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Pantelis nets twice as Adel Utd and Nth Qld play out dramatic 3-3 draw

North Queensland Fury have recorded their first A-League point with a brilliant second half performance against Adelaide United. The Fury hit the lead early through Robbie Fowler before going behind 2-1, but a late fight back saw Ian Ferguson's men net twice in the final seven minutes to have one hand on the three points.

But an injury time penalty to acting Reds captain Lucas Pantelis gave both teams a point in a dramatic contest.

Adelaide United: 3 (Lucas Pantelis '23, '90+3, Lloyd Owusu '33) North Queensland Fury: 3 (Robbie Fowler '5, Dyron Daal '83, Daniel McBreen '87)

Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium Crowd: approx. 13,000

In wet and windy conditions at Hindmarsh Stadium, the Reds started positively when Scott Jamieson whipped a free-kick into the area in the first minute only for Robert Cornthwaite's header to land safely in the arms of Fury keeper Paul Henderson.

Finally, the Fury's luck changed in the 5th minute when James Robinson sent a dangerous ball into the area after some nice lead-up play from Robbie Fowler.

The former Liverpool star worked it through the midfield before it was laid off to Robinson who took it down the right flank and crossed it in for Fowler who had worked back well and hit a magnificent right-footed volley that whistled into the back of Eugene Galekovic's net.

Less than fifteen minutes later, the Fury again pressed forward and were unlucky not to go ahead 2-0 when Fowler laid it off for left-back Shane Stefanutto who was in unfamiliar territory and put his shot agonisingly wide of the mark.

In the 23rd minute, Adelaide's Lucas Pantelis showed he doesn't mind wearing the captain's armband in the absence of Travis Dodd when he equalised with a brilliant finish.

The midfielder controlled a long ball from Michael Marrone with his left foot, his first touch too good for Robbie Middleby, then smashed it home on the right from well inside the area, giving Henderson no chance.

The 32nd minute marked yet another piece of brilliance from Reds keeper Galekovic who made a reaction save from a Robinson shot and then managed to knock the ball over the crossbar from his knees when Robinson hit the rebound back towards goal.

The ensuing corner was much like a game of pinball as the Fury scrambled to score but could not get it past Galekovic and his defence.

Less than a minute later, English import Lloyd Owusu opened his account for the Reds when Pantelis lifted a cross in from the left and the big striker won a header which found its way into the back of the net, thanks to a goalkeeping blunder from Henderson, making it 2-1.

Five minutes before the break, Pantelis was at it again when he found space down the left side and worked it in to the area where he took a left-foot shot that Henderson dealt with but Pantelis was able to lay his boot to the rebound only to see it blocked by oncoming defender Karl Dodd.

Five minutes after the re-start, it was the Fury's turn to go close when Fowler played a lovely ball in front of Rostyn Griffiths whose first time shot hit the crossbar after beating Galekovic.

Fury keeper Henderson was then on hand at the other end to make a full-length diving save from Jamieson's blast from the edge of the area, keeping his team in the game.

In the 70th minute, Fury's Ufuk Talay played a one-two with Fowler from a corner, found space outside the area and hit a nice shot that unfortunately for the visitors rattled into the far upright.

Less than two minutes later, former York City striker Daniel McBreen was played in by Fury substitute Freddy Agius but had to take his shot quickly as Cornthwaite was bearing down, the ball travelling over the bar, but positive signs were with the Fury.

The Fury finally got the goal they deserved in the 83rd minute when Agius played in substitute Dyron Daal who had plenty of space in front of him.

The Dutch-Antilles international needed just one touch to score from the edge of the area as Galekovic over-committed, making it 2-2.

And four minutes later, the Fury went ahead after a well-created goal including Agius and Fowler and finished by McBreen with a header at the back post.

But there was more drama, when Daal turned from hero to villain when he jumped for the ball in the defensive area in injury time but was adjudged to have handled and the Reds were awarded a penalty.

Pantelis stepped up to the spot and tucked it away nicely to make it 3-3.

Moments later, the Reds pressed forward again and had a chance to clinch a dramatic victory when Cristiano's header bobbled past the upright and the match ended in a draw.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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