Wellington have blown a chance to sneak into the A-League’s top six when two Adelaide United novices scored goals in a 2-2 draw.
Adelaide’s 18-year-old Riley McGree and Nikola Mileusnic potted their first A-League goals on Sunday in stifling heat at Hindmarsh.
McGree scored first before Wellington’s Thomas Doyle and Roy Krishna put the visitors on the brink of a valuable away win.
But with 20 minutes remaining, Mileusnic scrambled a tap-in to deny the Phoenix, who would have risen to fifth with a win but find themselves in seventh spot.
Defending champions Adelaide remain last with just two wins, after a match played in oppressive heat topping 38 degrees – there were as many drinks breaks (four, at 15-minute intervals) as goals.
Adelaide took an early lead when McGree scored in the seventh minute with a thundering left-footer from 15 metres after a lay-off from Marc Marino, brought into the side to replace discarded Spanish striker Sergio Guardiola, who has returned to his
But it took the visitors just four minutes to square the ledger when Doyle made a mockery of Adelaide’s defence.
The left-back sliced through four Reds before unleashing a cracking left-footed strike which clipped the inside of the near post before finding the net.
Krishna extended Wellington’s lead in the 37th minute after being played in by Kosta Barbarouses in a swift transition.
Krishna was marked by Adelaide attacker Henrique but shrugged the attention before calmly sliding the ball past Adelaide goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic and into the net.
Adelaide pressed for an equaliser for much of the second half and were rewarded with Mileusnic’s breakthrough goal in the 80th minute – after Ben Garrucio’s free kick struck the left post, he scrambled a tap-in from the rebound near the right post.
Adelaide’s Cirio could even have pinched the points in the 90th minute when a shot dribbled just wide and the stalemate remained for the 10 minutes of extra-time – the lengthy stoppage time caused by the in-game drinks breaks.