Debut goals from Riley McGree and Nikola Mileusnic handed Adelaide United a share of the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Wellington Phoenix at Coopers Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Riley McGree opened the scoring for the Reds, but goals from Thomas Doyle and Roy Krishna had the visitors ahead, until substitute Mileusnic ensured United would not go home empty handed.
Reds Head Coach, Guillermo Amor, handed striker Marc Marino his starting debut for the Club, with Sergio Cirio dropping to the midfield, and also welcomed back Iacopo La Rocca in defence at the expense of Taylor Regan.
Adelaide began in the best possible fashion when McGree rifled his shot past gloveman Glen Moss, after some exquisite build up play from Cirio and Marino.
But the lead was only fleeting, as Doyle ventured on a mazy run to fire a thunderous shot in off the near post and into the top corner.
The hosts did not drop their heads and slowly grabbed the ascendency of the match, controlling possession and appearing threating when in advanced areas.
However, indecision hurt Amor’s men during the first-half – flattering to deceive from a number of promising incursions into the Phoenix box.
And the hosts were made to rue their wastefulness on 37 minutes, as a swift counter-attack saw Kosta Barbarouses feed Krishna in on goal to nonchalantly finish past Eugene Galekovic, making it 1-2.
In stifling conditions, the game was interrupted by several drinks breaks, however it did not disrupt Adelaide’s rhythm.
Trailing at the interval, Amor was hoping for a response from his men. The Reds duly answered creating a plethora of good openings, but were unable to punish the ‘Nix on the scoreboard.
Cirio, who was heavily involved in an attacking sense, missing a glorious opportunity to restore parity, following Ryan Kitto’s cut back.
Defender Iacopo La Rocca then smashed the crossbar from close range, as Cirio squared the ball across the face of goal.
However, Adelaide deservingly levelled proceedings through Mileusnic. Ben Garuccio’s free-kick was parried onto the post by Moss with the 23-year-old quickest to react and steered the ball into the net.
The Reds had to see out the final minutes with 10 men, after Kitto was forced off the field through injury, though they could not muster a winner as it finished 2-2.
Following the match, Amor believes his team should have won the match, and lamented United’s missed chances.
“I think we deserved to win, we played a good game,” Amor said. “Even though it was hot it’s not an excuse, but we played well with 11 players and then 10 players.
“We arrived in the box a lot of times and created chances, but we didn’t win.”
Sunday, 29 January 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 17
Adelaide United 2 (McGree 7’ Mileusnic 80’)
Wellington Phoenix 2 (Doyle 11’ Krishna 37’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium