Sunday, September 19, 2010

Adelaide retain top A-League spot despite draw with Brisbane

Adelaide United were held to a 1-1 draw away at Suncorp Stadium by Brisbane Roar last night but they still top the A-League standings and are the only unbeaten side in the competition.

Adam Hughes sent a warning to the home side after just 6 minutes when he smashed a shot against the Roar crossbar.

Brisbane hit back and Reinaldo had a shot somewhat luckily turned against the post by Adelaide’s Eugene Galekovic two minutes later, but the keeper didn’t know much about it.

Marcos Flores was again the danger man for Adelaide and he forced a save from Michael Theoklitos with a long-range shot in the 14th minute.

Mathew Leckie is rapidly becoming one of the finest players in the A-League and, with new Socceroos coach Holger Osieck watching from the stands, the youngster did his national selection chances no harm at all by scoring the opener for Adelaide in the 27th minute. He sent a low shot from inside the D through the legs of defender Matt Smith and beat Theoklitos at his left-hand post.

Seven minutes later, Brisbane were level as former Bundesliga player Thomas Roich placed his free-kick from long range beyond an unsighted Galekovic and into the net. Brisbane’s Milan Susak had risen for the header but failed to get a touch, but this may have deceived Galekovic.

Broich had a good chance in the 56th minute following Shane Stefanutto’s left-wing cross, but his technically well-executed volley was straight at Galekovic.

Three minutes later, Sergio van Dijk squandered a good opening from a corner when he headed wide. If that miss was to haunt him, there was worse to come.

Van Dijk, who was eager to do well against his former club, was foiled by Theoklitos in the 71st minute and, when the ball rebounded to Flores, his shot seemed goal-bound until a defender cleared.

Three minutes later, Broich again showed he is a class act when he curled a marvellous attempt just wide of the far right-hand post.

Van Dijk will have sleepless nights after his miss 12 minutes from the end which would have given his side the points. Flores deftly flicked the ball across goal from the left with his weaker right foot to van Dijk, who was unmarked and facing an open goal, but the giant shaven-headed striker somehow managed to scoop the ball over the bar from 2 metres.

To add insult to injury, the visitors had their Brazilian midfielder Cassio sent off with two minutes remaining after he collected a second yellow card.

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