In his second game back in the A-League, Ryan Griffiths scored a dramatic injury-time goal to snatch back a point for Adelaide United against Melbourne Heart at the Coopers Stadium. After the visitors took a late lead thanks to Patrick Kisnorbo's header, Griffiths equalized in the 90th minute, robbing Heart of a two-game winning streak and inching the Reds clear of Perth Glory on the ladder.
While Heart have undoubtedly improved in recent weeks, they remain in single digits and well out of even ninth place. Michael Mifsud continues to be a disappointment though Orlando Engelaar's return seems to have buoyed his teammates. For the first time all season, Heart scored more than one goal in consecutive games but a late lapse in defense allowed Griffiths to volley a Marcelo Carrusca corner for the last minute equalizer. The news of the club's sale to Manchester City late in the week turned heads but without announcements or serious changes to be made before the conclusion of the current season, Heart are very unlikely to get out of the wooden spoon.
Adelaide have now gone seven games without a loss, dating to a narrow defeat at the hands of Brisbane Roar on December 6. Though it took until the game's final moments to keep that streak alive, the Reds are improving both the style and the substance of their performances. With games coming against Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC, Adelaide could make a real jump on the ladder in the next two weeks.
Heart will try to extend its unbeaten run to three games in hosting Sydney FC on Friday January 31 at AAMI Park. Adelaide make the trip across the ditch and will play the Phoenix at Eden Park in Auckland.
ADL Djite 22'
MHT Kewell (pen) 61'
MHT Kisnorbo (Ramsay) 79'
ADL Griffiths (Carrusca) 90'
Adelaide United: Galekovic; Elrich, Boogaard, McKain, Malik; Watson (Lustica 57'), Isaias, Carrusca; Mabil (Griffiths 62'), Djite, Jeronimo (Ferreira 71')
Unused substitutes: Izzo, Elsey
Melbourne Heart: Redmayne; Behich, Kisnorbo, Wielaert, Hoffman; Murdocca, Engelaar (Kalmar 54'); Ramsay, Kewell, Dugandzic (Mauk 88'); Mifsud (Germano 62')
Unused substitutes: Velaphi, Garuccio