Adelaide United succumbed to a 1-0 loss to Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium in its final game of the Liberty A-League 2021/22 regular season.
Paige Satchell capitalised on the Reds’ failure to clear their lines from a corner and that goal separated the two teams.
It was a disappointing end to the Club’s most successful campaign, however Adrian Stenta and the team’s attention will turn to an inaugural home final against Melbourne Victory next weekend.
WHAT WENT RIGHT. WHAT WENT WRONG.
What went wrong: Three-game winning streak ends
Losing is never fun. But if there was ever a time to lose a match this was probably it. The Reds had little to play for with third place locked in, aside from arguably continuing momentum. Juxtapose that against a Sydney outfit that could not afford to lose if it wanted to claim a second straight premiership, and you get two different mindsets going into the game. Although Adelaide did fall, it may just prove the defeat we had to have and an opportunity for the squad to take stock, revaluate and reset ahead of a maiden finals campaign.
What went right: Worts wins Golden Boot
She may not have scored today but after 13 goals in 14 matches, Fiona Worts clinched the Golden Boot for the Liberty A-League 2021/22 season and the first Red to achieve the feat. The English forward was leading by one goal after Melbourne City’s Hannah Wilkinson managed just one goal against Western Sydney Wanderers earlier in the day. It was a deserving accolade for a sensational campaign which included finding the net on 11 occasions in her previous six games.
What went wrong: Conceded sloppy goal
Adelaide was punished for its inability to clear the ball from a corner when Satchell’s shot flew into the top corner. It was a shame because the Reds were desperate in defence and made several blocks, clearances and interceptions between the back four throughout the contest.
What went right: Players stepped up
Indeed, the Reds lost, but having been forced to make a couple of changes to his tried and tested starting XI, the players that filled the respective voids for Adrian Stenta gave a solid account of themselves. Emma Stanbury’s industry was noted even if she operated in a more advanced role to begin the game, while Ella Tonkin did not really look out of place as an auxiliary defensive midfielder with Nano Sasaki missing the match via suspension. Emilia Murray also injected energy into the match when she was brought on with her speed creating a few issues for Sydney’s defence.
What went wrong: Questionable penalty decisions
Adelaide appeared to be hard done by when two shouts for ostensibly clear-cut penalties were waved away in the second-half. The Reds appealed for what looked like an obvious handball from a corner as well as a foul later on Emma Stanbury. On another day, at least one of the spot-kicks may have been given but it was not to be.
Sunday, 6 March
Liberty A-League 2021/22 – Matchweek 14
Adelaide United 0
Sydney FC 1 (Satchell 61′ )
Venue: Coopers Stadium