AUFC Women unable to complete comeback

Adelaide United Women’s second-half fight back was not enough to steal a point against Brisbane Roar, falling 3-2 in Round 6 of the Westfield W-League 2016/17 season at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

A brave finish from Adriana Jones and a wonderful hit from the penalty spot by Sofia Huerta sparked a tremendous fightback for the Adelaide United Women, but a first-half display by Katrina-Lee Gorry and Tameka Butt brought Brisbane Roar over the line, along with a goal from substitute Allira Toby.

Reds Women Boss, Huss Skenderovic made several changes to his starting XI from the previous week, with Marijana Rajcic returning, but the side were without Monica due to international duties and playmaker, Alex Chidiac.

Two early goals from Brisbane Roar Women had them dominate the proceedings of the first 45 minutes. As a strike from Gorry on the edge of the 18-yard box found the top-left corner, and only moments later, the goal scorer marched into space to assist a cross to Butt, who doubled the advantage for the hosts.

Huerta was instrumental throughout the 90 minutes, with her first sighting at goal arriving soon after the hosts’ double. With positive intent, a promising cross was hit into the area, but no Adelaide United recipients were in sight.

Adelaide United held most of the possession, however, Brisbane’s strike-force continued to press on attacking motives. Following a heavy touch that skied Emily Gielnik’s effort, Huerta headed the ball straight to Roar keeper, Mackenzie Arnold, after a Danielle Colaprico lay-off. Huerta graced the field with her feet once again, but Roar’s defence were resilient in thwarting an opportunity for the Reds Women.

Nine minutes into the second-half, Toby started her side off the brighter, with a well-taken hit on target, moments after coming off the bench. But the tides had started to turn in the Sunshine State in favour of the visiting side, and Adelaide were rewarded for their outstanding endeavours to get a goal back, courtesy of Jones with an efficient first touch to then strike the ball, that found the net after scraping the upright.

In the 65th minute, Huerta and Jones produced a lovely build-up, a cut-back by Jones found Ally Ladas, her hit flew over the crossbar in what was a promising effort to close in on their opponents.

Defender, Isabella Scalzi and Colaprico worked brilliantly to force a turn-over, and as always, Adelaide United charged on the counter-attack, which resulted in Huerta being brought down in the penalty area. With no mistake striking the ball past Arnold, Huerta made it 3-2 with a sublime spot-kick on 73 minutes.

Keeping her side in the game, United keeper, Eliza Campbell lunged off her line to deny Toby getting a touch. With five minutes added on, Huerta went on the pursuit up forward, with her cross deflected out for a corner. The cross from the corner flag ensued Jones to venomously strike towards goal, which was palmed away by Arnold. 

Continuing the hunt to slay the Roar, the Adelaide United Women had their last chance of the match through a Ladas free-kick, but it was inadvertently heavy and flew over Arnold’s goal. After a sustained period of chances and maintaining a wolf-pack mentality, the Reds Women came inches away to snatch a point in Brisbane, their Round 6 contest ending 3-2.