Adelaide United and the Central Coast Mariners took to a worse for wear pitch at Adelaide’s Coopers Stadium for what turned out be a thrilling match between the two teams, both stirred for a win. The final game of Round 20 saw some outstanding football, controversial cards, and The Reds claw back to equalize with only 10 men.
The Mariners were desperate to climb from the bottom of the A-League table and break their 10 game winless streak, while Adelaide were anxious to move closer to securing a home final.
The game set off at thrilling pace – 7’ into the first half Mariners Andrew Hoole takes a free kick, pelting the ball low and into the bottom right corner of the net, bringing the score to 0-1.
In the 18’ Trent Buhagiar of the Mariners powered toward The Reds goal, when he was bought down by Adelaide’s Ersan Gulum just before he reached the box. Gulum was shown the Red card, furiously left the pitch, leaving his team with ten men for the remainder of the match.
The first half ended with the Mariners holding the lead at 0-1.
53’ into the second half, Mariners rookie Andrew Hoole sends a corner toward the box, only for Reds’ Ryan Strain to head the ball into the back of his own net! Adelaide increased their lead to 0-2.
The Reds began to find their groove, mounting pressure on the Mariners. In the 61’ Adelaide’s Ben Garuccio takes a free kick, sailing into the box where fellow teammate Jordan Elsey executes a perfect header past Mariners keeper Ben Kennedy. Adelaide are back in the game raising the score 1-2.
Adelaide continue to dominate the play when in the 83’ Daniel Adlung of The Reds sends the ball George Blackwood who hits the crossbar with his shot and then bounces in. The Reds equalize 2-2.
The final minutes into extra time sees a number of frantic goal attempts from both teams desperate take the lead. Full time is called, and the score remains 2-2.