Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir’s maiden Westfield W-League goal ensured Adelaide United Women finished the season on a positive note as they overcame Brisbane Roar Women 1-0 on Friday night.
Jónsdóttir’s 13th minute header and Sarah Willacy’s decisive penalty save three minutes from time helped Adelaide take its overall points tally to a record 18 points.
Kahlia Hogg received her first start as a Red, while Charlotte Grant was deployed at left-back with Laura Johns nursing an ankle injury sustained the week before against Newcastle Jets.
Brisbane began with the ascendancy and Yuki Nagasato nearly fired the visitors into the lead with a blistering strike from distance at Marden Sports Complex.
However, after a spell of possession and promising incursions forward, it was Adelaide who opened the scoring.
Jónsdóttir connected with a beautiful delivery from her international teammate, Fanndís Friðriksdóttir, to guide her header past Mackenzie Arnold in expert fashion.
The match became somewhat stop-start with a number of fouls breaking the rhythm of proceedings.
But Adelaide showed more desire and came agonisingly close to doubling the advantage when a promising attack culminated in Hogg shooting her drive just wide of the target.
It was then Brisbane’s turn to trouble Adelaide’s defence and Hayley Raso should have restored parity from six yards out after volleying wide a cut-back from Chioma Ubogagu on 34 minutes.
Adelaide continued to push and thought they scored when Michelle Heyman slotted a finish into the net, although it was ruled out after appearing to come back from an offside position.
Brisbane threatened through Allira Toby but despite her plethora of attempts she was unable to beat Willacy in goal.
Adelaide’s resistance was then put to the ultimate test when Brisbane were awarded a penalty after a foul by Amber Brooks.
But Nagasato stepped up and saw her attempt brilliantly saved by Willacy to keep the clean sheet intact and ultimately the win as the Reds held on.
It was a fantastic way to end the campaign after the Reds missed out on an inaugural Finals appearance.
13’ | Friðriksdóttir’s crosses to her compatriot Jónsdóttir, who leaps at full stretch, looping her header back across the ‘keeper.
34’ | Ubogagu on the left crosses to Raso and her first-time shot is volleyed from close range flashes wide of the goal.
82’ | Willacy makes an acrobatic save to deny Toby following her sighter from more than 20 yards out.
87’ | PENALTY SAVE! Willacy dives successfully to her left to parry away Nagasato’s spot-kick.
Friday, 1 February 2019
Westfield W-League 2018/19 – Round 14
Adelaide United 1 (Jónsdóttir 13’)
Brisbane Roar 0
Venue: Marden Sports Complex