Stefanutto injury scare

North Queensland and Australian defender Shane Stefanutto faces an anxious wait to see whether his 2010 World Cup dream remains alive after injuring his knee during the Fury's 1-1 draw with Perth.

North Queensland and Australian defender Shane Stefanutto faces an anxious wait to see whether his 2010 World Cup dream remains alive after injuring his knee during the Fury's 1-1 draw with Perth.

A fringe Qantas Socceroo since debuting in 2007, Stefanutto played in Australia's 3-1 loss to the Korea Republic last month, but was left out of coach Pim Verbeek's squad for the upcoming Asian Cup qualifier against Oman and the friendly clash with the Netherlands.

To make a disappointing week even worse, the 29-year-old appeared to injure his right knee in a clash with Perth's Adriano Pellegrino in the 31st minute of Saturday's game at ME Bank Stadium and was stretchered from the field.

Stefanutto was having scans done in Perth on Saturday night to find out the extent of the injury, but a ruptured ACL will almost certainly spell the end of his World Cup selection chances even if he recovers in time for June next year.

Stefanutto's injury is yet another blow to the struggling North Queensland club, which showed tremendous character to recover from his loss and the 45th-minute dismissal of Ufuk Talay to come from behind and earn an invaluable point on the road.

It looked like the Glory were set to dominate when they almost immediately took advantage of the extra man, with Mile Sterjovski firing home from the spot four minutes after the break.

But the North Queenslanders showed immense steel to fight back and equalise 20 minutes from time via a contentious own goal against Glory goalkeeper Tando Velaphi, who appeared to be have been pushed over the line by Fury substitute Chris Grossman whilst in the act of claiming a John Tambouras header.

Coach Ian Ferguson said the goal was probably a just reward for effort, saying he was especially delighted his undermanned team held firm in the last 10 minutes as the Glory launched numerous attacks.

"The boys dug deep, I was really delighted with them," Ferguson said.

"We were down to 10 men and again, the boys showed character which was brilliant."

"I can't fault any of them the effort and the commitment they gave us and then to show the character, especially when 1-0 down with 10 men, speaks volumes about them."

The coach said he wasn't concerned with referee Ben Williams' dismissal of Talay, saying the official had every right to issue a yellow card for diving which, combined with an early yellow for a foul on Pellegrino, saw the midfielder take an early shower.

"If that was a dive then, you know, he deserves to be booked," Ferguson said.

"(But) with Shane getting injured as well, a man getting sent off plus a penalty kick, we probably deserved that little bit of luck."