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Adelaide snatch last-gasp draw with Heart

ADEvMHTAdelaide United’s surge to the top of the table was disrupted somewhat by another poor officiating performance from Ben Williams, and a myriad of unfortunate circumstances at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.

It was a match that had it all, from a goal in the first 26 seconds, to a season ending injury, a sending off for Adelaide, and two penalties to the Heart.

The Reds took control of the match after just 26 seconds through Marcelo Carrusca. Michael Zullo and Tarek Elrich combined beautifully on the left wing, with the latter cutting the ball back to Carrusca in the centre of the box who finished neatly from a good position.

However, Adelaide’s dream start to the match was overshadowed by an injury to Michael Marrone just three minutes in, which saw the defender rushed to hospital after falling on his leg awkwardly.

Match Details Full match details »


Goal1′ M.CarruscaYellow Card18′ J.NeumannYellow Card32′ T.ElrichRed Card35′ T.ElrichYellow Card36′ E.GalekovicYellow Card37′ M.ZulloYellow Card49′ M.CarruscaYellow Card70′ I.SanchezYellow Card80′ J.ElseyGoal90′ F.Ferreira

Melbourne Heart

Penalty33′ D.Williams (Pen)
Goal42′ M.DugandzicYellow Card45′ T.VelaphiYellow Card49′ D.WilliamsYellow Card61′ N.KalmarYellow Card80′ A.Behich

The early goal saw Melbourne respond well, with plenty of possession and several good attacking chances.

Dugandzic had the first shot on goal from the right wing, but Adelaide captain Eugene Galekovic did well to hold onto the shot.

Behich had the next good chance when Engelaar slotted a delicate pass through the lines and into the path of the left winger, whose first touch set him up for a goal. However, the late arriving Tarek Elrich managed to stop the ball on the goal-line, after the shot had beaten Galekovic.

Adelaide came back with an equal amount of possession, and were always looking to create with their attractive brand of football. Jeronimo, in the 23rd minute, found half-a-metre following a set piece, and his shot shook the post but couldn’t find the back of the net.

Against the run of play, Williams equalised from the penalty spot when Stefan Mauk was clearly fouled by Elrich just inside the area. Williams sent Galekovic the wrong way for a deserved equaliser.

The game then erupted when the referee’s assistant failed to alert the referee of an off-ball incident, which distressed Aziz Behich. Tarek Elrich was then sent off after several minutes of consultation between the two officials, and a penalty was again awarded to Melbourne Heart. David Williams stepped up once again, but couldn’t beat Galekovic, who saved well to his right.

Then, just after a courageous save from Galekovic to keep his team in the lead, some poor defending by Nigel Boogaard gifted Dugandzic a goal from the centre of the box to put the Heart in the lead in the 41st minute.

The physicality of the match continued from both sides after the break, with a hefty challenge from Carrusca causing another clash between several players in the 49th minute.

Carrusca’s finesse was paying off for Adelaide, and in the 58th minute Jeronimo reaped the reward, with a brilliant chance to level the scoring from outside the box. The ball fell to the Argentine on the left wing, and he took a shot that looked like sailing into the far corner, however Velaphi made a great save to keep the score in the Heart’s favour.

Adelaide had another great chance in an entertaining second half, when Carrusca flighted a cross into the box, which was met by substitute Jordan Elsey. The header flashed off the cross bar, and back to Malik, who couldn’t beat Velaphi in the second attempt.

Adelaide had a wealth of possession in the final 20 minutes despite being a man down, but didn’t find their equaliser until the 92nd minute.

With just two minutes of stoppage time left, Awer Mabil – who played brilliantly in his 25 minutes on the pitch – beat his man and played the ball across the box to Ferreira, who finished first time to give the Reds a well deserved share of the points.

About the author

avatarJames is a devout Melbourne Victory fan and a UQ Journalism student, writing for Ultimate A-League.

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  • britesparke

    This game had everything…more cards than a poker tournament, end to end stoushes, an incident that clearly fired up both sides and an equalising goal during injury time! The Heart came to play and Adelaide were desperate for a possible win => the game clearly reflected this intent from both sides.

  • Wild Jack Turkey

    Over 13000 people came to see a classic game of football and looked like the the two teams would deliver. Then the officials decide to become the centre of attention and spoil the game, and turn the 13000 people against them. A good referee/linesman should be barely visible while controlling the game. Ben Williams and his amateur assistants lost control and respect of players and provoked the anger of the stadium with his display power. So instead of a beautiful game we witnessed 94 minutes of drama. So Ben, I didn’t pay good money to see you so don’t you forget it, next time you get the privilege of officiating at Hindmarsh Stadium.

  • Bobo

    Spot on. 11 Yellow Cards and 1 Red Card doesn’t sound like a game that was well officiated. I’m not a Adelaide fan, but they were certainly hard done by tonight, and still managed a result. Gombau is a genius, and his football knowledge is helped by the diverse talent of his squad.

  • Hugh White

    Is that a joke? Ben Williams, and his two assistants (Haknan Anaz and Matthew Cream) are World Cup officials, not amateures. Sure tonight they may have had to make some unpopular decisions, but they got the big ones correct.