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Reds, City in A-League Men semi stalemate

Adelaide United and Melbourne City have played out a tense goalless draw in the first leg of their semi-final at Coopers Stadium.

Both sides battled through the 90 minutes, but neither side could find a breakthrough ahead of the return leg in Melbourne on Sunday.

City coach Patrick Kisnorbo felt his side held a slight edge in what was largely an even clash.

“It was a hard contest – it could have gone either way at times,” he said.

“I thought we created actually the more clear-cut chances but when you reflect on it, it’s half-time really, we’ve got another game on Sunday so we’ll look at the game, analyse it and try work on and improve things for Sunday.”

Reds mentor coach Carl Veart echoed Kisnorbo’s sentiments.

“I thought it was a good game, I enjoyed it, hopefully the fans and the people at home watching enjoyed it,” he said.

“It’s just a shame there wasn’t a couple of goals in it, but overall I think it was a fair result.”

The Reds made a blistering start and went on the attack early, earning a series of corners before their first chance arrived on five minutes.

Hiroshi Ibusuki unleashed unexpectedly from the edge of the area but it flew just wide.

After being under the pump for the opening 10 minutes, City grew into the contest and in the 23rd minute forced Joe Gauci into his first save.

Mathew Leckie slipped through Jamie Maclaren who ran off the shoulder of his defender before firing low into the legs of the United keeper.

A minute later Maclaren had another chance after Conor Metcalfe nodded down a long ball out of defence, but this time the City striker shot over.

The visitors called Gauci into action again just minutes later with Metcalfe trying his luck from outside the box, but Adelaide’s shot stopper parried the ball to safety.

City wasted a golden opportunity almost immediately after the restart when Carl Jenkinson drilled across the face of goal for Maclaren, who got a touch but missed when it seemed easier to score with Gauci committed.

The Reds had claims for a penalty in the 66th minute when an Isaias cross hit the arm of Jenkinson but it was waved away by referee Chris Beath.

Adelaide searched for an opener and in the 70th minute a cross from the right by Javi Lopez found Craig Goodwin, but his tame header was easily saved by Thomas Glover.

Andrew Nabbout then latched onto a through ball from Meltcalfe and despite being accompanied by two United defenders, managed to strike the upright with a low drive.

Leckie forced two great saves from Gauci in the closing stages, once from close range before firing a volley after Adelaide failed to clear a free kick.

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