net.
James looked for his second, but could not connect to Blake Carpenters well-weighted cross into the penalty area.
In the 76th minute, in true Wiens’ fashion, forced a diving save out of Richards, following an acrobatic effort.
Wiens was then able to find the back of the net, much to the dismay of Adelaide United, splitting the share of the points in the end as Strain’s last opportunity of the match skied over the crossbar.
Next week, ninth-placed Adelaide United will travel to Adelaide City Park to take on the league leaders, while Adelaide Comets are back at home to face Adelaide Blue Eagles.
Adelaide United 4
Adelaide Comets 2