The Roar
The Roar


Highly controversial red card cruels Adelaide as Wanderers jump into top four

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24th February, 2024

A double from young attacker Nicolas Milanovic has guided Western Sydney to a 2-1 A-League Men victory over Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.

Two first half Milanovic headers were enough for the Wanderers to claim maximum points on Saturday night, while the Reds finished the match with 10 men after Ben Halloran was given his marching orders.

Adelaide almost broke the deadlock on the quarter hour when Harry Van Der Saag lifted a cross to the back post where Zach Clough looped a header goal bound, but it was cleared off the line by Alexander Bonetig.

Three minutes later and the visitors did open the scoring.

Aidan Simmons rifled a 30-metre cross from the right to the back post where Milanovic headed into the ground and in off the upright.

United had a good chance on 27 minutes when Javi Lopez slipped in Halloran, whose shot from close range forced a solid reflex save from Western Sydney keeper Daniel Margush.


From the resultant Clough corner, Van Der Saag headed agonisingly wide.

The Wanderers doubled their lead on 35 minutes when Milanovic grabbed his second with another impressive header.

Lachlan Brook chased down an over-hit through ball from Brandon Borrello and kept the attack alive.

The former United winger whipped in a pin-point, left-footed cross from the right which Milanovic got to first.

Ben Halloran cops red card after jostling with Wanderers player

Ben Halloran of Adelaide United cops a red card. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Western Sydney created a great opportunity almost immediately after the restart when Marcelo’s long ball over the top found Borrello.

The Wanderers striker chased it down but Reds keeper James Delianov raced off his line and thwarted the attack.


Just before the hour, Brook should have added a third when he dribbled through United’s defence and lifted the ball over Delianov but just wide.

On 75 minutes Halloran was controversially sent off when chasing down Simmons, referee Alex King deeming he had caught the Wanderers defender high on the calf.

In the 94th minute, the Reds grabbed a consolation goal when substitutes Nestory Irankunda and Luka Jovanovic combined.

Irankunda picked up possession and drove at the Wanderers’ defence before slipping through Jovanovic who slid his shot under Margush.

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Despite the numerical disadvantage, United pushed for an equaliser and went close when Austin Ayoubi shot low and hard from just inside the area but it was deflected clear by Marcelo.