Adelaide United has kept alive its Westfield W-League finals aspirations with a dominant 3-1 comeback win over Western Sydney Wanderers in front of a record-breaking crowd at Coopers Stadium on Sunday.
More than 5,159 supporters filed through the turnstiles to smash the previous attendance record of 3,105 for a standalone regular season Westfield W-League game.
Isabel Hodgson emphatically cancelled out Olivia Price’s opener before a Maruschka Waldus header and Fiona Worts’ close-range finish in the second-half secured the victory.
Due to a Round 14 bye, the Reds must now hope Canberra United lose to Sydney FC on Friday night or Melbourne Victory fail to win its two remaining matches.
The Reds were on the back foot early and Caitlin Cooper had a header from a corner saved off the line by Charlotte Grant.
It was a great display of desperate defending though it was in vain as Western Sydney scored moments later.
Adelaide again struggled to defend a corner and they were punished after a half clearance fell straight to Price and her effort from just inside the 18-yard box beat Fryer-McLaren.
Once the nerves settled, the hosts gradually grew in confidence and retained more of the possession.
In the 18th minute I. Hodgson restored parity in clinical fashion after Mallory Weber drove to the byline and delivered a pin-point cross.
The 24-year-old expertly controlled the ball and placed her effort into the bottom corner.
The Reds were dealt a blow when Grant had to be withdrawn due to injury 25 minutes into the contest.
After the interval, Weber almost had a goal of her own but Sarah Willacy tipped it past the post and from the resultant corner, United would take the lead.
Waldus rose highest to guide her header into the net from Emily Condon’s delivery, in what was a carbon copy from the goal she scored against Sydney over a fortnight ago.
From there it was virtually one-way traffic as the Reds had all the momentum.
Worts then increased the advantage in the 63rd minute after a set-piece routine ricocheted into the Englishwoman’s path for a simple goal.
Two minutes later, Weber’s near-post attempt crashed against the post and soon after I. Hodgson was denied her brace when Willacy saved her shot from point-blank range.
But those missed chances were insignificant as Adelaide registered its seventh triumph of the campaign – its most successful in club history.
There was one change made to the starting line-up with Fiona Worts named in place of Chelsie Dawber who was ruled out with concussion.
3’ | CLEARANCE: Grant does well to repel Cooper’s header from the corner on the goal line.
4’ | GOAL: Adelaide do not clear their lines and are punished when Price’s shot sneaks past Fryer-McLaren.
18’ | GOAL! I. Hodgson controls Weber’s cross and dispatches her finish into the bottom corner.
50’ | GOAL! Waldus meets Condon’s corner and she directs her header past Willacy.
63’ | GOAL! Worts makes it 3-1 when Waldus’ shot from the set-play ricochets into her path.
86’ | SAVE! Fryer-McLaren with a diving stop to tip wide Leena Khamis’ strike.
Saturday, 21 March 2021
Westfield W-League 2020/21 – Round 13
Adelaide United Women 3 (I. Hodgson 18’, Waldus 50’, Worts 63’)
Western Sydney Wanderers Women 1 (Price 4’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium