Sunday Mail

Brave Reds grab draw


ADELAIDE United was brave after it was reduced to 10 men in the first half, but it also blew a golden chance to jump into second spot.

Western Sydney was also down to 10 men 14 minutes from full time as both teams shared the points in a 1-1 draw at Hindmarsh Stadium last night.

Adelaide’s Tomi Juric opened the scoring in the 10th minute in his first start since the match in February when he bagged a hat-trick from the penalty spot.

Wanderers Simon Cox equalised in the 68th minute with a deft touch, eight minutes after he was unleashed off the bench.

However Adelaide took control of the clash via a brilliant Ben Halloran performanc­e.

He did all the good lead up work for the opening goal in a ploy which the Reds had used for much of the first half.

Halloran attacked teenage left back Mark Natta and chipped the ball towards the six-yard box before Juric headed it home. Just seconds later Juric went to the bench to have a conversati­on with the club’s medical staff, before ending his shift at the break.

Adelaide was reduced to 10 men for about 50 minutes of the clash when Louis D’arrigo picked up two cautions before Natta was dealt a straight red.

D’arrigo’s first caution was a 30th minute foul on Thomas Aquilina.

It halted the Wanderers’ attacking rhythm. D’arrigo then earned his first expulsion in his A-league career when he clipped Mitch Duke in full flight near the halfway line just before the break.

Reds players protested and tested the knowledge of local referee Daniel Elder and whether he would call upon VAR for an “obvious error.” VAR cannot review yellow cards, and D’arrigo marched towards the exit.

Natta was sent off when he was the last defender and had a hold of Stefan Mauk at the top of the Wanderers’ defensive penalty box.

James Troisi was unfairly targeted by many Reds fans during the clash.

Adelaide agreed to officially release him in September after the Socceroo was bypassed for a role in the club’s leadership group.

It was Troisi’s first game at home since signing for the Wanderers in December after Reds officials made a point, deeming it was a surprise that he had left the club. It turned fans against Troisi but the creative midfielder wasn’t fazed, putting on a master class performanc­e in his home town.

And the Reds’ unlucky run with strikers and injuries continues. Juric started because Kusini Yengi was ruled out as a “precaution with a minor injury.” Al Hassan Toure, who is returning from injury, replaced Juric and lasted 37 minutes before returning to the dressing room. Mohamed Toure is also battling an injury.

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