Campbelltown City and Adelaide City played out a pulsating 1-1 top of the table draw in Round 17 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia at Steve Woodcock Sports Centre on Saturday.
The visitors took the lead through Anthony Costa’s 22nd minute header, but Thomas Strain brought Campbelltown level just 13 minutes later. The result keeps the Black and Whites four points above the Red Devils at the league summit.
Campbelltown midfielder Vas Parhas noted it was important to keep in touch with Adelaide City.
“We aren’t exactly happy with a draw, but recognise it was a fair result,” he said.
“We are positive about the second half and felt we finished the stronger side, but they are a good team.
“They came out all guns blazing, got the goal and had chances. We reacted quickly to get the goal back. After that we had control but probably weren’t clinical enough.
“It was important to not lose, we had to get at least a point against a really good side. We stay in touch and now want to put pressure on them. Hopefully they slip and we continue to win. It’s also nice to have a buffer over [West Torrens] Birkalla.”
Adelaide City’s Nicholas Bucco said it was pleased to maintain the gap at the top.
“We are happy with the result because we were under pressure in the second half. It’s a good result, even if it’s disappointing as we led and had chances,” he stated.
“We played well. We can’t be dissatisfied with a draw away from home against a really good team. There were a few mistakes, but we will continue to work on those and overall we are quite happy.
“The aim was not to do anything stupid. We played smart, but were always going out to win. It was important to keep the buffer between the teams.”
The chances came at a rapid rate in the first half. Red Devils winger Lui Ditroia cut inside from the right in the 10th minute to force a good save from Ben Moore, with Adam Piscioneri firing the rebound over the top.
An Adelaide City corner found Mamadi Kamara at the back post, but he was unable to steer his header on target.
Shane Tobias’ cross was well met by Costa, who volleyed just over the top of Nicholas Harpas’ goal.
But the goalkeeper was beaten to Jordan Pudler’s deep cross by the striker just two minutes later, with Costa’s header going into an empty net.
Campbelltown was back on level terms in the 35th minute. Piscioneri ran at the defence and saw his shot saved, however Moore could only palm the ball into the path of Strain who bundled it over the line from close range.
Campbelltown’s No 9 was again in the thick of the action just before the interval as he was picked out by Anthony Ture and forced another save from Moore.
A Ditroia cross past the hour mark was headed over the top by Ture, in what proved a second half of fewer opportunities.
Campbelltown substitute Jacob Williams climbed highest to connect with a Parhas cross in the 84th minute, but could only find Moore in the Adelaide City goal.
The visitors spurned a glorious trio of opportunities to claim maximum points in the last minute. Nikola Mileusnic ran through on goal but was denied by Harpas, with the goalkeeper diving to stop the second attempt from the winger. Costa then turned the ball goalward only to see his effort cleared off the line by Keita Minomura, ensuring a share of the points.