Western sink Adelaide with last-minute equaliser

Adelaide United boss Carl Veart has flagged an off-season squad overhaul and a need to address his side’s mentality after their finals hopes were all but ended by a last-gasp 3-3 draw with Western United at the Wyndham Regional Football Centre. 

After storming back from a 2-0 deficit thanks to a brace from Hiroshi Ibusuki and a goal from Nestory Irankunda, Adelaide looked on track to move to within three points of sixth-placed Western Sydney when stoppage time began in Tarneit on Tuesday. 

But Connor O’Toole’s 94th-minute equaliser dashed those dreams.

While a mathematical path to the A-League Men finals remains, a glum Veart admitted after the game that they were now out of reach.

He said the table doesn’t lie and that his side's "soft underbelly" meant they were not good enough to be up there fighting with the other teams.

Adelaide United boss Carl Veart
Adelaide United boss Carl Veart has pointed to an off-season squad overhaul.

“Most of our defenders are off contract,'' Veart said.

"We'll be looking and doing what we think is best for the club going forward. 

“We want to be playing finals, we want to be up there competing for silverware. 

“Maybe we've got a little bit complacent with the relative success that we've had the last few years of being up there competing.”

Things started badly for the Reds on Tuesday when an error from James Delianov allowed Matthew Grimaldi to open the scoring in the 19th minute, with James Donachie doubling the lead from a corner in the 34th minute. 

But Ibusuki dragged them back into it with goals either side of halftime, before setting up Irankunda to grab the lead in the 62nd minute. 

Needing to see out the game’s final moments,  Adelaide's defence was unable to clear a Ben Garuccio cross from the left that eventually bounced through for O’Toole - only on the park because of a suspected ACL injury to Khoder Kaddour - to finish. 

“When it was there to stop and defend we just didn't have all the players wanting to do the same thing,” Veart said. 

Their finals hopes long extinguished, Western moved ahead of Perth and off the bottom of the table with the win, setting up a potentially wooden spoon-deciding clash between the two this weekend in Western Australia. 

“The younger players (came in to) experience that and give us a lift,” said Western boss John Aloisi. 

“(Then) we got our equaliser, which we deserved - we deserve something out of that game.” 

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store