NPL SA 2021 Round 7 Recap: Young Reds record first draw of the season

Airton Andrioli

After four straight wins Adelaide United Youth drew 1-1 against Adelaide Croatia Raiders on Saturday.

Nathan Hancock fired the hosts into the lead just part the half hour mark at the Croatian Sports Centre with a quality strike.

The Young Reds were indebted to Dakota Ochsenham for denying James Temelkovski from the spot with a splendid save low to his right on 59 minutes to keep them in the contest.

And ten minutes later, Raiders would rue the miss with Pacifique Niyongabire scoring the equaliser with a clinical turn and finish to ensure honours even.

United now sit second on the table one point behind ladder leaders Adelaide City.


Head of Youth Football, Airton Andrioli, said he was content with the result and felt these are the types of matches where his team will learn from the most.

“I think it was a difficult game,” Andrioli said.

“Raiders played quite well and they made it very difficult for us.

“Obviously they had a couple of bad results over the last few weeks and they didn’t want to lose that game.

“So we expected that, that’s the level of games we want the boys to be exposed to when the opposition is resistant and does a good job trying to stop us from doing the things we want to do.

“So from that perspective, Raiders made it very difficult and we struggled a little bit in the first-half and had some good and bad moments in the game.

“Overall I think the result was okay… but from the perspective of the players’ development these are the games we want to play every week.”

Andrioli was particularly impressed with the resilience his team showed in the second-half after restoring parity soon after Ochsenham’s brilliant save.

“At this stage we want them to have to deal with pressure in those situations,” he said.

“In a game of football things are constantly changing and you have to be able to adapt to the situation.

“And being a young player and being exposed to those things, we’re always looking for this type of game where the players can show what they can do and they responded well.”