Nine-man Adelaide shock Victory in Etihad thriller
Adelaide United survived two late red cards to secure an action-packed 2-1 win over rivals Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
Daniel Adlung and Ben Garuccio were both dismissed for second yellows in the space of five minutes, but the damage was already done as the visitors held on to go fourth with a third win in four.
Baba Diawara and George Blackwood scored the goals either side of Mark Milligan's stunning volley, while Besart Berisha also failed to convert a penalty amid the drama.
Victory's inability to turn their numerical advantage into an equaliser - denied several times by an inspired Paul Izzo - means they remain winless at home this season, and are set to fall back out of the top six.
STORY OF THE GAME
- Ersan Gulum threatened to open the scoring inside a minute, but his header was straight at Lawrence Thomas.
- Victory failed to heed the lesson as Diawara nodded in a corner to give Adelaide the lead.
- Thomas and Izzo were both required to make excellent saves around the half-hour, first to deny Diawara and then James Troisi at the other end.
- Izzo came to the Reds' rescue again late in the half, the goalkeeper turning Berisha's penalty into the crossbar after Garuccio was punished for handball.
- Milligan atoned for his teammate's profligacy, restoring parity with a wonderful individual effort shortly after the restart.
- But the visitors were ahead again with just under 20 minutes remaining, Blackwood off the bench notching the winner.
- Adelaide's resolve was tested as Adlung and Garuccio received their marching orders for second yellows in the 82nd and 87th minutes, but Marco Kurz's men held on to snatch a vital three points.
Diawara, Adelaide United 17': 0-1
Diawara rose unmarked to head home Ryan Kitto's inswinging corner from the right.
Milligan, Melbourne Victory 56': 1-1
An exquisite effort. Leroy George's cross found its way through to the midfielder, who flicked the ball over Daniel Adlung and rifled a volley into the bottom corner off his left foot.
Blackwood, Adelaide United 72': 1-2
Mileusnic breezed around Stefan Nigro and his low pass to the near post was tucked in by Blackwood.