Adelaide United ended the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season with a 2-2 draw to Western Sydney Wanderers at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night.
It was a game of two halves after Marcelo Carrusca’s successfully converted penalty and a Dylan McGowan close-range finish had the hosts 2-0 ahead at the break.
Eugene Galekovic also made a superb diving save to maintain Adelaide’s two-goal buffer heading into the break.
However, in the second-half the Wanderers would net two goals of their own to restore parity. Dimas halved the deficit, while Steven Lustica slotted a penalty 16 minutes from time.
Head Coach, Guillermo Amor, made four changes to the starting XI from the midweek AFC Champions League clash. Iacopo La Rocca returned to the heart of defence, while Marcelo Carrusca superseded Kim Jae-sung in midfield. There were a few alterations in attack with Jordan O’Doherty featuring on the wing and Eli Babalj replaced Baba Diawara up front.
Adelaide started the match the brighter of the two sides and were rewarded for their endeavours soon after.
Carrusca opened the scoring on 10 minutes when he was fouled in clumsily by Aritz Borda. The Argentine subsequently dispatched his penalty with aplomb – into the top corner.
Nicolas Martinez almost levelled when he went on a venturing run, capping off the move with a curling strike which went inches wide of the target.
Jordan O’Doherty came agonisingly close to doubling the advantage, but a saving tackle from Robert Cornthwaite denied the youngster.
Riley McGree, Carrusca and Eli Babalj linked up expertly in attack as they played with freedom in attacking areas.
In the 38th minute, the Reds extended their lead to 2-0, after Sergio Cirio drilled a low cross into the box with McGowan on the end to poke home. Remarkably, it was the defender’s fourth goal in five matches and fifth of the season.
Tony Popavic’s men had the opportunity to equalise before the interval from the spot, but Galekovic performed a diving stop to his right to thwart Martinez.
In the second-half it was the Wanderers who would grab the ascendency, despite Adelaide showing promise in attack at times.
Steven Lustica thumped the crossbar from a free-kick with the ensuing rebound kindly falling to Dimas who nodded the ball into the net on 63 minutes.
Babalj almost found the back-of-the-net when he connected with Cirio’s cross, only for his side-footed attempt to go wide of the target.
And 11 minutes later, the visitors pulled a second goal back. Shannon Cole was fouled inside the area and Lustica duly stepped up to dispatch his shot past the Reds Captain.
Both teams pushed for the win, but failed to muster any late chances as Adelaide avoided the wooden spoon to finish the campaign in ninth place.
Saturday, 15 April 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 27
Adelaide United 2 (Carrusca 10’ McGowan 38’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Dimas 63’ Lustica 74’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium