Adelaide United Women were forced to settle for a share of the points in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle Jets Women in Round 9 of the Westfield W-League at Elite Systems Football Centre on Thursday night.
Two fantastic finishes mastered by both Adriana Jones and Alex Chidiac were unfortunately left in vain in what was a heart-breaking end to their battle, as Jenna Kingsley netted her brace to equalise twice against the hosts.
Adelaide United Women Head Coach, Huss Skenderovic, boosted his starting XI, with the returns of defender, Monica from international duty, Rachael Quigley and Alex Chidiac.
In a breathtaking match for both sides, Adelaide United started off the hungrier of the two, maintaining possession through the always threatening Sofia Huerta, and winning free-kicks. Captain, Stella Rigon fired her first attempt from the set piece, but was thumped away by Jets keeper, Katelyn Rowland.
Katie Naughton had shut down the soaring Jets, which lead to Huerta being brought down once again, on the counter-attack. Rigon thundered her second free-kick towards goal, but was saved. Adelaide continued their early dominance, as Jones was able to cut in a cross to Quigley, who wasn’t able to get enough on the end of it.
It took only 13 minutes for a well-deserved lead in the host’s favour, through Jones, slotting past into the net against her former Club, thanks to an expert assist by Rigon. As soon as Adelaide were on top, the Jets brought them to a landing, as Kinglsey latched onto Jennifer Hoy’s ball and shot past United keeper, Eliza Campbell on 22 minutes.
Adelaide had a flurry of close chances before the break, which proved crucial and could have seen them ahead. Quigley almost connected with a golden opportunity, intercepting a mistake by Rowland, but her shot was stopped. Both Monica and Chidiac were unable to put their headed efforts away.
The tantalising action continued into the second stanza, but it was Chidiac with her own individual brilliance to maraud past the Newcastle defence, her venomous shot finding the back into the net, seconds into second half. The home side were unfortunately left to rue their missed opportunities as their opponents were awarded with a penalty, Kingsley netting calmly from the spot, despite Campbell getting a touch, to equalise for a second time in the match
Adelaide United Women pushed for the three points, with every ounce of energy, but luck was not on their side, as Huerta sent her shot high over the crossbar, in a Rowland-free, open goal. Quigley had several more chances of her own, but was involuntarily thwarted. Newcaste also had plenty of chances, but time ran out for both sides.
Following the match, Reds Women Boss, Skenderovic was disappointed with the draw, and it came down to his side not executing their missed chances that cost them the three points.
“It is unfortunately the story of our season, we play some great football and create a lot of opportunities,” Skenderovic said. “But it’s about putting that end product into the back of the net, we did score two, but we could have had ten.
“There were lapses in concentration at times, but that’s football, and it was unfortunate not to get the win.
“Rachael (Quigley) and Alex (Chidiac) had a lot of chances, but they haven’t had much game time, and that extra bit of energy, but they did get into some good positions.
“But there really is again, positives that came out of the game, we were competitive, creating chances, solid defensively, but we just can’t get the results, but we will keep working hard especially with Melbourne City ahead on Monday.”
Goal scorer, Alex Chidiac believes that her side played well, and were unfortunate not to get a win on the board.
“We started the game off well, and we’ve had a pretty rough start to the season but we are getting back into it slowly,” Chidiac said. “I do think we were unlucky not to get the win tonight.
“It’s a good step in the right direction, and hopefully we can get the win against Melbourne City on Monday.
“We’re getting good momentum now, and it’s really exciting to see.”