Reds play out scoreless stalemate with Phoenix

Craig Goodwin

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Adelaide United were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw against 10-man Wellington Phoenix at Coopers Stadium on Saturday.

The Reds showed more endeavour, particularly in the second-half, to find a breakthrough as the ‘Nix defended deep, however Adelaide could not capitalise on any of their chances.

Mandi was dismissed midway during the second period for a reckless kick on Vince Lia, but the numerical advantage failed to make any real difference.

Marco Kurz made two changes to his starting eleven from the win against Newcastle Jets. Jordan Elsey came straight back into the line-up following a one-match suspension at the expense of Taylor Regan, while Ryan Kitto replaced Nikola Mileusnić on the wing. Ben Halloran moved to his more natural right-wing position with Ken Ilsø leading the line.

It was a slow start to the match by Adelaide as Wellington bossed the opening exchanges without troubling Paul Izzo.

But Adelaide soon found their rhythm and enjoyed their fair share of possession as they probed around the opponent’s 18-yard box.

Ryan Strain was busy down the right-flank and caused Wellington’s left side a lot of problems.

The right-back picked out Ben Halloran and Vince Lia during the first-half but neither could manage to really test Filip Kurto.

Although, Adelaide almost found the opening when Ilsø released Kitto, whose dinked cross picked out Lia but his close-range header was straight into the gloves of Kurto.

After what was largely an insipid half of football, the second stanza proved to be a lot more pulsating, and at times tempestuous as the challenges flied in.

Sarpreet Singh slipped through David Williams but Izzo was aware and moved off his line to block his shot.

The Reds thought they scored when Elsey’s thumping header was dropped by Kurto, who recovered to prevent the ball from crossing the line.

Mandi received his marching orders follow a VAR review for a late kick-out on Lia.

But as Adelaide piled on the relentless pressure they could not find a way past the Phoenix gloveman, who made a number of fairly routine saves.

It finished all square as United now turn their attention to a home match against Melbourne Victory on Wednesday night.


Key moments:

43’ | Kitto’s cross is met by the head of Lia though he is unable to direct it past Kurto.

52’ | Singh threads a pass through to Williams but his shot is blocked by Izzo, who swiftly came off his line.

56’ | Goodwin’s cross from the short corner is forcefully headed straight at Kurto and despite fumbling the ball he manages to keep it out.

67’ | RED CARD! After initially being brandished a yellow card for kicking out on Lia, the VAR intervened with referee changing his decision and dismissing the Spaniard.

87’ | Scott Galloway’s low cross is met by Kitto but Kurto parries it away and just beyond the waiting Halloran.

Match details:

Saturday, 5 January 2018
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 – Round 11
Adelaide United 0
Wellington Phoenix 0
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Crowd: 8,954

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