Reds seal home final with eight-goal Roar thriller


A first goal in over 12 months for Senegalese striker Baba Diawara has helped Adelaide secure a thrilling 5-3 win over Brisbane and a home A-League elimination final.

The 31-year-old came off the bench in the 70th minute of the Anzac Day clash at Suncorp Stadium for just his second appearance of an injury-plagued season and scored six minutes later before Reds captain Isaias sealed the win moments later.

The victory means Adelaide have secured fourth-place on the ladder and will host either Wellington or Melbourne City at Coopers Stadium next weekend.

Thursday's result is the second goal-laden thriller between these teams this season after Adelaide won 4-3 in February in a game where Brisbane blew a three-goal lead.

Newly appointed coach Robbie Fowler was watching from the stands and the Liverpool legend got an early indication of the job that lays ahead of him when the Roar fell behind in the fourth minute.

Nikola Mileusnic was left unmarked at the back post to nod home a Ryan Kitto cross.


Retiring Roar captain Matt McKay, playing in his 302nd and final appearance in all competitions for the club, then had a hand in the home team's leveller.

The ex-Socceroo's shot from the edge of the box was parried by Reds goalkeeper Paul Izzo straight into the path of striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls, who made no mistake for his fifth goal of the season.


In the fifth minute of added time, after referee Shaun Evans had originally indicated three extra minutes would be played, Nicholas D'Agostino nodded home an Eric Bautheac cross to put the home side in front.


The lateness of the Roar's goal infuriated Adelaide winger Craig Goodwin, who remonstrated with Evans before the restart and again as the teams left the field for half-time.

Goodwin shook off his frustration to set up the Reds' equaliser early in the second half when he crossed for George Blackwood to tap home.


Once again the Roar rose to the occasion, with impressive teenager Zachary Duncan finding D'Agostino in the box who was felled by Izzo.

The Reds goalkeeper was then left helpless after committing to his right as a penalty by Eric Bautheac rolled slowly past him into the net.


Goodwin put the Reds back on level terms with an emphatic finish after Roar right-back Daniel Leck misjudged a header before Diawara's first goal since April 15, 2018 put the visitors back in front.


There was still time for Isaias to find the back of the net after getting past Leck.

That goal was the 71st conceded by the Roar - a new record for a single A-League campaign surpassing Central Coast's 70 in the 2015-16 season.

Brisbane finish the season with just four wins from 27 matches.

Source AAP