Reds, Victory see-out stalemate

Adelaide United has drawn 1-1 with Melbourne Victory on Sunday afternoon.

In what was the opening clash of the 2022/23 Pride Cup, the hotly-contested fixture came to life late in the second half when Victory were awarded a dubious penalty, dispatched by Bruno Fornaroli, and then second-half substitute, Nestory Irankunda, who unleashed an unstoppable effort into the back of the net.

United goalkeeper, Joe Gauci, was called into making a couple of saves in the first half to prevent the hosts from opening the scoring, however the custodian was hardly troubled.

In the 38th minute, Ethan Alagich cut in from the right flank and struck a quality effort on-goal, forcing Victory’s Paul Izzo, into making a diving save.

The Reds started the second half well, Louis D’Arrigo launching a stinging volley on-target, which was saved. In the resulting play, Ben Halloran recycled the ball and whipped-in a cross for Hiroshi Ibusuki, whose header was collect by Izzo.

Just after the hour mark, Ibusuki brought the ball under his spell inside the box, held off his man, and created enough space to turn and shoot, however his strike was over the bar.

Almost 20 minutes later, Alexandar Popović, who was a true standout in the fixture, was judged to have fouled Damien Da Silva, referee Chris Beath awarding a spot-kick following a VAR review. Fornaroli scored the resulting penalty past Gauci.

With three minutes left in regulation time, Irankunda received the ball 25-yards out and hit a thunderous effort past Izzo to level the match.

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