A-League: Adelaide Utd miss chance to go top despite comeback, Jets' winless run continues

By Sports Desk April 18, 2021

Adelaide United missed the chance to go top of the A-League but at least avoided suffering defeat as they fought from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Sydney on Sunday.

It looked as though Adelaide were on their way to a second loss in four games, as Bobo rounded off a lovely move to open the scoring in the 19th minute, before doubling his tally early in the second half with a simple finish into an empty net after Kosta Barbarouses wasted a one-on-one situation.

But United pulled one back 15 minutes from time, Jordan Elsey turning in a left-wing cross, and Tomi Juric's fierce strike a few moments later restored parity.

Adelaide might have gone on to seal the win and subsequently leap above Melbourne City, who went top on Saturday with a remarkable 7-0 derby win over Melbourne Victory, but Rhyan Grant brought Craig Goodwin down as the last man to earn a straight red deep into stoppage time.

Just outside Sydney, Macarthur were held to a 2-2 draw by the Newcastle Jets, whose club-record winless streak was extended to eight games.

But just as they did last week against Perth Glory, the Jets showed character to fight back from behind, with Charles M'Mombwa and Loic Puyo putting Macarthur 2-1 up after Roy O'Donovan's penalty had initially put the visitors in front.

Steven Ugarkovic equalised just before the hour mark with a gorgeous 20-yard effort and that ultimately salvaged a point.

The day's late game was similarly entertaining and did yield a winner as Wellington Phoenix beat Glory 3-1, with all goals coming in the second half.

Ben Waine caught Glory goalkeeper Luke Reddy out of his net for the first, only for Joel Chianese to equalise two minutes later with a stunning effort, picking out the top-left corner after slaloming between a couple of defenders.

But Louis Fenton tapped in to make it 2-1 with 66 on the clock and Jaushua Sotirio - released by the lively Ulises Davila - showed great composure to seal the win and boost the Phoenix's outside chances of reaching the Finals.

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    El Tri, who had lost their past two qualifiers against the United States and Canada, were staring down the barrel of a third straight loss when trailing 1-0 with 10 minutes left before their late rally.

    Henry Martin tapped home to equalise in the 81st minute, with Carlos Vega netting a dramatic winner two minutes later to ease the pressure on head coach Gerardo Martino.

    Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson had fired in a left-foot strike to put the Reggae Boyz ahead in the 51st minute after they had been reduced to 10 men prior to half-time when Damion Lowe was sent off after VAR review – introduced to CONCACAF World Cup qualifying for the first time – for a studs-up challenge.

    El Tri, who were without the injured Raul Jimenez and suspended Hirving Lozano, had early chances with Carlos Rodriguez and Vega both testing Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake in the first half.

    The win means Mexico move up to 17 points from nine qualifiers, temporarily moving above Canada – who play Honduras later on Thursday - into second spot in CONCACAF qualifying, one point behind USA who edged El Salvador 1-0. The result leaves Jamaica off the pace, with only one win and seven points from nine games.

  • United States 1-0 El Salvador: Robinson strike puts USA in box seat for qualification United States 1-0 El Salvador: Robinson strike puts USA in box seat for qualification

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  • Senegal defended by CAF medical doctor for handling of Mane head injury Senegal defended by CAF medical doctor for handling of Mane head injury

    Senegal have been defended by Confederation of African Football (CAF) medical doctor Dr. Thulani Ngwenya for their handling of Sadio Mane's head injury against Cape Verde.

    Mane received a nasty blow to the head in a collision with opposition goalkeeper Vozinha – who was sent off after a VAR review – in Tuesday's Africa Cup of Nations last-16 tie.

    The Liverpool forward was given treatment on the field but was allowed to stay on and subsequently curled in a brilliant opener for Senegal, who went on to win 2-0.

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    "On the face of it, this seems to be yet another example of football putting results ahead of player safety," said Luke Griggs, deputy chief executive of Headway.

    "This was a sickening collision that clearly left both players in enough distress for a concussion to have surely been considered a possibility at the very least.

    "At that point, the principle of 'if in doubt, sit it out!' should have resulted in Mane being substituted without another ball being kicked."

    Griggs added: "This is now a real test of leadership for CAF and world governing body FIFA – particularly if Senegal declare Mane fit for Sunday's quarter-final.

    "If football wants to be taken seriously when it comes to concussion, it simply must take action to enforce and strengthen its protocols."

    But Dr. Ngwenya insisted Mane is in good hands with the Senegal medical team, who remain in dialogue with Premier League side Liverpool.

    "We have a very capable medical team. Senegal have two team doctors, who are highly commended," Dr. Ngwenya is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

    "I know the team doctors are responsible, so they communicate with the club and I understand that they have actually communicated with Liverpool.

    "What I know is that after taking Mane for further investigations, we scanned the head and there was no structural damage, but that does not rule out concussion. 

    "I'm confident that my colleagues are taking care of the player and the player was in good spirits when I saw him in the hospital."

    Dr. Ngwenya added: "I've heard people say, 'why wasn't he removed from the game?' The medical assessment is based on what you see and assess at that particular time. 

    "The medical team spent quite a significant amount of time assessing Mane.

    "It might have been during the assessment the medical team came to a decision it was just a head collision, not concussion because they couldn't pick up anything that was concussion.

    "We need to give the benefit of the doubt to them because you can make an assessment at the time and then two minutes later it's different. 

    "But when I went in there were features of concussion, hence it was easy for me to actually make that call to say we need to remove the player out of the game.

    "The player is not capacitated to make a decision because they are confused, so it's you as a doctor that needs to make a decision on their behalf."

    Mane posted an image of himself back in the gym on his personal Instagram account on Thursday, accompanied by the caption "recovering".

    Despite potentially suffering from concussion after the sickening blow, he has not been ruled out of Senegal's quarter-final against Equatorial Guinea on Sunday.

    "I'm not sure if he will be available for the next match. When you look at the protocols, I don't know whether he will be ready. I can't make that assessment," Ngwenya said.

    "That judgement can only be made by the team doctors that are managing him on a daily basis."

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