Adelaide are finals bound following tense draw against Wanderers

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Adelaide United have capitalised on a 10-man Western Sydney Wanderers side to come back from a goal down and secure a place in the finals with a 2-2 draw.

The Reds started the match attacking relentlessly and were close to taking the lead when Louis D’Arrigo’s long-range strike was parried away at full stretch by Wanderers’ goalkeeper Daniel Margush. 

With momentum firmly in their favour, Adelaide opened the scoring after Ziggy Gordon tried to clear Ryan Strain’s shot off the line but deflected it into the back of the net instead, giving United an early 1-0 lead. 

Despite Adelaide’s hot start, the Wanderers absorbed the initial pressure and tied the game 1-1 when Bruce Kamau’s shot from inside the box ricocheted off Strain and into the bottom corner of the goals.

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After levelling the score line, Western Sydney composed themselves and began going forward with confidence.

Using their newfound confidence, the Wanderers took a 2-1 advantage when Graham Dorrans calmly played the ball down to himself before smashing a half-volley into the side netting.

Even though the Wanderers started gaining ground, the game would take another twist when Tass Mourdoukoutas received a red card for making a dangerous slide tackle on D’Arrigo, leaving Western Sydney down to 10-men.

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Western Sydney head coach Carl Robinson was less than impressed with the decision and discussed his take after the game.

“I don’t think it’s a red card but, that’s my opinion,” Robinson explained.

“Football is about contact, football is about tackling. If that is a red card, people are going to get sent off every game which, is not what we want to see.” 

Although the second half started with the Wanderers being a man down, Western Sydney launched a sudden counter-attack and nearly scored when Thomas Aqualina’s powerful shot rattled the apex. 

However, Adelaide would tie the game when Craig Goodwin caught the Wanderers’ defenders flat-footed and smashed home Ben Halloran’s cross to make it 2-2. 

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Against the run of play, United goalkeeper James Delianov made a critical error, turning the ball over inside his box to James Troisi. 

Troisi passed it to a wide-open Jordan Mutch but, luckily for United, Delianov redeemed himself by pulling off a clinical save from close range. 

Adelaide continued their attempts to break down the Wanderers defence in the final stages of the match, but Western Sydney held on to secure a 2-2 draw. 

Following the game, United head coach Carl Veart was confident his side had enough talent to progress in the upcoming finals series.

“I’ve got total belief in this playing group and, when they are playing at their best, I don’t think there’s a better side to watch,” Veart said. 

“They are very exciting and have an attacking brand of football, it’s just a matter of finishing games.

“That’s something we have to improve on, especially if we want to go a long way in the finals.”

The draw was enough to keep Adelaide in sixth position on the A-League standings while Western Sydney remains eighth. 

Feature image credit: Jordan Trombetta

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Amir Daou
Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity and Bachelor of Media and Communications student at Flinders University. Writing intern covering the latest in Adelaide United news and matches. Sport is my passion and I'm excited to learn more about the industry during my time with The Football Sack.
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