Adelaide Back In Business

Adelaide United 2-1 Canberra United

By Kieran Yap.

Above: Just perfect! Emily Condon shows how delighted she is to have scored the goal that lifts Adelaide United into the top three. Photo: @AUFCWomen

Adelaide United returned to the top three of the W-League with an important win over a Canberra United side who have now won only one of their last four games.

The last time these sides met it was a thrilling 4-3 win to Canberra, on that day Michelle Heyman scored a hatrick and entered the field this week needing only one goal to equal Sam Kerr’s W-League scoring record.

She would get her first opportunity early in the match, she ran onto a long ball behind the Adelaide defense and into a one-on-one with the first gamer and goalkeeper Annalee Grove. A goal looked likely but Matilda McNamara raced back and applied just enough pressure to hurry the shot which Grove saved well.

It would prove a costly miss with Adelaide taking the lead minutes later. A floated ball in by Emily Hodgson was met at the back post by Chelsie Dawber who met it cleanly and cushioned a volley into the back of the net, the pass was perfectly curled in behind the defenders and the finish was sublime leaving Keely Richards with no chance to save it.

Above: Adelaide United celebrate Chelsie Dawber’s opener. Photo: @AUFCWomen

Heyman had another chance to score when Kendall Fletcher slipped a defense splitting pass into her path, Grove rushed off her line to cut down the angle and the prodded shot flew just wide of the far post. Heyman looked certain to score and shocked to miss but the teenage goalkeeper had done very well to cover for her defence.

Adelaide were dominating general play but Canberra had created the most clear-cut chances and in the dying minutes of the first half they finally converted one to equalize. Heyman dropped deep, collected the ball in her own half and playing a long pass to Paige Satchell. The New Zealand winger surged into the penalty area and finished at the near post confidently.

Buoyed by the goal, Canberra began the second half on the front foot, attacking, pressuring and forcing Adelaide into counter-attacks, unlike the first half though, clear-cut chances were hard to come by, when Adelaide were presented with one Emily Condon had no trouble converting it.

A pass out from the back was intercepted and played quickly to Condon around 10 yards from goal. She paused, picked her spot and curled it around her marker and beyond Richards to restore Adelaide’s lead. It was a wonderful composed finish from a player that has been in brilliant form this season.

Above: Adelaide United celebrate a hugely important win. Photo: @AUFCWomen

With Canberra surging forward in search of another goal, Rojas was mostly left isolated up front, this is usually a frustrating thing for strikers, on the basis of this game it might actually be Maria Rojas’ favorite position. She delighted in receiving the ball under pressure, turning in tight spaces and twisting defenders until help arrived or a chance opened up. In a brilliant few minutes she set up Dawber whose shot across goal flew just wide, shot after a solo run that Richards did very well to stop and set up Dawber again after racing down the middle of the ground.

Canberra were being well beaten but Paige Satchell again threatened to restore parity with a powerful dipping shot from just outside the area that beat Grove but not the crossbar it was a reminder that the game was still in the balance.

Adelaide should have been further ahead this point in the game and perhaps their best chance came when Richards played the ball directly to Rojas, the Chilean deserved a goal for her work rate and skill in this match but tried to lift the ball over the keeper who caught it easily.

Rojas remained Canberra’s tormenter, playing in Georgina Campagnale whose shot flew wide and Charlotte Grant tried to join the attacking wave with a run and left foot shot that Richards saved at the near post.

Canberra didn’t give up and kept pressing for a goal, Jessika Nash was playing brave, attacking passes from defense to the midfield and the substitute Laura Hughes was busy after replacing Grace Maher. Michelle Heyman played a perfect pass across the box to Hayley Taylor-Young who took a touch and fired the ball at goal only for Grove again to come to the rescue. The debutant rushed off her line and saved, tipping the ball over the bar, the resulting corner yielded no result.

When the final whistle blew Canberra could feel unlucky not to equalize late but Adelaide would have been disappointed to not put the result beyond all doubt earlier. It was an exciting end to the weekend’s football featuring two sides determined to score, Heyman fans will have to wait at least one more week for her to reach her milestone and Adelaide continue to impress on the march to their first finals campaign.

ADELAIDE UNITED: Grove, I.Hodgson, Grant, McNamara, Waldus, Holmes, Campagnale, Condon, Rojas, Weber, Dawber. Substitutes: Toovey (GK), E.Hodgson, Hogg, Kirkby, Mullan.

Scorers: Dawber 11, Condon 55.

CANBERRA UNITED: Richards, Keir, Ilijoski, Nash, Hunt, Fletcher, Galic, Maher, Heyman, Flannery, Satchell.  Substitutes: James (GK), Foletta, Hughes, Koulizakis, Taylor-Young.

Scorer: Satchell 45.

Referee: Isabella Blaess.

Attendance: 969.

Impetus’ coverage of Australian Women’s Football is supported by The Chicken Salt Co. They are offering every Impetus reader 5% off all orders of Chicken Salt from their website. Go to https://www.chickensalt.co.uk/?mate=impetus and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW

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