ADELAIDE United coach Josep Gombau was delighted with the way his players dealt with significant pre-match and mid-match obstacles in playing out a tense 2-2 draw with Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
Coming off a four-day break following last Sunday's bruising 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets, the Reds went into the Sky Blues clash minus star Argentine duo, Marcelo Carrusca (groin) and Jeronimo Neumann (suspended), while Osama Malik (ankle) was also under an injury cloud.
In roughly 30 minutes of action on Friday, Adelaide lost star striker Bruce Djite (adductor) and playmaking magician Sergio Cirio (hamstring), while conceding an early lead.
On the back foot, United fought back to score the next two goals through Fabio Ferreira, in his return from injury, and Jake Barker-Daish, who slotted a penalty, before settling for a draw when Corey Gameiro headed a goal late for the visitors to split the points.
"Happy with the team because of all the difficulties we've had this week and we had in the game," Gombau said.
"In the first 35 minutes we had to change two players (Djite and Cirio), who are important.
"This makes a lot of difficulties.
"We played with young players and they did very well.
"I cannot say anything (negative) to my players - they brought 100 per cent, and the youth players played very well.
"I am satisfied."
While Gombau couldn't have been prouder of his playing group, he was less thrilled with the actual result, United frittering away a 2-1 advantage against a 10-man Sydney outfit, allowing the visitors to escape with a draw.
But given the adversity faced during the 90 minutes and throughout the week prior, Gombau was far from furious.
"With the result I am unhappy," Gombau explained.
"Why? Because in the 80th minute we are winning 2-1 and we needed to try and win this game.
"In the end I want to win, and when you have the game closed and you think that you can win, you are upset.
"But if you see the picture for all the week and all the game I think it's a good result."
Gombau was uncertain as to the extent of the injuries sustained by Djite and Cirio, but the pair appear doubtful to front for this Saturday's clash with ladder-leading Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
"I think it's a muscle problem in his (Djite's) adductor," Gombau said.
"I don't know exactly what Bruce has and what Cirio has because at halftime we were trying to arrange the team and make the changes.
"Cirio was injured three weeks ago in Perth but now the injury happened in another place.
"We need to see. I cannot speak a lot about his injuries because I don't have the report."