Premiership rivals can’t be separated

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March 22, 2015 12:59:45 UK

Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory both missed out on the chance to claim top spot in the A-League as they drew 2-2 at Coopers Stadium.

It was only the eighth draw in 36 meetings between the sides, and though both will regard it as two points dropped it was a fair outcome.

Fahid Ben Khalfallah gave Victory a ninth-minute lead before Pablo Sanchez levelled just before half-time. Dylan McGowan completed the turnaround for the Reds, but veteran striker Archie Thompson responded within three minutes.

Adelaide, roared on by their third-largest home crowd at the stadium, forced 14 corners to none and had 12 shots to the Victory’s four. Keeper Nathan Coe did much to earn the visitors a point, including making a late save to deny Jimmy Jeggo.

Coe was very unlucky with the Reds’ second goal after he produced a fantastic stop to keep out Dylan McGowan’s close-range effort. Jeggo latched onto the rebound and set up a header for McGowan which deflected home off defender Leigh Broxham.

The goal didn’t affect Victory, though, as they soon equalised when Gui Finkler played an excellent through-ball that saw Archie Thompson sprint clear and go round keeper Eugene Galekovic before steering his shot inside the near post.

Adelaide, who are 5.50 to win the Grand Final, dominated the early exchanges only to be hit on the counter-attack when Finkler fed Ben Khalfallah. The Tunisian international made space for a shot outside the area that had too much power for Galekovic.

The Reds got back on terms through Sanchez’s far post header, the Spaniard climbing above defender Matthieu Delpierre to convert Sergio Cirio’s chipped cross.

United are 1.75 to win their next game against Newcastle Jets, who are 4.20, with the draw 3.50.

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