Quigley header earns AUFC Women point against Champs

Adelaide United Women record a 1-1 draw against the reigning Champions, Melbourne City, in Round 10 of the Westfield W-League 2016/17 season at CB Smith Reserve on Monday night.

Racheal Quigley started the New Year for Adelaide United Women on a high, with a hard-fought equaliser, cancelling out Jess Fishlock’s free-kick, with a spectacular header into the back of the net.

Reds Women Head Coach, Huss Skenderovic, fielded an unchanged starting XI in a bid to establish some consistency within the side and continuity in performance. 

And the identical line-up from the previous week proved monumental for the visitors, and in the opening moments of proceedings, as Chidiac grabbed the ascendency by dispossessing City defender, Aivi Luik and struck a shot just over the crossbar.

But the hosts were not put on hold for long, as Jacynta Arachchi cut inside the defence to unleash a shot, which was tipped over by Eliza Campbell in trademark fashion. City Captain, Steph Catley was dangerous from the set piece, her free-kick close to a conversion but the Reds kept the hosts scoreless for 20 minutes.

Following Adelaide’s efforts to attack, a free kick was awarded to City, after a menacing run by Arachchi. Fishlock granted her side the lead with a strike into goal from the set piece, just out of Campbell’s reach. But the Reds Women thundered back immediately, with defender Katie Naughton finding space at the back post to receive Danielle Colaprico’s corner, only to head into the side netting. Seconds after, Sofia Huerta came close to causing some fireworks with an equaliser, but was thwarted by City and Matilda’s stopper, Lydia Williams.

The game flowed in an end-to-end affair, and it was Huerta once again who looked promising, to maintain possession and fire a powerful shot in front of goal that went too high in a likely attempt to level the score-line at the break, but Fishlock’s free-kick was the only difference at the end of the 45 minutes.

The South Australians were on the attack instantly to start the second half of proceedings, as Colaprico fired a shot straight into Williams, and Huerta into the side netting in two golden opportunities.  

Adelaide were arguably the dominant side in the second stanza, and were remarkably rewarded in the 70th minute through Quigley’s stunning headed equaliser, assisted by a neat Huerta cross. But 10 minutes after, the returning Larissa Crummer shot for the winner, and was denied by Campbell.

In stoppage time, Fishlock ventured on a header towards Campbell, but the Adelaide keeper predicted the shot and calmly caught the ball and kept her side in the game. The Reds remained resolute against a stern Melbourne outfit to return to Adelaide with a point a piece, and unfortunate not with all three points.