The Western Sydney Wanderers ended the year of 2018 with a disappointing 2-2 draw against a 10 man Adelaide United.
With Vedran Janjetovic suspended, and Danijel Nizic left in Sydney with an apparent back strain, it was a debut for young keeper Nick Suman with the rest of the lineup a typical Wanderers 4231 formation. The first half was a fast flowing affair with both teams looking to attack. The desire wasn't matched with quality on the ball however, with the main incident of note in the first half-hour being a yellow card to Jordan Elsey for a elbow to the head of Oriol Riera.
Minutes before the break the Wanderers were making all the play, first Riera headed a ball into the hands of Paul Izzo, then minutes later Riera headed to the spot. Tarek Elrich stole in on the blindside of Adelaide defender Nathan Konstandopoulos who instead of clearing the ball away, collected Elrich's feet. Riera hit the penalty to Izzo's right side, it was saved by the keeper but Riera tucked away the rebound with a neat left foot.
Having taken so long to break the deadlock, it took only 2 minutes to restore it in the second half. Adelaide spread the ball wide, Scott Galloway delivered a low cross into the area, it took a deflection off Josh Risdon, and dribbled into the penalty area, neatly trisecting between Patrick Ziegler, Brendan Hamill and Suman giving Nikola Mileusnic a tap-in on the goal-line.
Nileusnic had a brace and Adelaide the lead in the 55th minute, Tarek Elrich was completely destroyed for pace, the Wanderers fullback offering no resistance against the flying winger who latched onto a wonderful ball from Isaías, and Suman was beaten between his legs.
Jordan Elsey, having failed to take into account the lesson from the first yellow card, did exactly the same thing on the hour mark, he rose for a header with Riera in front of him, and locked an elbow into the side of Riera's head to allow him to head the ball away. The linesman and referee conversed, and gave Elsey his second yellow, followed shortly by the obligatory red card and his exit turned the game in favour of the visiting side.
The Wanderers took full advantage mere moments later. With Adelaide still reeling from the red card, Josh Risdon found acres of space on the right flank, he was found by Keanu Baccus, and a simple lay-off from Risdon to Kamau was met with a good first touch to bring the ball onto his right foot and he lashed home the equaliser.
Despite taking control of the game, the Wanderers weren't able to make their pressure count for a 3rd goal, and the scrambling defence of the Wanderers did enough to prevent Adelaide from stealing all three points. While Adelaide would be happy enough that the point gave them outright 6th position on the table, it did nothing for the Wanderers who remain locked in 8th position, leaving them to wonder if they should support Brisbane or Sydney in that clash on Saturday the 29th.
The Wanderers face Melbourne City on Tuesday the 1st of January, 7:50pm EDT at the Homebush Olympic Stadium.