Melbourne Victory was held to a dramatic 1-1 draw by Adelaide United in the Isuzu UTE A-League on Saturday.
Nick D’Agostino’s spectacular strike in the 84th minute brought the game to life at AAMI Park, where Victory looked headed for three points.
But Craig Goodwin equalised in additional time and Isaias was sent off, Victory held but now unbeaten in six games – while moving a point clear at the top.
Victory made a bright start and created a decent opening in the sixth minute.
Ben Folami produced a brilliant run down the left and crossed to the back post, where Nishan Velupillay – making his first Isuzu UTE A-League start – put his first-time effort wide.
Just six minutes later and Victory had another good opportunity, Brendan Hamill heading over a set-piece from Jake Brimmer, whose dead balls continue to cause problems for opponents this season.
A set-piece almost led to the opener for Adelaide midway through the first half, but Jacob Tratt headed Goodwin’s corner wide at the back post.
Victory had another great chance seven minutes before half-time.
Velupillay played in D’Agostino, but the forward’s strike from inside the area was blocked.
In an entertaining opening 45 minutes, Stefan Mauk curled an effort wide for Adelaide shortly before the interval.
The Reds went close again in the 50th minute, with Victory needing a block from Roderick Miranda to deflect a Bernardo Oliveira shot narrowly wide.
Victory also created another chance three minutes later as D’Agostino missed the target after a cutback from Brimmer, who combined beautifully with Velupillay down the right.
Adelaide came close again in the 70th minute, Tratt’s header from a Goodwin set-piece hitting the crossbar.
The game came to life in an incredible finish.
D’Agostino opened the scoring with a stunning strike from 25 yards, powering a finish into the top corner after nice lead-up work from Lleyton Brooks.
Javi Lopez thought he had equalised, only for it to be cancelled out for a decision against Mauk on the goal-line.
Adelaide did find an equaliser through Goodwin, who volleyed in a Lopez cross in the 91st minute.
Isaias was sent off after the goal, but Victory was unable to find a winner.
What they said – D’Agostino
on the result…
“It’s disappointing to be honest. We scored a great goal, we had lots of chances and we just couldn’t put them away in the first half especially and look, we can’t let a team like Adelaide have any chances and obviously they got one late and that’s disappointing because we should’ve held on at the end.”
on his goal…
“It just sat perfectly and everyone knows how much power I’ve got in my legs and I just hit it sweet and thankfully it went in.”
Player in focus
Folami was in excellent form against Adelaide, regularly causing problems down the left as Victory was held.
Victory is unbeaten in six games and top of the Isuzu UTE A-League table by a point.
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 Round 8
Melbourne Victory 1 (Nick D’Agostino 84′)
Adelaide United 1 (Craig Goodwin 90+1′)
Melbourne Victory: Kelava (gk); Geria, Hamill, Roderick, Barnett; Brillante (c), Marchan; Velupillay (Brooks 71′), Brimmer, Folami (Lawrie-Lattanzio 90+6′); D’Agostino.
Adelaide United: Gauci (gk); Lopez, Tratt, Timotheou, Kitto (Cavallo 54′ (Barr 90+7′)); Juande; Oliveira (Irankunda 71′), Isaias, Mauk (c) (D’Arrigo 90+3′), Goodwin; Blackwood (Caletti 54′).
Yellow cards: Timotheou 49′, Isaias 79’/90+2′, Juande 90′, Brooks 90+4′
Red cards: Isaias 90+2′
Venue: AAMI Park
Victory is next scheduled to be in action away to the Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday, January 16.