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United salvage draw - and fourth spot - with another late charge

Soccer

Fast-finishing Adelaide United have produced another storming finish but the tenacious A-League side are still struggling to convert chances into goals.

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An 86th minute equaliser from 18-year-old Apostolos Stamatelopoulos secured a 1-1 away draw against Western Sydney Wanderers at ANZ Stadium last night.

The point was enough to put the South Australian club outright fourth.

“Now we stay in a good position, but we cannot stop,” United coach Marco Kurz said.

Adelaide have twice scored a winning goal in the last few minutes of a game this season and across their whole campaign have outscored their opponents 11-4 after the hour mark.

“We believe in our quality and we know that we can score goals in the last 15, 20 minutes,” Kurz said.

“I didn’t hear that when you score goals late it’s not allowed! It’s a game that runs 90 minutes.

“Maybe we have enough power to the end of the games to score goals.

“One of the qualities of the team is not to stop, always to fight for three points.”

It was another gritty effort from a team missing injured imports Johan Absalonsen and Daniel Adlung.

But Adelaide’s inability to convert a greater percentage of chances may be costing them more points.

They had 19 shots on Wednesday, seven more than Western Sydney, and eight on target, five more than their hosts.

Adelaide went into the round with the worst shot conversion and shooting accuracy in the competition and the lowest percentage of goals scored from set pieces.

They will need to be more clinical when they host the rampaging ladder-leaders Sydney FC next Sunday.

Wednesday’s point put Adelaide one clear of Melbourne Victory and kept them three ahead of the the sixth-placed Wanderers.

Wanderers will go into Saturday’s away game against Wellington without captain Robbie Cornthwaite and Chris Herd, both of whom will be suspended.

-AAP 

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