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2017/18 Australian A-League, 2017 Australian A-League

Adelaide United keep out Sydney FC to earn goalless draw in A-League

Adelaide United have managed the almost unthinkable this A-League season and kept Sydney FC scoreless.

Not since Ben Kennedy kept a clean sheet in Central Coast's 2-0 win over the Sky Blues at the start of November has anyone denied Graham Arnold's men on the scoresheet.

But an injury-ravaged Adelaide United, with Daniel Margush in goal, turned in a spirited performance at Coopers Stadium on Sunday to hold the A-League leaders to a goalless draw.

The depleted United, who were forced to hand three players their debuts, were resolute against the powerful Sky Blues who dominated much of the contest and peppered Adelaide's goal for large periods of the second half.

The Reds were without Baba Diawara, Taylor Regan and Ryan Kitto, who were added to the already lengthy injury list, while Nikola Mileusnic was a late omission after failing to get through the warm up.

Lachlan Brook earned a starting debut and last week's hero Apostolos Stamatelopoulos was given his first start while Sydney were almost at full strength.

United's youth gave the visitors a scare inside the opening minute, with Stamatelopoulos and Brook combining to set up Mark Ochieng, but his near post effort was well saved by Andrew Redmayne.

On the quarter hour Adrian Mierzejewski capitalised on a defensive error from the Reds and was left one-on-one with keeper Margush, but the young shot-stopper stood firm to deny the Polish star with his legs.

Another of United's young guns went close minutes later when Ryan Strain rattled the bar with a dipping effort from 25 metres.

Mierzejewski again got on the end of some sloppy defending close to the half hour but he pushed his shot wide from the edge of the area.

Minutes after the restart Brook exchanged passes with Jordan O'Doherty but blazed over the bar before Sydney started to overpower the home side.

Jordy Buijs tested the palms of Margush, as did Miezerjewski, who forced a stunning save from the young keeper on the hour.

Alex Brosque was put through clear on goal soon after but his toe poke went just wide.

Reds coach Marco Kurz also handed debuts to Kristin Konstandopoulos and Pacifique Niyongabire for the last half hour.

As Sydney continued their search for a winner, United almost found a late goal of their own when O'Doherty whipped a dangerous low cross into the box, although it was scrambled to safety by the visitors.

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