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By ESPN Staff

Babalj denies Adelaide in draw

Adelaide United and Melbourne Heart shared the spoils in a dour 1-1 draw at Hindmarsh Stadium.

A first-half Sergio van Dijk penalty looked enough to separate the teams until in-form Heart striker Eli Babalj intervened and capped a fine individual display with a superb solo goal in the second half.

Adelaide took a surprise lead on 37 minutes when Van Dijk slotted home from the spot after defender Daniel Mullen had been wrestled down in the box by Heart vice-captain Simon Colosimo.

The Heart managed to equalise however in the 68th minute.

Babalj received the ball 10 yards from Adelaide's box, where he ghosted and darted his way past three Reds defenders before wrong-footing home goalkeeper Mark Birighitti with a crafty finish.

The result leaves Melbourne at risk of dropping into sixth place if either Newcastle or Sydney manage to claim maximum points in their pivotal clash for the last finals spot on Sunday at Allianz Stadium.

The point assures Adelaide of ninth spot and condemns Gold Coast to the wooden spoon.

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