2017/18 Australian A-League, 2017 Australian A-League
  • Johan Absalonsen (45'+1')
  • Stefan Mauk (53')

Adelaide United, Melbourne City share the spoils in A-League encounter

Adelaide United drew 1-1 with Melbourne City in a feisty Friday night A-League fixture.

Adelaide's Johan Absalonsen gave the home side a lead before Melbourne's Stefan Mauk equalised early in the second half.

The result lifted Adelaide to fifth on the ladder, four points shy of third-placed City.

Absalonsen, starting his first game in two months after overcoming thigh and then glute injuries, scored against the tide just before halftime at Coopers Stadium.

The Dane fired from close-range in the 46th minute after some slick lead-up play by Nikola Mileusnic, who sliced inside the Melbourne defence.

Mileusnic delivered to teammate Nathan Konstandopolous, whose cut-back pass to six metres out from goal was pounced on by Absalonsen.

The goal came in a heated first half which featured five yellow cards -- including another caution to Adelaide coach Marco Kurz, for abusing a touchline official.

Six yellow cards were issued in the game.

Kurz's temper boiled as City controlled the bulk of first-half territory, but the visitors blew their chance to lead when captain Bruno Fornaroli had a penalty shot saved.

He took a spot kick in the 33rd minute after Dario Vidosic was felled the box by a Jordan

Elsey tackle, but Fornaroli's strike was parried by Reds goalkeeper Paul Izzo diving to his right.

City were in danger of slipping further behind when Absalonsen had two scoring chances in the initial five minutes of the second half -- a bouncing header was topped over the crossbar before a low left-footer sailed wide.

But the visitors equalled in the 53rd minute courtesy of Mauk.

Melbourne's rising star Daniel Arzani had curled a shot toward the far post which Izzo punched away -- the ball to Mauk whose low strike from 10 metres out wrong-footed the goalkeeper.

City found the net again in the 78th minute in a goalline scramble when Fornaroli bundled the ball over the line, only for the striker to be ruled offside in the lead-up.