Brisbane Roar 1-1 Adelaide United
by Ben Carey (15/1/23)
Above: Adelaide United celebrate after Chelsie Dawber levelled from the spot. Photo: Adelaide United.
Brisbane Roar drew with Adelaide United in a spirited clash in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon. The Roar came into the match hoping to avenge their humiliating 8-2 defeat to Adelaide from last season. The South Australians was looking to break a three-match losing streak.
Despite the warm weather, there was some very high-energy football in the first 10 minutes of the match with chances up both ends of the pitch. Just shy of five minutes into the match, Katrina Gorry played an amazing ball out to Shea Connors on the left flank, who ran in and crossed it into the box where Indiah-Paige Riley was waiting.
Riley made good connection with the ball and smacked it into the back of the net. However, the goal was immediately disallowed for offside. But it was a warning shot to the Adelaide defence.
Two minutes later, Adelaide had a good chance down the other end, when Emilia Murray worked her way past the Brisbane backline and seemed to have beaten Hensley Hancuff in the Brisbane goal, but she flashed the ball just wide. In the 25th minute, Talitha Kramer, starting for the first time for Brisbane Roar, made an incredible run up the field, outfoxing an Adelaide defender, and took a good shot at goal.
Kramer had beaten Annalee Grove, the Adelaide keeper, but Marushka Waldus, the Dutch international, managed to clear it off the line with a header. But the ball didn’t go very far and was pounced on by the ever-present Riley, who found the back of the net. It was her first game of the season and she already had her first goal 25 minutes in.
A few minutes before halftime, Fiona Worts found herself in an acre of space and crossed it into the box, but the closest striker, Emilia Murray, couldn’t catch up to it and it rolled wide.
The last meaningful action of the first half was a skirmish in the Adelaide box. Larisa Crummer managed to win possession and play the ball back to Gorry, who took a first-time shot at goal, but it hit the woodwork and bounced out to safety, much to the relief of the Adelaide supporters.
The second half started with a bang, after a blind attempt on goal from Waldus hit the hand of a Brisbane defender and resulted in a penalty kick being awarded. The Adelaide captain, and all-time leading goal scorer, Chelsie Dawber, stepped up to the spot and slotted it past a diving Hancuff, who guessed the right way but just couldn’t reach the ball.
After the equalizer, Brisbane started applying a lot more pressure to the Adelaide defence, who looked like they were tiring. Understandable, seeing as this was their third game in a week.
Just after the hour mark, Norrie ran past three Adelaide defenders in the box and took a shot at goals but couldn’t wrap her foot around the outside of the ball and it sailed wide. A couple of minutes later, a long throw by Jessie Rasschaert resulted in a high ball, which Gorry took out of the air, but once again the woodwork came to the rescue for Adelaide.
Soon after, Adelaide had an excellent chance on goal, after Brisbane failed to clear it twice. Dawber passed to Murray, who took a shot, but it sailed just over the crossbar. A couple of minutes later, the Roar had perhaps their best opportunity of the half. Connors, being an absolute nuisance in the box, earned a corner kick, which was delivered brilliantly by Gorry into the box. She was able to find her Vittsjö teammate Kasja Lind, but Lind was unable to find any meaningful connection with the ball, resulting in an easy save for Grove.
Ten minutes later, Murray was charging forward, looking very dangerous, but Jamilla Rankin made a superb slide tackle just outside the 18-yard box to deny her.
The closing stages were frantic and nervy. In the 82nd minute, there was a high-energy battle in the midfield, which was won by Adelaide. Dawber found herself in a prime position to slot it through the legs of Hancuff in goal. Thankfully for the home crowd, the goal was disallowed due to an offside call. The clash was turning into a tale of near misses and disallowed goals.
In the dying minutes of the match, Adelaide mounted a relentless attack, testing the Brisbane defence and Hancuff to the limits, but the Roar managed to hold on and force a draw.
It was a frustrating draw all round, as both sides were looking to close the gap between them and the top four. Still, it was an entertaining match. It was also a very physical encounter, Brisbane committing 17 fouls and conceding a whopping four yellow cards. Adelaide committed 11 fouls but received no yellows.
While neither team was able to get across the line, there were a lot of standout performances. Gorry’s work rate was impressive, as always, as was her service into the final third, which set up a number of great goalscoring chances. She also hit the woodwork twice. On another day she’d have a brace and Brisbane would be home and hosed. But that’s football.
Riley also had an incredible first game back with Brisbane Roar. She scored her first goal in the A-League since 2020. The last two years she has been playing for top Danish club Fortuna Hjørring. She has already proved to be an effective injury replacement for Mariel Hecher.
On the other side of the field, Dawber had a great game, scoring her third of the season, and helping set up a number of other opportunities through the match. Waldus in defence and Grove in goals also put in an impressive shift, denying the Roar on numerous occasions.
Adelaide United will have a week to rest ahead of their clash with Melbourne Victory next weekend. Brisbane Roar will face the dreaded Western United away from home.
Teams: BRISBANE ROAR (4-1-4-1): Hancuff, Rasschaert, Lind, Rankin, Kramer, Norrie, Palmer, Gorry, Connors, Riley, Crummer. Substitutes: McQueen, Kruger, Freier, Levin, Bailey.
Scorers: Riley 25’.
ADELAIDE UNITED (4-3-3): Grove, I. Hodgson, Sasaki, Waldus, Hayward, Barbieri, Holmes, Westland, Murray, Dawber, Worts. Substitutes: Farrow, Coorey, E. Hodgson, Tolland, Xiao.
Scorers: Dawber (pen) 47’.
Referee: Bec Mackie.