A 10-man Melbourne City have blown their chance to claim second spot in the A-League, drawing 2-2 with Adelaide after dropping a 2-0 lead at ANZ Stadium.

Adrian Luna opened the scoring in the 34th minute, with Jamie Maclaren snaring his 20th goal of the season in the 40th.

But after City's Craig Noone was sent off in the 67th minute, Adelaide's Kristian Opseth landed a 78th-minute penalty before Ben Halloran's 91st-minute strike earned the Reds a point.


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"We totally controlled the game in the first half," City coach Erick Mombaerts said.

"That changed with the red card - mentally, that changed a lot for the opposition.

"So mentally, they think that if they score one goal they can come back - and it happened like that."

City would have secured second place with victory but are now just three points ahead of Wellington with a game to play.

Adelaide (36 points) rely on Western United (33 points) bungling their remaining three games to qualify for finals, with Perth (37 points) now locked into the six.

In the 23rd minute, the goal post spared Jordan Elsey's blushes when the Adelaide centre-back almost sent a wild backpass into his own net.

Eleven minutes later, City struck.

Florin Berenguer cleverly released Noone, who whipped a left-footed cross towards a diving Luna to head home.

City doubled their lead in the 40th minute when Maclaren rose over Elsey to head home Lachie Wales' deflected cross and snare outright golden boot leadership.

The game was turned on its head in the 67th minute when Noone went flying in on Michael Jakobsen and received a straight red card.

Ten minutes later, substitute Pacifique Niyongabire brilliantly won a penalty - cutting past Nathaniel Atkinson and then Luna, before the Uruguayan bodied him just inside the area.

Opseth calmly dispatched the spot-kick to give Adelaide hope.

In the first minute of injury time, Halloran left Scott Galloway in his wake and ripped a terrific strike past Glover to equalise.

"They had a couple of good counter-attacks and that's where they got their goals from - a little bit of luck their way," Adelaide interim coach Carl Veart said.

"But other than that I thought we were completely in charge for the 90 minutes.

"We had nothing to lose so we went all-out attack and the spirit that the boys showed, the fight that they showed, the commitment that they showed - I couldn't be any prouder."

After the match Veart confirmed to Fox Sports that he "most definitely" wanted the Adelaide United coaching role on a permanent basis.


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