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Controversial Adelaide-Perth A-League draw

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/03/2017 Steve Larkin

Diego Castro of Perth Glory and Isa’as Sanchez of United during the Round 25 A-League match between Adelaide United and Perth Glory. © AAP Image/David Mariuz Diego Castro of Perth Glory and Isa’as Sanchez of United during the Round 25 A-League match between Adelaide United and Perth Glory. Perth Glory's Diego Castro has kept his A-League side's top-four ambitions flickering with a stage-dive penalty in a 1-1 away draw with Adelaide United.

Castro scored after earning a penalty in an act which riled Adelaide and their parochial home crowd at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.

Perth remain fifth, three points shy of fourth-placed Brisbane and third-placed Melbourne City ahead of weekend fixtures.

After United's Dylan McGowan headed the home side to the lead, Castro equalised having collapsed as a result of slight contact from the Reds defender.

Ironically, Adelaide next week play in the first game in a major league worldwide to feature video refereeing reviews.

But the trial comes a week late for the Reds, who would have had grounds for the Castro decision to be overturned had the option been available.

Adelaide's McGowan scored in the 23rd minute, nodding home from within a metre after teammate Taylor Regan's header struck the far post and fell kindly.

Diego Castro © AAP Image/Travis Anderson Diego Castro

But the tide turned just before halftime when Castro was awarded and scored a controversial penalty.

The Spaniard cut through Adelaide's defence with a slicing run and, near the by-line, felt contact on the front of a leg from McGowan.

After a slight pause, Castro sank to his knees and dived forward in what replays showed was a simulated act.

Referee Daniel Elder, who took control of the match at the last minute when scheduled ref Alan Milliner suffered a hamstring injury in the warm-up, awarded a penalty which Castro duly converted in the 46th minute.

The Spaniard was thereafter the target of vitriol from Adelaide's crowd, which roundly booed whenever he touched the ball.

But both sides were unable to land a killer blow in a heated second half, the draw leaving Adelaide ninth on the ladder with two games until the finals.

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