Adelaide United held to a 2-2 draw by winless Melbourne Victory at Adelaide Oval

Adelaide United held to a 2-2 draw by winless Melbourne Victory at Adelaide Oval

Adelaide United held to a 2-2 draw by winless Melbourne Victory at Adelaide Oval

Updated 20 October 2017, 22:40 AEDT

Adelaide United are held to 2-2 draw at home by Melbourne Victory despite a Vince Lia double.

Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory have shared the points in a thrilling, sometimes bruising 2-2 draw at Adelaide Oval.

United midfielder Vince Lia stole the show on Friday night with a classy double in between goals from Besart Berisha and Mitch Austin, who levelled with eight minutes remaining.

After only four goals in a career spanning almost 300 A-League matches, Lia bagged his first goals for the Reds in an impressive performance.

Victory started the better of the two sides as the Reds continued their trend of tame openings.

Berisha broke the deadlock on 13 minutes with a powerful header after a pinpoint cross from a Leroy George free-kick.

Tensions escalated seven minutes later when Rhys Williams tangled with Ben Garuccio behind play before wrestling Reds skipper Isaias to the ground.

The stopper somehow escaped sanction from referee Shaun Evans, despite the incident attracting the attention of the video assistant referee, but the tussle sparked United into action.

Foundation Victory midfielder Lia restored parity on 23 minutes with a venomous half-volley from the edge of the area when Johan Absalonsen laid off after a cross from Michael Marrone.

After the equaliser, United gained control and carved out some half chances before George Blackwood almost put Adelaide ahead on the stroke of half-time.

Absalonsen was again involved, setting up Blackwood, but his effort from 12 metres out was thwarted by some desperate Melbourne defending.

No surprises as Berisha involved in controversy

A minute later, Berisha was lucky to escape with just a yellow card after shoving Jordan Elsey to the ground and making contact with fourth official Daniel Elder.

Early in the second half, neither side was able to create any real chances until Lia doubled his tally.

The midfielder found the net with a first-time strike from 20 metres with Absalonsen again the provider.

Victory lifted after conceding and battled hard to level the scores through substitute Austin.

With his back to goal, Berisha's shot on the turn was blocked and the rebound fell nicely for the Melbourne winger.

He managed to direct his shot through a number of bodies in the penalty area.

United had legitimate claims for a penalty on 90 minutes when Absalonsen's cross appeared to strike full-back Jason Geria's arm.

AAP

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