Adelaide’s Ben Halloran gets past Perth’s Neil Kilkenny. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Adelaide’s Ben Halloran gets past Perth’s Neil Kilkenny. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Reds earn gutsy point in the west

ADELAIDE United has overcome injury, withdrawal and suspension to key personnel to carve out a valuable point with an impressive display away to A-League leader Perth Glory.

Coach Marco Kurz's depleted squad dug deep to earn a 0-0 draw at Perth Oval on Wednesday night and climb into the competition's top five.

Indeed it might have been even better for the Reds had referee Adam Kersey not denied the visitors a clear penalty for Juande's trip on Isaias in first-half stoppage time.

But Adelaide will head home from its third straight road trip in a gruelling 11-day stretch buoyed by a tactically astute, wholehearted performance in the west.

The Reds moved right back Michael Marrone inside to cover for the suspended Michael Jakobsen, as Kurz shifted to a back five with midfielder Vince Lia dropping into defence.

United had to deal with the continued absence of injured strikers Baba Diawara and Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, meaning playmaker Ben Halloran was deployed as a No.9.

Glory keeper Liam Reddy blocks a shot by Adelaide’s Ben Halloran. Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images
Glory keeper Liam Reddy blocks a shot by Adelaide’s Ben Halloran. Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

Adelaide was also unable to consider a return for import Mirko Boland, who travelled back to his native Germany earlier in the week following the death of his father.

The Reds' backline reshuffle paid off early on when Lia blocked powerful shots from Joel Chianese and Jake Brimmer.

Glory centre back Dino Djulbic's skidding strike was then parried behind by Adelaide goalkeeper Paul Izzo, as United stayed compact and restricted the hosts to long range efforts.

Neil Kilkenny was lucky to escape without punishment as he appeared to kick Adelaide captain Isaias in the stomach after releasing the ball.

Izzo then did well to scoop a loose ball away from Brendon Santalab having blocked Chianese's initial shot.

United, which was enjoying the rain and cool temperatures instead of Adelaide's blistering heat, created its best chance of the half two minutes before the break.

Craig Goodwin fired in a powerful low effort which Liam Reddy beat away, before the Glory custodian denied Ben Halloran on the follow-up.

The visitors then had a strong shout for a penalty waved away, when Spaniard Isaias got to the ball ahead of Juande and appeared to be clipped by his countryman in the box.

Bizarrely the VAR did not instruct official Kersey to review a replay of the incident, much to the amazement of Reds players and coaching staff.

The puzzling officiating continued in the second half.

Santalab avoided a booking for catching Ryan Strain from behind and Ivan Franjic's studs up tackle on Scott Galloway failed to warrant even a free kick.

A sweeping Reds move, which began with the outstanding Isaias in the centre of the park, ended with Nikola Mileusnic blazing well wide as Adelaide began to flex its attacking muscle.

Nathan Konstandopoulos, in for George Blackwood in United's starting XI, then caused havoc in the Perth area with a clever clipped delivery which Alex Grant scrambled clear.

Dino Djulbic of the Glory gets past Adelaide’s Craig Goodwin at HBF Park, Perth. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Dino Djulbic of the Glory gets past Adelaide’s Craig Goodwin at HBF Park, Perth. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images

The Reds had another decent chance as Glory failed to deal with Galloway's deep cross and Goodwin's first-time effort was brilliantly blocked by Djulbic.

Adelaide was working overtime to deny the home side space and its aggressive press was effective in limiting its opponent's attacking forays.

Substitute Ken Ilso cracked a drive from distance straight at Reddy in injury-time and Ryan Kitto's shot was desperately snuffed out by the sprawling Lowry.

But United was happy to hear the full-time whistle as Jason Davidson's menacing low ball from the right just evaded Chianese's outstretched foot at the death.

The stalemate extended Adelaide's record to just one loss in seven outings since Christmas and helped it leapfrog Wellington Phoenix into fifth on the table.

News Corp Australia


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