Despite a resoundingly successful start to the 14/15 season, a string of unconvincing performances puts Adelaide United’s title bid in doubt.
The reds now sit four points adrift of ladder leaders Perth Glory, after both teams settled with a 1-1 draw at Coopers stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Starting strongly, Adelaide United’s attacking game was again on display, with Spanish midfielder Pablo Sanchez revelling in his promotion to striker.
The decision by Josep Gombau paid dividends in the 11th minute, as Sanchez’s run across the face of goal was finished by a sweet chip over Perth goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.
United’s newest addition Miguel Palanca also displayed some impressive foot skills, as he attracted defenders and created space up forward.
Damage limitation was the apparent mentality of the Glory side, who have sustained some disappointing results and accusations by the FFA in recent times.
Heavy challenges landed five Glory players in the book, including a dive by Sidnei spotted well by controversial referee Ben Williams.
Despite this, Glory came into the second half rejuvenated, and received their reward when Nebojsa Marinkovic found space just outside the box to curl the ball into the top right corner.
Glory target man Andy Keogh failed to make an impact worthy of his reputation, as some poor decisions on the counter cost his team some chances on goal.
Similarly, Adelaide continued to lack finishing power, with Sergio Cirio missing in front of an open goal, and the likes of Awer Mabil and Marcelo Carrusca frustrated by masterclass saves from Vukovic.
A second goal looked most likely when Craig Goodwin’s 83rd minute cross into the box found a stumbling Bruce Djite who appeared to have been swiped.
The chance was again expertly saved by the Glory gloveman, and penalty claims ignored by referee Williams.
With both teams taking a point away from the encounter, Glory remain top of the league ahead of their away game to Melbourne City.
United will play host to the Western Sydney Wanderers, whose league woes continue despite their first win of season two weeks prior.
Their previous encounter has been credited as United’s best passing game of the season thus far, with ex-winger Fabio Ferreira and Carrusca both ending up on the scoresheet.
Which side do you think will best resurge from this stalemate? Let us know in the comments.
Written by Daniel Kuberek @kuubeey