Reds draw 1-1 with Phoenix

Ben Halloran’s late equaliser ensured Adelaide United left Sky Stadium with a point against ten-man Wellington.

Adelaide United snatched a 1-1 draw at the death in their opening A-League Men clash against 10-man Wellington Phoenix, with Ben Halloran scoring a 93rd-minute equaliser.

Ufuk Talay’s Wellington looked set for a smash-and-grab victory at Sky Stadium on Sunday, recovering from Yan Sasse’s record-setting red card to score first through Ben Waine.

The Nix played with 10 men for over an hour and were on the back foot for long stretches until substitute Waine struck.

The 21-year-old seized on a loose ball in the box after returning forward Kosta Barbarouses’ shot was spilled by Joe Gauci.

As if embarrassed to trail an outnumbered side, the Reds lifted, and their pressure finally told in injury time, with Halloran – back in a Reds jersey after his brief stint in South Korea – sidefooting in Craig Goodwin’s corner to split the points.

The biggest talking point of a lifeless opening half came when Yan Sasse misjudged a high ball and was sent off.

The Brazilian spent just 25 minutes on the pitch – the quickest dismissal of any debutant in Australian national league history – for his reckless lunge on Javi Lopez.

The 25-year-old attempted to win the ball with his outstretched left foot, but in doing so lost control of his right leg, which flew into Lopez at pace.

Referee Ben Abraham wasted no time whipping out his red card for the dangerous tackle, much to Talay’s fury.

Down a man, Adelaide took control of the contest, but were without the quality to truly test Oli Sail.

Eager to change the contest, coach Carl Veart threw on Socceroos hopeful Goodwin, and another eye-catching debutant: Musa Toure.

Toure, 16, is the the younger brother of Olyroos forward Al Hassan Toure.

Just seconds after his arrival, Wellington went ahead, before Goodwin and Halloran combined to spare the Reds’ blushes in front of a crowd of 8,325.