He copped one of the more unusual yellow cards during Adelaide's A-League win, but United striker Sergio van Dijk at least saved himself from other coloured embarrassment.
The Dutch striker suddenly sprinted from the ground - without telling the referee, his coach or teammates - with about 10 minutes to go in United's 2-0 victory over Wellington Phoenix last night (NZ time).
Van Dijk bolted for the player's race and disappeared from sight at Hindmarsh Stadium - stunning his bench.
"He just took off," a bemused Reds coach John Kosmina said.
Van Dijk was mysteriously absent for a couple of minutes, before running back onto the ground - and being yellow carded by referee Chris Beath for the unexplained absence.
Van Dijk, it was later revealed, was desperately suffering a stomach bug.
"He said he couldn't wait any longer," Kosmina said.
"It could have been a horrible sight on the television."
Van Dijk's dramas aside, Kosmina hopes his team has taken their first step towards revival.
Adelaide's win lifted the Reds from last position and remarkably for a club which sacked its coach and captain in the past fortnight, now sits just one point behind sixth-placed Melbourne Victory.
Kosmina also hoped the triumph against Wellington, whose travel troubles continued, would restore self-belief for the Reds.
"The teams are all a game or two apart (on the ladder)," Kosmina said.
"If you can show some consistency in terms or your application and how you go about your business, you're starting to get some results.
"Look at Melbourne Heart, who we play on Wednesday - they struggled early on but stuck to their guns and now the ball has started to fall for them.
"We have got to do the same thing."
Kosmina was heartened by the response of defender Jon McKain, who he removed as captain mid-week.
McKain was a solid substitute against the Phoenix just days after being deposed as skipper by goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.
"He was pretty focussed on trying to prove a point to me, which is a good thing - and he did well," Kosmina said of McKain.
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