Roar salvage a point

A late penalty has helped Queensland Roar salvage a crucial 1-1 draw against Adelaide United in the National Youth League match at Hindmarsh Stadium on Wednesday.

A late penalty has helped Queensland Roar salvage a crucial 1-1 draw against Adelaide United in the National Youth League match at Hindmarsh Stadium on Wednesday.

Trailing at half-time and well checked by the Reds' defence, the visitors were heading towards their sixth loss of the season.

But they were competitive for the entire match and took advantage of a home-team error to equal the scores late in the clash.

A sluggish backwards pass by the Reds allowed Isaka Cernak a free run at goal. It was only a matter of placement for the speedster but his charge was halted by an over enthusiastic tackle from goalkeeper Cody Larkin.

Larkin's tackle earned him a yellow card and the Roar a kick from the spot in the 88th minute.

It was taken by Luke Bratten who shot the ball low and into the left hand corner of the net.

The Reds had several chances to regain the lead in injury time - including a shot from Joseph Costa in the penalty box - but they were denied by a defiant Roar defence.

It was a lost opportunity for the Reds who would've moved into the all-important second spot on the ladder if they claimed maximum points.

Adelaide United coach Joe Mullen said he was disappointed with the draw given his team's more proactive second half.

"You can switch off concentration and it can cost you. We did today, I've got to say after 90 minutes it's a lesson the boys had to learn the hard way and we probably got what we deserved," he said.

The first half was an entertaining arm wrestle with both teams displaying patience in their moves forward.

Queensland was the more polished side in the early stages and threatened to score. In the 19th minute Adam Sarota use bodywork to get the slip on overage player Ang Costanzo but his kick towards goal went straight to the goalkeeper.

And after half an hour the Roar earned a free kick on just outside of the box after Costanzo brought down Bradley McDonald.

The resulting free kick cannoned into the defensive wall while a David Dodd rebounding attempt was wide of the target.

Adelaide then lifted its game and started to apply some pressure in attack. Paul Agostino was proving a good target while a range of players were surging forward to lend support.

At 45 minutes, a long Joel Allwright cross opened a path to goal for Michael Marrone. He couldn't beat the keeper but made up for it in injury time.

He scored the first goal of the game with a well-timed header from a corner kick.

Cernak was running hot after the break and had a couple of chances to tie up the scores. His low, angled strike in the 48th minute beat Larkin but went just left of the target while he volleyed a corner kick only to watch that attempt slide wide of the goals too.

However the Reds weathered the storm and started to display their own attacking flair.

Substitute Francesco Monterosso nabbed a ball off Matthew Acton and flicked the ball into the teeth of goal. Costa was waiting but he couldn't finish from close range.

A Scott Weidenbach strike and a Costanzo free kick also caused some concern for the visitors' defence.

Adelaide United 1 (Marrone 45+1') Queensland Roar 1 (Bratten 88')

Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide Wednesday 14 January 2009

Referee: Stephen Toth Assistant Referees: Christian Verdicchio, Curtis Wordsworth Fourth Official: Elvis Mustafic

Adelaide United line-up: 30.Cody LARKIN (gk), 2.Michael DOYLE, 3.Scott WEIDENBACH, 4.Michael MARRONE, 5.Shane TOBIAS, 7.Joel ALLWRIGHT, 9.Andrew CIARLA (8.Matthew MULLEN 59-), 10.Osama MALIK, 13.Paul AGOSTINO (OA) (15.Francesco MONTEROSSO 54-), 16.Michael DE BONO (11.Joseph COSTA 54-), 22.Angelo CONSTANZO (OA)

Substitutes not used: 40.Lucas OSTBYE (gk)

Yellow cards: 30.Cody Larkin (gk) 87-

Red Cards: Nil

Queensland Roar line-up: 1.Matthew ACTON (gk), 2.Michael RYAN, 3.Matthew MUNDY, 5.Bradley McDONALD, 6.William TUMUSIIME, 7.Adam SAROTA, 8.Michael ANGUS (4.Jordan MASON 60-), 9.Jordan FARINA (14.Isaka CERNAK 46-), 10.Luke BRATTAN, 12.David, DODD (OA), 13.Chris GROSSMAN (11.Matthew THURTELL 60-)

Substitutes not used: Nil

Yellow cards: 12.David Dodd 24-, 10.Luke Brattan 52-, 14.Isaka Cernak 91-

Red Cards: Nil