Adelaide United have overcome a resurgent Western United outfit, coming back from two goals down to rescue a point and secure a 3-2 win at AAMI Park.
Looking enroute to secure all three points and possibly finish the round just a single point outside of the top six, it was Adelaide who took maximum points from the game having rallied in the final 25 minutes to ensure they came away with something from their road trip in Melbourne.
After a lacklustre start to the game, with neither side looking threatening inside the opening half an hour, the game would pick up thereafter to provide one of the more entertaining fixtures of the season.
Louis D’Arrigo’s header looked to have started proceedings having got the better of Jamie Young. But it would be overruled by VAR with teammate Ben Halloran offside in the lead up.
Against the run of the play and on the back foot, Western United would be the ones to eventually break the deadlock with Noah Botic scoring his first A-League Men’s goal on the stroke of halftime.
Ahead 1-0 going into the break, the home side would waste little time to double their advantage through their star man Aleksandar Prijovic in the 48th minute. Having been teed up perfectly by Connor Pain, it was a simple finish for the Serbian.
Having cruised for 20 minutes, Zach Clough would peg one goal back to give his side a sniff with Ryan Kitto eight minutes later levelling the scores. His left footed shot from very close range finding the bottom right corner following a clever set piece routine.
Western United looked to have got themselves in front inside the final 10 minutes with Leo Lacroix finding the net following a free kick though would be called offside.
It would be a chance gone begging for the home side, with United going down the other end minutes later and winning a penalty when defender Tomoki Imai fouling Halloran inside the edge of the penalty box. Craig Goodwin who had a quiet day out, converting from the spot to complete the comeback and give his side the victory.
Super subs providing a spark
Going two goals down and needing to change things, Reds boss Carl Vaert would look to his substitutes to get something out of the game, and those who came off the bench would repay the faith, with all of them helping change the game once inserted into the fixture.
Nestor Irankunda entered the game in the 52nd minute and created chances, proving to the pair of fresh legs the side needed, as others around him slowed down, he continued to press. Meanwhile Joshua Cavallo was brought into the game in the 53rd minute and looked dangerous on the counterattack while in possession, while also holding Western United at bay defensively.
Panashe Madanha and Ethan Alagich came on in the final minutes and didn’t have to do too much, though neither made a mistake in their cameo appearance and getting minutes under their belt.
100th game celebrations ruined
Adelaide have rained on the reigning champions parade with the Western Melbourne based outfit’s 100th game celebrations being spoiled having gone down despite having a two-goal buffer.
The game looked done and dusted at the hour mark and perhaps the party celebrations started too early with the home side losing what looked the unlosable.
Having been a side that was able to fight out results last season, it’s been the complete opposite for Western United this season, winning just one of their last six fixtures. Meanwhile Adelaide have gone unbeaten in their last four fixtures.
Botic off the mark
Having finally broken into the starting line-up, Noah Botic registered his first goal in professional football with the 21-year-old putting arguably his best performance of the season.
Having shown signs of promise at youth level for Australia and TSG Hoffenheim in Germany, drawing comparisons to Socceroos legend Mark Viduka, the striker has had a mixed bag pro career with United thus far. Though having now found the net, hopefully it will be a much needed confidence boost for the youngster.
The goal would obviously mean a lot to him, proving to be an emotional moment.