Reds Youth grab Grand Final berth

A brace from Francesco Monterosso has seen Adelaide United nab a spot in next week's National Youth League Grand Final as the Reds held a rampant Queensland Roar outfit to a 3-3 draw in a seesawing drama-filled affair at a soggy Spencer Park in Brisbane.

A brace from Francesco Monterosso has seen Adelaide United nab a spot in next week's National Youth League Grand Final as the Reds held a rampant Queensland Roar outfit to a 3-3 draw in a seesawing drama-filled affair at a soggy Spencer Park in Brisbane.

Heavy rain made conditions difficult, but fans were treated to an open display of football, with the match squared up 2-2 at half-time before Chris Grossman edged his side back in front in the 51st minute.

The match was a regulation one, but essentially a Preliminary Final. A win would have seen the hosts book their place in the inaugural Youth League season decider, but the Reds searched desperately for an equaliser that would see them earn the right to challenge Sydney FC for the honour of the Youth League title.

A Jonas Salley header went tantalisingly close for the visitors before Monterosso, the competition's leading goal scorer with 13 for the season, nodded home his second goal for the game in the 78th minute.

The match continued to ebb and flow at a violent rate, and there looked to be another twist in the tale as the Roar had a barrage of chances late in the game, giving substitute Reds keeper Codey Larkin plenty of headaches.

Larkin made an excellent double save in the 82nd minute, blocking a formidable shot from Grossman before miraculously parrying a Tim Smits effort.

Smits had another great chance in extra time but misfired, while the Roar's greatest chance to edge in front came in the 84th minute when Josh McVey found the back of the net, only to be adjudged offside.

In the end the visitors were able to stubbornly hold on, sealing their place in history.

The match was originally set to be a curtain raiser for the second leg of the Minor Semi-Final at Suncorp Stadium, but was shifted to the regional venue to protect the pitch for the A-League match.

With torrential rain falling the Roar shot out early to a 2-0 lead courtesy of an excellent strike from Robbie Kruse and a tremendous challenge and goal from a dogged Smits.

But things went pear-shaped quickly for the hosts as they conceded the lead in the space of four minutes.

Joel Allwright latched onto a neat cross in the 32nd minute before a deflected shot from Monterosso edged past Roar custodian Matt Acton.

The hosts came out after half-time firing and it was not long before Grossman collected a smart ball from Adam Sarota and calmly fired past Reds custodian Lucas Andreucci in the 51st minute.

The momentum seemed to lie with the Roar but a gallant Reds outfit was not to be denied.

Match Details

Queensland Roar 3 (Robbie Kruse 23', Tim Smits 30', Chris Grossman 51') Adelaide United 3 (Joel Allwright 32', Francesco Monterosso 36', 75' )

Spencer Park, Brisbane Friday13 February 2008 Referee: Chris Beath