Two goals in the first thirteen minutes give the Lady Reds a 2-0 win over Canberra United.
It had to happen someday. Canberra-s unbeaten record against Adelaide United came crashing to a halt as the Lady Reds, in resurgent mood under new Head Coach Ross Aloisi in 2013/14, continued their remarkable start to the season with a victory over the travelling greens. And, coming on the back of their astonishing 1-0 win away at Brisbane Roar, confirmed that Adelaide were a genuine threat this season.
Two quick-fire goals inside the first quarter-hour helped Adelaide United stave off Canberra United 2-0 at Burton Park to record a first-ever Westfield W-League victory over their visitors from the national capital. The Lady Reds looked rock solid all over the park and noticeably handled the difficult conditions, which included blustery wind and the occasional squall of rain, better than their more fancied opponents, with the strong winds in particular battering the arena throughout.
On what could only be described as a woeful playing surface, Canberra, keen to notch a third straight win and retain their hopes of finishing the season top of the pile, started energetically as vice-captain Ellie Brush forced Adelaide goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri into a nice save in the opening minutes following a corner.
But the Reds quickly started dictating terms and surprisingly took the lead in only the ninth minute. There was more than a hint of good fortune in the manner in which they did however with the goal more to do with the elements than any particular piece of skill. Lisa-Marie Woods was the beneficiary, taking aim from distance and sending a long-range effort towards Lydia Williams in the Canberra goal. The ball was assisted on its way by a strong gust of wind, helping it loop high and dip alarmingly as it dropped over the head of the exposed Canberra shot-stopper and into the back of the net for a rare Lady Reds strike against United.
The visitors were further rocked only four minutes later as Adelaide stormed into a 2-0 lead with a second goal. Canberra was caught square at the back and the Lady Reds took advantage, Rachael Quigley racing away and attempting to round Williams only to be sent crashing to earth by the Matildas custodian who, despite getting a piece of the ball, also caught Quigley with referee Casey Reibelt awarding a penalty. Quigley herself stepped up to take the spot-kick and duly and rifled it just to the left of Williams, who guessed right but couldn’t quite grasp it and left the home side ecstatic with their advantage.
Canberra central defender Brush had a couple of half-chances throughout the first period but the Reds defence, led by Jenna McCormick and former Canberra defender Snez Veljanovska, stood resolutely and were happy to sit back and protect their early lead.
The visitors, desperate to claw back the deficit, controlled the tempo for virtually the entire second half and attacked in droves as the play was often contained in their front third but could muster very few decent shots on goal in the face of Adelaide’s strong defence and the tricky, swirling breeze. Head Coach Elisabeth Migchelsen introduced Caitlin Munoz into the fray at the half-time interval, on for Grace Gill, to attempt to add some extra power in the attacking forays.
And it was Munoz who went closest for Canberra, clipping the top of the crossbar with a shot from distance. There were also plenty of other efforts from Canberra who were restricted to shots from outside the penalty area in the main. Munoz went close again and Michelle Heyman and Stephanie Ochs also tried their luck. US recruit Lori Lindsey was unfortunate to see a brace of wind assisted thunderbolts fly just off target as Canberra upped the ante in a desperate attempt to find a route back into the match.
But Adelaide defended determinedly and put plenty of bodies in between the rampaging United attack and their goal and the visitors could find no way through. At the other end Williams was a virtual spectator in the main during the second forty-five minutes but Adelaide had done enough in the opening exchanges to claim the three points.
Adelaide United 2 (Lisa-Marie Woods 10-, Rachael Quigley 13- pen)
Canberra United 0
(Burton Park, Adelaide)
Adelaide United: 1. Melissa BARBIERI, 6. Laura STOCKDALE, 7. Rachael QUIGLEY (5. Jessica WHAREPOURI 92-), 9. Lisa-Marie WOODS, 10. Monique IANNELLA, 12. Daila-Tais BORG, 15. Jenna McCORMICK, 16. Jessica WATERHOUSE (8. Emily CONDON 59-), 17. Tiarn POWEL (14. Jayah BROWN 78-) 21. Snez VELJANOVSKA, 22. Kristy MOORE
Canberra United: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Catherine BROWN, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 9. Grace GILL (6. Caitlin MUNOZ 45-), 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN (8. Meg McLAUGHLIN 57-), 13. Nicole SYKES, 14. Ashleigh SYKES (19. Jennifer BISSET 85-), 16. Lori LINDSEY, 22. Stephanie OCHS
Yellow Cards: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (Canberra United)
Referee: Casey REIBELT