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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 9, 2010

A-League: Smeltz rescues Gold Coast United

New Zealand striker Shane Smeltz scored in the third minute of stoppage time to snatch Gold Coast United a 1-1 draw with A-League strugglers Adelaide United at Skilled Park on Saturday.

A 20th-minute opener from Reds captain Travis Dodd, who was found unmarked at the back post by Mathew Leckie, looked to have lifted Adelaide back into play-off contention following a dominant display from the visitors.

But with time running out, A-League top scorer Smeltz headed home Jason Culina's cross for his 19th goal of the season to move Gold Coast within a point of second-placed Melbourne Victory, who travel to Newcastle Jets tomorrow.

Leaders Sydney, who sit three points clear of defending champions Melbourne, face sixth-placed Perth Glory tomorrow.

After ending Gold Coast's four-match home winning streak, Adelaide sit four points off the play-offs with six games remaining.

Elsewhere, Wellington Phoenix moved up to fourth after striker Eugene Dadi scored twice on his debut to secure a 3-1 win over Brisbane Roar at Westpac Stadium.

The home side took the lead against the run of play midway through the first half as Tim Brown nodded home Manny Muscat's cross from inside the six-yard area.

And after only making the switch from Perth at the start of the week, Dadi doubled the lead 10 minutes after half-time with a contender for goal of the season as the Ivory Coast striker converted a perfectly executed overhead scissor kick.

Two minutes after the hour mark Dadi, who was short of match practice after spending much of this season in the National Youth League after failing to net in six appearances for Perth, tapped home from close range following Paul Ifill's clever cutback to extend the lead.

Sergio van Dijk grabbed a consolation for Brisbane with two minutes remaining as the Roar slipped down to seventh after a second consecutive defeat.

"I think we played really well again," Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert said. "It was good Eugene getting involved - that's always a bonus.

"It proved to be the right decision starting him. The players know what's on the line now. That's a great three points for us but there's still a lot of work to go."

Finally, Central Coast Mariners ended a run of five consecutive defeats after sharing a 1-1 draw with North Queensland Fury at Bluetongue stadium.

Nick Mrdja opened the scoring for the Mariners after just five minutes, but Jeremy Brockie's deflected 19th minute strike ensured a share of the spoils.

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