Adelaide United dominates, but held at home by Macarthur FC

Macarthur FC’s Ulises Davila competes with  Adelaide United’s Alexandar Popovic on Monday night.

Macarthur FC’s Ulises Davila competes with Adelaide United’s Alexandar Popovic on Monday night. Photo: Getty

A dominant Adelaide United was unable to find a way past Macarthur FC, with the two sides playing out a 1-1 A-League Men draw.

United had most of the chances and controlled the contest for large parts but was unable to convert territorial dominance into a victory at Coopers Stadium on Monday night.

The match opened up at a frenetic pace, with Macarthur registering the first chance inside the opening minute.

Jed Drew got free down the left wing and cut back for Valere Germain, whose side-foot effort went just wide.

Minutes later Adelaide went close after recycling a corner through Zach Clough, who crossed from the left, but Hiroshi Ibusuki’s finessed finish went just wide.

The visitors hit the upright in the seventh minute when Raphael Borges Rodrigues skipped past Nick Ansell and fired from a tight angle, slamming his shot into the near post.

As both sides continued to attack, United broke the deadlock in the 16th minute through Ben Halloran.

Giuseppe Bovalina and Nestory Irankunda played a neat one-two before Bovalina whipped in a delightful cross into the area, where Halloran was charging through to turn in from close range.

Macarthur equalised on 32 minutes in similar fashion. On the right wing Drew slipped in Kearyn Baccus, who drove a cut-back across the face of goal for Germain, who was waiting for an easy tap-in.

United should have reclaimed the lead just before half-time when Irankunda chipped in a cross for Ibusuki, but the towering striker headed wide from five metres out.

The home side came out firing after the interval and looked threatening, pinning Macarthur down in their own half for the early stages of the second half.

Substitute Johnny Yull looked lively for Adelaide and had a couple of chances, but didn’t trouble Filip Kurto in the visitors’ goal.

The Reds had shouts for a penalty just after the hour when, following a fast break, Ryan Kitto shot from the edge of the area, which deflected off the arm of Matt Jurman.

Referee Jack Morgan waved away Adelaide’s claims.

Macarthur could have snatched a winner three minutes into injury time if not for a stunning save from Adelaide keeper James Delianov.

Ali Auglah lofted a corner to the back post, where Matt Jurman rose highest and nodded down towards the bottom corner.

Delianov dived at full stretch and palmed the ball away to ensure a share of the spoils.

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