Having lost to the Victory in the FFA Cup quarter finals earlier in the week, Adelaide United would not be on the losing the end in their second meeting in three days, escaping Melbourne with a draw, courtesy of a last minute Craig Goodwin equaliser.
It would be a slow start to the game with neither side able to assert themselves on the contest in the early going of the opening half. The biggest chance to break the deadlock wouldn’t until the 37th minute with Victory striker Nicholas D’Agostino shooting from the centre of box but who have his shot blocked.
The home side were also be rewarded multiple freekicks in dangerous positions inside their attacking half, though but would wasted opportunities, with Jake Brimmer missing the target on his two freekicks attempts.
Adelaide boasted the majority of the possession in the first half, but were unable to impactful, registering just four shots for the half, none of which on target. The Reds biggest eventually came five minutes from half time, with United skipper Stefan Mauk trying his luck from range but would fire just wide of the target.
After a scoreless opening half, the Reds came the closest in the second half to scoring the opener, 17-year-old Bernardo would get a look from close range for his first A-League Men’s goal in the 50th minute, but his shot would curl past the post.
The deadlock would finally be broken in the 84th minute with Nicholas D’Agostino firing from range, but their lead would only last six minutes.
After VAR denied an Adelaide equaliser moments after D’Agostino’s goal after Stefan Mauk interfered with Ivan Kelava, there was no denying United in stoppage time with Craig Goodwin firing into the bottom right corner.
United securing an unlikely result, while the Victory will rue missed opportunities, United will be happy to take a point with the only negative being Isaias being shown a red card in stoppage time.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Having fielded side studded with young talent which gave a good account of themselves in their FFA Cup quarter final clash against the Victory, the Reds youngsters were again showed glimpses of promise.
17-year-old Bernardo had his moments and put in an honest performance playing on the right wing coming close several times to scoring his first career A-League Men’s goal. His replacement, 15-year-old Nestroy Irankunda would make a cameo appearance of the bench, and while didn’t have a massive influence and still a raw prospect he competed well against Jay Barnett.
With the average of United’s bench just 19 years of age, the Reds are fielding one the youngest teams in the A-Leagues at the moment, but all of seem to be finding their feet at the top level.
VICTORY RUE MISSED OPPORTUNTIES
In the absence of Italian frontman Francesco Margiotta, Nicholas D’Agostino would be named as the starting striker for the Victory and his long range go-ahead goal in the 84th minute would be the only shot on target the Victory registered in the game.
The Victory had 15 shots on goal in comparison to United’s 10, yet would ultimately take just a single point from the game.
Though he’d the only one to find the net for the Victory, D’Agostino missed several opportunities close in goal, while Brimmer failed to capitalise from set-pieces missing the target.
UNITED SECURE EQUALISER IN LATE DRAMA
Having their intital equaliser overturned due to Reds captain Stefan Mauk interfering with Ivan Kelava, United would get another late chance to equalise and would take full advantage with Javi Lopez’s cross finding Craig Goodwin who’s left footed shot would find the bottom right corner to salvage a point.
Following celebrations, United veteran Isaias would be shown a red card, though being a man down would have little impact on the scoreboard. Having lost to the Victory in their two previous meetings this season, in both the league and FFA Cup, there would be nothing to split the sides in their third meeting.
A-League Men, Round Nine: AAMI Park
Melbourne Victory: 1 (Nicholas D’Agostino 84m)
Adelaide United: 1 (Craig Goodwin 90+1m)
HOW DID THE MANAGERS REACT?
Melbourne Victory: Tony Popovic
“It was a bit crazy [the final 10 minutes], it was end-to-end…we scored a wonderful goal they scored a nice finish off a cross, and in between I thought in large parts we were very good,” he said.
“We played good [in the] first half, just missed a goal in the first half…a lot of young boys [are] getting experience, but [there] was a lot of good play, a lot of good play.”
Adelaide United: Ross Aloisi
“I’m extremely proud, proud of the players for the effort they put in, they never gave up, we kept Melbourne Victory to one shot on target,” he said.
“Wasn’t our best game but the possession stats were very even..to comeback against Melbourne Victory – league leaders and score two goals [one of which was disallowed] after they scored their goal so late in the game is something to be proud of.”
Image Source: Adelaide United