Rallying Reds salvage point

Adelaide United came from two goals down to salvage a Liberty draw against Newcastle Jets at Coopers Stadium on Friday.

The Jets led 2-0 at the break after an impressive first half before the Reds pulled one back just before the hour mark and then levelled two minutes from time.

However, the result eliminated Adelaide from the finals race.

After a strong opening, Newcastle broke the deadlock on 19 minutes through Lucy Johnson, who became the first player from Tasmania to score in the Liberty A-League.

Adelaide had the perfect chance to equalise just three minutes later when Fiona Worts was cut down inside the area by goalkeeper Claire Coelho.

Referee Georgia Ghirardello issued the Jets’ custodian a yellow card, with the hosts adamant it should have been red with Worts clear of the Newcastle defence and Coelho denying a goalscoring opportunity.

Maruschka Waldus stepped up and struck the spot kick low and hard to the keeper’s left, but Coelho guessed the right way and kept the penalty out with a strong save.

On 29 minutes the visitors doubled their lead after a lightning counter attack.

As the Reds tried to push forward, Emily Garnier intercepted the ball, skipping in ahead of her opponent and hitting a long clearance.

Lauren Allan raced in behind Adelaide full-back Emily Hodgson and took a touch before firing past the onrushing Annalee Grove.

Adelaide should have pulled a goal back in first-half injury time when Nanako Sasaki drilled a free kick from wide on the right towards the back post.

Jenna McCormick met the cross perfectly and powered a header from point-blank range but it was brilliantly saved on the line by Coelho.

Five minutes into the second half, Worts wasted a golden chance, failing to get the ball out from under her feet right in front of goal after a perfect cross from Isobel Hodgson.

But, the Reds did not have to wait long to halve the deficit, making it 2-1 on 53 minutes.

Substitute Emilia Murray broke down the right and crossed into the area, with Worts’ touch inadvertently teeing up Katie Bowler whose sweeping shot nestled into the net.

Worts continued to threaten and on 72 minutes cut inside from the right and curled in a left-footed shot only for Coelho to tip the effort onto the post at full-stretch.

After peppering the Jets goal for much of the second half, Adelaide finally got their reward on 88 minutes.

Substitute Chrissy Panagaris lofted in a cross from the right for Murray to ghost past her defender at the back post and turn the ball past Coelho with a deft touch.

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