Just days after an audacious takeover by Manchester City, A-League cellar dwellers Melbourne Heart have let a one-goal lead slip to record a 2-2 draw with Adelaide United during a see-sawing encounter at Coopers Stadium on Saturday.
A first half goal to Bruce Djite got the Reds underway but a second-half penalty to Harry Kewell and goal to Patrick Kisnorbo looked like sealing all three points for the visitors until new signing Ryan Griffiths popped up at the death with the equaliser.
The last occasion the two teams met they delivered an edge of the seat 3-3 thriller. This time it was a more subdued start but on 22 minutes the home side struck. Osama Malik executed a sublime cross from the right which Awer Mabil headed goalwards.
It brought out a top shelf save from Andrew Redmayne only for the Heart goalkeeper to see Djite react first to the rebound, nodding home the opener.
Heart gave towering Dutch international Orlando Engelaar his first start since the marquee broke his leg in a preseason friendly and the holding midfielder lasted 53 minutes before being subbed after a muted contribution.
The second-half bought better news for the visitors after misfiring striker Michael Mifsud shanked a sitter at the back post, teammate Mate Dugandzic appeared to fall over the prone Nigel Boogaard earning the penalty. Kewell stepped up nervously to the spot before slotting home the equaliser into the bottom right corner just after the hour.
Heart were charging towards just their second win of the season, and second on the trot, when Kisnorbo latched onto a free kick, rising higher in the box to head into the net on 80 minutes.
But once again the visitors showed their soft underbelly when a corner fired in from the right on 89 minutes met an unmarked Griffiths who ensured the home side left with a point.
The result sees Adelaide remain in fifth on the ladder while Heart stay well adrift at the bottom of the table, 11 points outside the top six.2 comments