A first-half goal flurry, including a Sergio Cirio brace, saw Adelaide United and Sydney FC play out a thrilling 2-2 draw at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
Cirio got the hosts on the board in the opening two minutes before Matt Simon equalised with a neat diving header in the 37th minute courtesy of Filip Holosko's fine pass.
Cirio bagged his second in the 45th but the Reds' joy was short-lived when the Sky Blues again drew level, Holosko going from supplier to scorer to silence the home crowd.
Both sides had a fierce crack in the second half, predominantly played on Sydney's terms, but neither camp was able to land the decisive blow despite some genuine chances.
The Blues earned the moral points, avoiding a third successive defeat and snapping United's four-match winning stretch but undermanned Adelaide nevertheless remains undefeated since November.
1-0 (Cirio 2')
Stefan Mauk's clever cross enticed Seb Ryall into an uncertain clearance, which caught a neat deflection of Cirio and past Sydney keeper Vedran Janjetovic for an early Reds strike.
1-1 (Simon 37')
Three minutes after being yellow-carded, Matt Simon got away from Dylan McGowan and, diving forward, expertly nodded home the equaliser into the bottom left corner on the back of Filip Holosko's magnificent assist.
2-1 Cirio (45')
Bruce Kamau expertly weaved and danced his way through four stationary Sydney ball-watchers in the area and spotted up Cirio at the top, who nicely put away his second goal of the evening, despite Janjetovic's outstretched glove glancing a piece of it.
2-2 Holosko (45+3')
With Mickael Tavares determined to deny United possession in the build-up, Milos Ninkovic found Holosko with a deft chip and the Slovakian striker looped it over Jordan Elsey's attempted challenge, literally seconds out from the half-time whistle.
The Blues were doing the majority of the attacking after the hour-mark and very nearly prevailed at the death when Ninkovic's effort curled inches away from the back pocket in the 89th minute.
Ninkovic had Eugene Galekovic covered but the Serbian midfielder narrowly missed the top corner, which would have handed Sydney the three points.
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
The introduction of Marcelo Carrusca just after the hour-mark should have paid immediate dividends for the home side when the Argentinean playmaker delivered a fantastic ball to Mauk. But the former Melbourne City midfielder made a meal of his wide-open shot from close range, blazing it way too high.
THE FINAL WORD
The re-jigged Reds twice saw their lead hauled in by the plucky Blues, before nervously clinging on to their undefeated stretch, now 10 on the trot.
The cluttered schedule continues when Adelaide take on Chinese outfit Shandong Luneng this Tuesday in AFC Champions League playoff action before travelling to Gosford to tackle the Central Coast Mariners next Sunday.
After getting the better of Friday's deadlock, Sydney will be buoyant when they host Perth Glory at Allianz Stadium next Saturday.
Adelaide United: Galekovic (c), Marrone, La Rocca (Elsey 44'), McGowan, Mauk, Sanchez, Isaias, Cirio (Carrusca 64'), Mells, Elrich, Kamau (Djite 79')
Sydney FC: Janjetovic, Ryall (c), Jurman, Dimitrijevic, Ninkovic, Naumoff (Carney 69'), Simon (Smeltz 85'), Faty, Holosko, Grant, Tavares
Scorers: Cirio (2', 45'), Simon (37'), Holosko (45'+3)
Red cards: Nil
Yellow cards: Simon (34'), Elrich (39'), Elsey (61'), Sanchez (73'), Tavares (90'+3)
Conditions: 26°C, sunny
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