Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets brought an end to their respective 3 game losing streak when they deservedly shared the points in a tight match at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday.
The match was never going to be a football spectacle due to the 6.30pm start on an extremely hot and dry Sunday. The temperature was hovering around 30c in the shade at kickoff. Fortunately for Adelaide United 10,256 fans braved the heat and ignored the compelling argument of watching the game in air conditioned comfort at home.
Adelaide went into the match with a severely depleted squad due to the combined effect of injuries and loss of three players to the Olyroo squad. Newcastle was not immune from the Olyroo drain also missing three players.
Paul Agostino kicked off the match and Adelaide quickly earnt a free kick on the edge of the Newcastle Jets penalty area. Brasilian Diego stepped up and curled his shot over the wall and inches wide of the upright much to the relief of the stranded Ante Covic.
The lively start quickly wilted with both defences dominating their respective half of the pitch. The remainder of the first half was uneventful.
Adelaide started the second half with more endeavor - upping the tempo of the game but within minutes suffered a blow when it lost the lively Jason Spagnuolo to injury.
Adelaide and Newcastle slugged it out in the middle of the park but their respective defences continued to dominate the match.
The match seemed to be destined for a scoreless draw until Joel Griffiths ripped open the Adelaide defence in the 70th minute. Griffiths took advantage of a very square Adelaide backline when he used his pace to get onto a Noel Spencer pass before scooping the ball past goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.
The goal sparked Adelaide to life. Agostino went close to opening his A-League goal account when he got onto the end of a cross from youngster Ontong but Agostino's header sailed just inches wide of the upright.
Two minutes later it was Travis Dodd's turn to show his heading prowess. Richie Alagich whipped in pinpoint cross from out wide and Dodd rose inside the box and headed the ball in off the post to level the score at 1-1.
Adelaide looked to have sealed the result in the 80th minute when Paul Agostino appeared to capitalise on a mixup between Jets defender Laybutt and goalkeeper Covic. The two players collided and the ball spilled out to Agostino who slotted the ball into the empty net. Hindmarsh erupted only to deflated when referee Matthew Breeze correctly disallowed the goal due to a hefty push by Agostino on Laybutt.
Adelaide pushed forward in search for a winner leaving some gaps at the back. A half chance fell to Adelaide substitute Tomi Milardovic and then Newcastle's Jason Hoffman went close with a shot that flew straight into the arms of goalkeeper Galekovic.
Referee Breeze blew for full time - the final score - Adelaide 1 Newcastle 1.
Adelaide coach Aurelio Vidmar and his counterpart Gary Van Egmond were probably reasonably satisfied with the result. The outcome was a fair reflection of a game in which neither side was dominant and goalscoring chances were almost non existent.
There were no real standout performers for Adelaide though Angelo Costanzo showed his class in his first game since having knee surgery. Jason Spagnuolo was lively until succumbing to injury and Richie Alagich worked hard all match.
For Newcastle Adam Grifiths and Jade North were solid at the back while substitute Stephen Laybutt made an embarrassing 10 minute cameo.