Adelaide striker Dario Vidosic continued his great form with his second-half strike ensuring the Reds earned a point against Perth
|By CHRISTIAN MAMMONE
Adelaide United and Perth Glory have shared the spoils in a 1-1 A-League draw at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday.
After a cagey and lacklustre first-half starved of clear-cut chances, the clash finally sprung to life in the remaining 45 minutes after Adelaide found an equaliser.
The Glory opened the scoring just prior to half-time when target man Billy Mehmet finished off a clever piece of play that looked to have been reproduced straight from the training ground.
Adelaide responded immediately after the interval when forward Dario Vidosic levelled proceedings, but neither was side was able to find a winner in a pulsating second half.
The draw knocks the Reds off top spot for the first time this season, with Central Coast Mariners finishing the round in first place courtesy of their 1-0 win at Wellington Phoenix earlier on Sunday.
Perth meanwhile are fourth, one point ahead of Melbourne Victory.
In a dour affair Perth eventually carved out the first opportunity of the match on 14 minutes when Travis Dodd pounced on a Cassio error to race away into the Reds' penalty area.
The ex-Adelaide United skipper couldn't convert however as his shot drifted harmlessly over the bar.
United instantly replied to the threat as Cassio broke away on the counter and fed South American compatriot Jeronimo Neumann through on goal with a defence-splitting pass.
Jeronimo took the ball wide and whipped in a teasing cross to Fabio Ferreira but the Perth defence managed to flick the ball over before the former Chelsea reserve player could close in.
Adelaide's overseas contingent slowly began to influence proceedings as Argentine midfielder Marcelo Carrusca found room to thread a crafty, lofted through-ball to Vidosic in behind the Glory back four in the 33rd minute.
However, Vidosic struck a tame effort straight at Perth goalkeeper Danny Vukovic after breaking into the box when he should have converted.
Osama Malik should also have done better two minutes later for the Reds when he rose unmarked at the near post from a corner, but the defensive midfielder fired his header wide.
Adelaide paid for the missed chances when Mehmet broke the deadlock after being served the ball on a platter following a neat first-time exchange between Liam Miller and Dean Heffernan on 43 minutes.
Miller worked forward before releasing Heffernan into the box with a slick through-ball.
He in turn knocked a first-time low cross to the feet of Mehmet, who made no mistake from point-blank range.
Fresh from the half-time break, Adelaide found the equaliser in the 49th minute when Carrusca played in Vidosic, who tucked away his shot from a slight angle for his fourth goal of the season.
After Reds captain and gloveman Eugene Galekovic saved from Scott Jamieson, Perth were again denied in the 65th minute but this time by the woodwork when Nicky Ward's header struck the underside of the bar, resulting in a goalmouth scramble before the ball was cleared.
Vukovic then came to Perth's rescue minutes later with a diving one-handed save to push away Jeronimo's dangerous cross that looked destined to wreak havoc in the visitors' box.
Dodd had a chance to have the last laugh against his former side when he found himself in space 10 yards out thanks to Jamieson and Mehmet's intelligent build-up, but he belted his shot well over.