Maclaren rescues point for City in pulsating Adelaide draw
Jamie Maclaren scored on his Hyundai A-League return as Melbourne City and Adelaide played out a pulsating 1-1 draw in Saturday evening’s contest.
The Caltex Socceroos forward was playing in his first match back in the Australian top flight since April 2017 and rescued a point for Warren Joyce’s side with a cute back-heeled finish midway through the second half.
Earlier, Craig Goodwin had broken the deadlock with a thumping header on the cusp of the half time break – his ninth of the campaign for the Reds.
Maclaren’s effort snapped a two-match spell without a goal for Warren Joyce’s side but despite a strong finish the AAMI Park outfit were unable to find a winner to haul in their top six rivals.
Former Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar man Maclaren was marshalled adeptly by the visiting Reds defence in the opening half but he still managed to send warning shot whistling wide following a clever one-two with fellow City debutant Shayon Harrison.
Luke Brattan flashed a sumptuous half volley wide in a rousing first half crescendo which saw Goodwin open the scoring after ghosting into the box to brilliantly dispatch Nikola Mileusnic’s delivery from the byline.
Harrison, on loan from Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur, was one of City’s liveliest on the night but will lament a missed chance to see his name up in lights, with the striker volleying Scott Galloway’s headed clearance over the bar early in the second stanza.
But City and Maclaren made no mistake with their next opportunity. It was Maclaren’s pressure that hurried Adelaide gloveman Paul Izzo into a wayward clearance, which was seized upon by Brattan and cleverly dispatched with a deft flick of the right heel by City’s big transfer window arrival.