An injury-time goal from Sergio Cirio has gifted Adelaide United a dramatic 2-1 A-League win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Coopers Stadium.
Cirio raced on to a superb cutback from Craig Goodwin and steered his shot into the bottom corner of the net with less than a minute to play.
The Wanderers were forced to see out the final 10 minutes of the match with 10 men after Matthew Spiranovic was given a second yellow card.
Western Sydney had enjoyed the better start and had a couple of chances early on Saturday night with Labinot Haliti and Brendan Santalab doing the most damage for the visitors.
United struggled to gather any momentum and it wasn’t until the quarter hour before fashioning any opportunity in the front third when Cirio’s low cross whizzed dangerously through the penalty area.
But it was Haliti who broke the deadlock in the 18th minute, tapping in from close range as the Reds were left hoping for an offside decision to rule in their favour.
Eugene Galekovic had punched clear Nikita Rukavytsya’s free kick which Santalab volleyed first-time back into the danger area where Haliti was on hand to tuck in at the far post.
Two minutes later Rukavytsya could have doubled the Wanderers’ lead but was denied by the outstretched arm of Galekovic.
Santalab was replaced by Tomi Juric on 34 minutes after injuring his shoulder earlier in the half, while United were also forced into a change with Osama Malik making way for Craig Goodwin after rolling his ankle in a tackle on Juric five minutes before the break.
Reds coach Josep Gombau made a second change at halftime and threw on Awer Mabil in place of Miguel Palanca and shifted to a back three which pushed more men forward.
The move paid immediate dividends with Bruce Djite equalising for United on 51 minutes, racing onto a delightful through ball from Marcelo Carrusca and sliding the ball through the legs of the advancing Ante Covic from just outside the area.
Galekovic had to come to United’s rescue in the 81st minute, sticking out a boot to deny Juric before tempers flared from the resulting corner.
Isaias and Matthew Spiranovic tangled on the edge of the area and the Wanderers defender was shown a second yellow card by referee Peter O’Leary.