Red Hot Adelaide Roar Ahead In Finals Race

Brisbane Roar 2-8 Adelaide United

Above: Adelaide United celebrate during a sensational performance at Brisbane today. Photo: Adelaide United.

By Ben Gilby (13/2/22)

Adelaide United put in a sensational performance to put Brisbane Roar to the sword in some style at Moreton Daily Stadium.

This incredible win, earned courtesy of five goals from Fiona Worts, in conjunction with Finals rivals Perth Glory suffering a 4-0 loss to Melbourne City, puts the South Australian side in the driving seat to claim a top-four place for the first time.

Roar were forced onto the back foot by an extreme high press from the visitors which gave Adrian Stenta’s side the momentum from the earliest of stages.

Adelaide took only 13 minutes to take the lead. Emily Hodgson was fouled by Mariel Hecher in the centre circle. Brisbane looked to have dealt with the danger when Natalie Tathem played the ball comfortably back to her goalkeeper Mia Bailey.

Unfortunately, the 17-year-old custodian’s first touch was too heavy and then was forced into a rushed clearance by Worts which led to a weak pass straight into the path of Chelsie Dawber. The locally produced striker in her current form did not need a second invitation to slot home.

Above: Celebrations for Adelaide Untied. Photo: Adelaide United.

With 20 minutes on the clock, Hecher had a great chance, running through from the left after exchanging wings and producing a shot that Adelaide keeper Annalie Grove blocked.

Adelaide responded well with 23 minutes gone, and forced back-to-back corners for the second time in quick succession. Emily Condon’s ball from the left curled in viciously on the strong breeze. Kayla Sharples got up highest to launch a header, but it was Roar’s Hollie Palmer who deflected the ball past her own goalkeeper for 2-0.

It took just a further 10 minutes for Worts to make the most of another unfortunate moment for Bailey in the Brisbane goal. Dylan Holmes, running centrally played in Dawber on the right. The striker’s low shot across the box was initially claimed by Bailey, but she couldn’t hold on as the ball went straight to Worts who couldn’t miss from four yards.

It was very nearly four shortly afterwards as Reona Omiya found Dawber, but her shot rolled agonizingly wide of the left-hand post.

Two minutes before the break it was 4-0. The move started at the back with Sharples initiating a move with a long ball towards the right which eventually found Isabel Hodgson. She beat Anna Margraf and played in Dawber who put in a superb low ball across for Worts who skilfully directed the ball into the far corner of the net.

Above: Five goal Fiona Worts (left) and Chelsie Dawber – who are now positioned third and second respectively on the leading goalscorers charts. Photo: Adelaide United.

Any hopes that Brisbane may have had that Adelaide would take their foot off the gas in the second half were quickly dispelled as United continued to attack.

Ten minutes into the second period, Condon pulled a corner to the near post which held up in the wind, and Matilda McNamara got up to direct a back header into the far corner of the net.

Just when the Roar may have thought things couldn’t get any worse, they conceded again within 120 seconds as Worts completed her hat-trick.

Katrina Gorry had the ball taken off her in a robust challenge from Holmes who advanced towards the box and curled a delicious pass with the inside of her foot into the path of Worts who ran in at the back post to crash home.

A third goal in four minutes then followed, but fortunately for the home fans, this one went their way.

Above: Despite the best efforts of Katrina Gorry (right), Brisbane were on the receiving end of their record defeat. Photo: Brisbane Roar.

Gorry ran onto the ball in the centre, just outside the box beat McNamara and pulled the ball across the box for Shea Connors to sidefoot home from close range.

Roar rallied briefly with Connors seemingly popping up everywhere with the tempo picking up a level once more. Ayesha Norrie hit a long-range effort which Grove gathered on the bounce.

Adelaide rode out the storm and responded in style with a seventh. Condon released Worts and she drove sensationally past Jessie Rasschaert and lifted the ball over the diving Bailey who, in the process injured herself and had to leave the field of play. Isabella Shuttleworth came off the bench to make her A-League Women debut.

The chances continued to rain in on the Brisbane goal. Dawber raced along the right, beating Margraf and found Condon who saw her effort crash back off the far post. The rebound landed kindly for Worts who drove a shot that Shuttleworth held superbly.

Above: Fiona Worts – who will remember this performance for life. Photo: Adelaide United.

With 25 minutes to play, Adelaide hit their eighth as Gorry lost possession to Omiga. Possession was then provided to Worts. The striker played in Dawber who was wrapped up by the Roar, only for the ball to find its way for Worts to fire across Shuttleworth.

The final word in the goalscoring stakes went Roar’s way as Connors grabbed her second.

Brisbane won a free kick on the right-hand side. Gorry’s fierce effort was too hot for Grove to handle and she could only parry the ball into Connors’ path inside the six-yard box to score.

Adelaide ended the afternoon on the front foot still with Worts having an effort blocked in search of her sixth goal.

Above: Adelaide United celebrate after the game. Photo: Adelaide United.

There are tough questions for Brisbane Roar head coach Garrath McPherson to answer now. His team are not playing badly and have some superb creativity within their ranks, but they have a habit of conceding far too many goals and this thorough outclassing is not something Roar fans are used to.

Teams: BRISBANE ROAR (4-3-3): Bailey, Tathem, Rasschaert, Rankin, Margraf, Palmer, Norrie, Gorry, Hecher, Crummer, Connors. Substitutes: Shuttleworth (GK), Kitano, Clough, McElligott, Davern.

Goals: Connors 59′, 80′.

ADELAIDE UNITED (4-3-3): Grove, I.Hodgson, McNamara, Sharples, E.Hodgson, Omiga, Sasaki, Holmes, Dawber, Condon, Worts. Substitutes: Templeman (GK), Stanbury, Evans, Beaumont, Varley.

Goals: Dawber 13′, Palmer (OG) 23′. Worts 33′, 43′, 57′, 64′, 74′. McNamara 55′.

Referee: Rachel Mitchenson.

Attendance: 1,000.

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

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