Adelaide steal a draw

Fabian Barbiero has snatched an 82nd-minute equaliser for Adelaide United, forcing a 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

Fabian Barbiero has snatched an 82nd-minute equaliser for Adelaide United, forcing a 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

In front of 16,562 fans, Victory looked set to take home all three points after Archie Thompson grabbed his fourth goal of the campaign just before the hour but it wasn't to be as Barbiero ensured Mehmet Durakovic's men would fail to hold a lead for a fourth time in 10 outings.

Victory could still have won it though as in the closing stages Harry Kewell had a shot cleared off the line by Cameron Watson and then both Carlos Hernandez and Grant Brebner failed from within the six-yard box to connect with a Kewell cross with the goal at their mercy.

Victory still have just two wins to their credit following their sixth draw of the season and remain eighth on the table behind Wellington after their win earlier in the day, while the Reds stay ninth only ahead of Gold Coast United.

The hosts dominated for large portions of the first half and should probably have led at the break, but Adelaide United goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic thwarted them on several occasions, none more so than when he denied Kewell in the first and last minutes of the half.

The pattern continued after the break and Victory deservedly took the lead just before the hour mark but after failing to add to their haul they were undone inside the final 10 minutes by Barbiero.

Victory started brightly with Kewell sent clear one-on-one with Galekovic in the first minute only for the shot-stopper to block his effort before a Carlos Hernandez free kick fell for Adrian Leijer in the box only for his shot to also be blocked.

Barbiero tried his luck a couple of times from distance only to send his attempts well over the bar, before in the 26th minute Matthew Foschini picked out Kewell over the top of Daniel Mullen but he couldn't direct his header on target.

Kewell and Zenon Caravella had a push and shove just past the half-hour as players from both teams converged, and after Jon McKain just beat Thompson to the ball Kewell tried a lob right on half-time that appeared to have Galekovic beaten, only for him to get an outstretched hand to the ball.

Both teams made a change at the break, with Brebner introduced for Billy Celeski, who appeared to suffer a leg injury during the first 45 minutes, and the visitors recalling Dario Vidosic from a back injury in place of Osama Malik.

Half chances for both teams went unconverted in the opening stages of the second half before a one-two as the ball was brought back in resulted in Fabio firing in a superb cross for Thompson at the six-yard line, the striker burying his free header in the corner as Galekovic dived in vain.

Kewell nearly doubled the lead moments later, only to pull his shot wide while Thompson mesmerised Watson soon after he came on but couldn't beat Galekovic for a second time.

Kewell had another chance but his shot was blocked by Galekovic and against the run of play Adelaide hit back in the closing stages when Sergio Van Dijk laid the ball off for Barbiero to rifle home on his left.

Melbourne Victory 1 (Thompson 59) Adelaide United 1 (Barbiero 82)