City, Adelaide all square in entertaining draw
Stefan Mauk came back to haunt Adelaide United by earning Melbourne City a deserved 1-1 draw at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
The former Reds midfielder scored eight minutes into the second half to bring an end to City's three-game losing run.
Johan Absalonsen had opened the scoring on his first start since October, punishing Bruno Fornaroli's earlier failure to beat Paul Izzo from the penalty spot.
But Mauk popped up to inch Warren Joyce's men two points ahead of fourth-placed Melbourne Victory, while Adelaide sit four points inside the top six.
STORY OF THE GAME
- CHANCE: Daniel Arzani cuts inside and whips a ball to the far post that narrowly evades Fornaroli.
- SHOT: Arzani next goes himself from a short corner, drawing a near-post save from Izzo.
- PENALTY SAVE: Izzo beats away Fornaroli's spot-kick after Dario Vidosic is chopped down inside the area by Jordan Elsey.
- SAVE: Fornaroli is denied once more by Izzo as the striker attempts to curl in a left-footed effort.
- GOAL! Under pressure all half, it's Adelaide who make the breakthrough courtesy of the fit-again Absalonsen.
- CHANCE: Absalonsen goes close twice in quick succession after the interval, firing the second opportunity wide of the upright.
- GOAL! Mauk restores parity after a tenacious Fornaroli had regained possession on the edge of the area.
- CLOSE: Nick Fitzgerald gets on the end of a raking Luke Brattan pass and bends a left-footed finish around the far post.
- CLOSE: Mauk goes even closer to the winner as he side-foots a tough chance narrowly wide.
Johan Absalonsen, Adelaide United 45'+1: 1-0
An excellent move from left to right sees Nikola Mileusnic poke a pass into Nathan Konstandopoulos, whose blind cut-back dribbles through for Absalonsen to smash home.
Stefan Mauk, Melbourne City 53': 1-1
Fornaroli scraps for possession and Izzo can't adequately diffuse Arzani's subsequent cross, leaving Mauk to slide home the loose ball.