Adelaide United Youth have held third-place MetroStars to a 1-1 draw at TK Shutter Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
Aladin Irabona gave the Young Reds a first-half lead from the penalty spot, but the hosts equalised through a fortuitous Christian Esposito deflected goal after the break.
Head Coach, Paul Pezos, made just the one alteration to his starting line-up that drew with Adelaide Olympic a week ago. Ninko Beric replaced Kusini Yengi as the number nine.
Adelaide had to absorb the pressure early but after negotiating the opening five minutes they settled into the game quite well.
Taras Gomulka and Irabona combined effortlessly on the right flank, while Beric looked sharp on the ball and always offered himself as an option.
The Young Reds struck first when the referee adjudged Gomulka had been dragged down in the box and without hesitation he awarded a spot-kick.
Stand-in skipper, Irabona, stepped up and made no mistake, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way with a finish into the bottom right corner on 23 minutes.
It was a confidently taken penalty from the 21-year-old, who saw a lot of the ball in the first-half.
The start to the second-half was extremely cagey and a lack of intensity was apparent from both teams, with no real chances of note.
But seemingly out of nothing substitute Esposito restored parity with a deflected shot from the edge of the box that looped over ‘keeper Dakota Ochsenham in the 73rd minute.
Adelaide had a glorious opportunity to score a later winner but Alhassan Toure could not connect with a low Gomulka cross.
It finished honours even with United Youth now drawing their past two matches ahead of a Round 14 meeting with Adelaide City next weekend.
Adelaide United Youth Reserves
Adelaide United Youth Reserves recorded a 2-1 win over MetroStars Reserves to remain three points clear of their nearest opponent at the top of the table.
Adelaide United Youth face Adelaide City in Round 14 of the National Premier League 2019 season on Saturday, 15 June at VALO Football Centre – The Parks. Kick-off is at 3.00 PM. Reserves kick-off at 12.45pm.