The John Kosmina revolution at Adelaide United has started with a courageous 2-2 draw, the 10-man Reds holding on against the in-form Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium on Thursday night.
The John Kosmina revolution at Adelaide United has started with a courageous 2-2 draw, the 10-man Reds holding on against the in-form Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium.
In a pulsating game that had four goals, two penalties, a red card and eight yellows, the crisis-stricken Reds twice led but couldn't hold on to see their winless run extend to six games.
But it was a much-improved performance from Adelaide, who produced their most passionate and committed display in some time in what's been a tumultuous week for the club with the sacking of coach Rini Coolen.
New boss Kosmina, in his first game in charge of an A-League club since he was sacked from Sydney two and a half years ago, was booed loudly by the Sydney fans whenever he appeared on big screen but will have been content to take a point away from the match.
The Reds twice took the lead with goals through Daniel Mullen and Dario Vidosic but were pegged back on both occasions with Karol Kisel and Dimitri Petratos scoring for the home side.
Sydney are now on a four-game unbeaten run of their own but missed the chance to leap-frog Brisbane into second spot.
The game started in a scrappy fashion with both sides looking like they would much prefer to be finishing off their Christmas shopping.
But it was the Reds who produced the first bit of quality and duly took the lead on eight minutes.
After Sydney skipper Terry McFlynn needlessly gave away a corner, the Sky Blues defence were caught too static, with Mullen rising over Brett Emerton to nod in Vidosic's centre from close range.
The Reds almost doubled their advantage just two minutes later from another teasing Vidosic corner.
Sydney goal-keeper Liam Reddy failed to get much purchase on his attempted punch, with the loose ball falling perfectly into the path of Fabian Barbiero, but the Reds midfielder inexplicable had an air swing with the goal at his mercy.
It was the let-off the home side needed and within nine minutes they were level, albeit in somewhat controversial circumstances.
Sky Blues striker Bruno Cazarine did brilliantly to turn Nigel Boogaard in the penalty area before falling to the ground while attempting to get a shot away.
There didn't appear to be too much contact from Boogaard on the Brazilian but referee Jarred Gillett saw enough and pointed to the spot.
Kisel coolly converted to make it 1-1.
Sydney took the ascendancy from that point but found it difficult to create any chances of note, with a tame Cazarine header in first half stoppage time that Eugene Galekovic easily dealt with the closest either side came to taking a lead into the break.
The in-form Brazilian went much closer early in the second half, terribly unlucky when his bullet header from Jamie Coyne's centre beat Galekovic, but cannoned into the post instead of the back of the net.
Reddy had barely had anything to do since the early stages of the first half but his next involvement was not a happy one and led to Adelaide regaining the lead on 55 minutes.
The unusually quiet Bruce Djite found himself closing in on goal and attempted to get around the Sydney shot-stopper only to be brought down for a penalty.
Vidosic took responsibility from the spot and his weak attempt was saved by Reddy but fell back into the path of the Reds midfielder who made no mistake with the rebound.
But just like in the first half Adelaide couldn't hold onto their lead with the tireless Dimitri Petratos striking a sublime volley that beat Galekovic at his near post with still 24 minutes left.
Reds youngster Iain Ramsay had the best chance of the final stages to win the match, but his shot was well saved by Reddy down low.
Ramsay's disappointment was compounded close to the end was he was sent off for a second bookable offence.
But despite some tense moments Adelaide held on to ensure Kosmina's second stint in charge of the club started without defeat.
Sydney FC (Kisel 19m, Petratos 66m) Adelaide United (Mullen 8m, Vidosic 55m pen) Crowd: 10,212 @ Sydney Football Stadium