Adelaide United played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Adelaide Blue Eagles in Round 7 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues at The Parks Football Centre in the Wednesday night fixture.
The game was in Adelaide United’s hands to win, with a first half penalty converted by Ryan Strain, gave them the ascendency over Blue Eagles.
Adelaide United had hold of the lead several times, but for not long enough, as Blue Eagles were able to answer back every time to level the score. Jean-Claude Boyokino equalised first, following a Hamish Mccabe strike to clutch the lead again.
Mario Karlovic’s contention for goal of the year had made it 2-2, before late into the second half where Apostolos Stamatelopoulos looked like he had scored the winner for the ten-man United. However, a minute later, Boyokino completed his brace to thrill the crowd and equalise for a third time in what would be the last goal of the match.
It was all Red in the opening 15 minutes of the opening game of Round 7, with Stamatelopoulos sending Captain, Josh Mori on a run but the ball had gone out of play. Strain then went on his own scintillating run, and was brought down. His awarded free-kick was sent over the bar.
Blake Carpenter was pivotal in the match, spotting Stamatelopoulos in a good position in front of goal and sent a long ball over the top of Blue Eagles players to his teammate. Adelaide Blue Eagles gloveman, John Solari grabbed hold of the danger at once, before the United striker could get a hold of it.
In the 13th minute, Liam Mccabe came crashing down just inside the 18-yard box, for Strain to then convert the spot-kick, cutting through the middle and sending Solari to the left.
Blue Eagles then had a few threatening chances of their own after conceding. Stefan Simic was dangerous with the ball, and as he sliced through United’s defence, he looked almost certain to capitalise. United ‘keeper, Isaac Richards deflected the effort out for a corner, and Simic popped up again, but headed the ball over the bar from close range.
Hamish Mccabe displayed some fancy footwork in the area, but the Blue Eagles defence were able to cut him out in time.
With a 1-0 lead at half time, United looked the more confident out of the two for the three points, and the los toros (the bulls) of the tantalising and physical battle.
It was a lop-sided second stanza as the score line suggests, with Simic bursting out of the blocks searching for a leveller. He sped into the box like a matador, only for his strike to sky over the crossbar.
Boyokino was the one to equalise for the visitors in the 57th minute, tapping in from a corner.
A minute later, Hamish Mccabe took the lead back for his side with a superb strike.
In the 80th minute, Karlovic controlled the ball with his chest, swivelled around and volleyed home from the edge of the box to equalise for the second time.
Soon after, Stamatelopoulos bolted down the wing to strike from the by-line and into the net, remarkably.
Seconds after United’s third goal, Boyokino sent a thunderbolt at the death, as the Reds almost hung on to clinch the win.
Following the match, Adelaide United Head Coach, Huss Skenderovic said the game was theirs to win, but a lack of discipline tactically had let the game slip away for his side.
“We threw the game away in the end, and hence it now feels more like a loss,” he said.
“I thought it was due to a lack of discipline and a bit of composure, but again, it is a learning experience for them, especially tactic wise when we are down to ten men.
“There was an element of complacency there as well, when you think the game is won because it is late into the second half, until one minute where you switch off and concede a goal.
“But all credit to the goals, two of them were bombs and there is nothing you can do about those, but we are very disappointed.
“We should have won that game, but it is still a positive as we came out expecting to win as we believed in ourselves, but we will take the draw.”
Adelaide United 2
Adelaide Blue Eagles 3