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10-man Wellington get point in Adelaide

3:34 AM EST 1/5/19
Mandi Wellington
Mark Rudan's team survived a second half handicap to secure a crucial result

Wellington Phoenix survived a straight red to midfielder Mandi Sosa to get a 0-0 draw against Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Saturday.

The Kiwis played 22 minutes with 10 men after Mandi was sent off for kicking off Vince Lia, but defended manfully to stretch their unbeaten run to five matches.

In a first half of few chances, Adelaide had the best opportunity with Ben Halloran blazing over the bar after Phoenix keeper Filip Kurto had the miss the ball and left the net unguarded.

Both teams improved their attacking play in the second half and Wellington should have taken the lead through David Williams on 52 minutes.

The former Melbourne Heart attacker was played through by Sarpreet Singh but had his shot superbly blocked by Adelaide stopper Paul Izzo.

Three minutes later, Kurto somehow managed to block Jordan Elsey's point blank header in the six-yard box and keep the ball from creeping over the line.

Tension exploded between the teams in the 68th minute when Wellington midfielder Mandi kicked his Reds counterpart Vince Lia after the latter was fouled.

Following a heated fracas between the two teams, referee Stephen Lucas had no choice to send off the Spaniard after he was alerted to the incident by the VAR.

Adelaide pushed for the winning goal with their man advantage but were denied by Kurto in an unbelievable goal mouth scramble on 87 minutes.

Kurto parried Kitto's shot into Halloran's path but the winger couldn't manage to make contact from a few yards out.

The Reds battered the Phoenix penalty area but Elsey and George Blackwood missed gilt-edged chances before the 90 was up.

Liberato Cacace brilliantly blocked Elsey's goal bound drive while Blackwood had his shot at the near post saved when on a fast break with only seconds remaining.

The result sees Adelaide remain in fifth position with 15 points, two adrift of Melbourne City, while Wellington are in sixth - only goal difference behind the South Australians.