W-League: Hard working Adelaide shocks Perth

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Adelaide United has pulled off an upset victory against league leaders Perth Glory in their W-League fixture at Adelaide Shores on Saturday afternoon, handing the visitors their first defeat of the season.

Kristy Moore’s third goal in two matches was the difference between the two sides in a tie which was far more exciting than its 1-0 score line represented.

Moore consistently put the sword to Perth Glory’s defenders, making a number of runs and being denied by the post before putting an easy chance away in the 61st minute after she cleared her marker and stepped around Glory keeper Mackenie Arnold, finishing her great run with the calmest of finishes.

In the opening 15 minutes, Adelaide pushed hard at a sluggish Perth outfit as the Lady Reds took a number of shots and crossed the ball in regularly, only to be let down by poor accuracy.

The best first half chance came in the 12th minute when Katrine Pedersen took a free kick from just outside the box. Her curving effort looked all but in until the very last moment when it smacked into the left post and bounced clear.

The close shave seemed to bring Perth into the game as skipper Kathryn Gill and Caitlin Foord had a number of shots, but they rarely made Adelaide’s keeper Melissa Barbieri sweat.

Despite the high tempo football on display, the teams went into the break without scoring, but it seemed inevitable that that would change, and change it did as the Lady Reds resumed the second half in the same way that they started the first, with fast runs and long balls to Moore at the front.

Once Moore put her charges ahead, Perth was forced to chase the game and spent the final 30 minutes of the match pressing the Reds defenders. Despite their efforts, and at times superior skill, Glory were forced to take most of their shots from distance, and almost all of them went harmlessly over the bar.

The win is Adelaide United’s second of the season, after their heroic upset against Canberra a week ago, and their first at home.

Speaking after the match, Adelaide’s coach Ross Aloisi said that his team was elated with their victory, and that he was personally pleased with the change in form after a series of comprehensive losses.

“Playing against the team that is top of the table and is smashing everyone, makes this win all the more special,” Aloisi said.

“I have to say, it was well deserved in the end, because we hit the post twice and Kristy Moore’s header got saved off the line in the second half.

“We always thought we could get a win in this game,” he said.

In the other dugout, Perth boss Jamie Harnwell rued his teams missed opportunities, saying the performance was uncharacteristic for his previously unbeaten side.

“We had a fair amount of possession, and created some chances, but the finished product probably wasn’t there today,” Harnwell said.

“I thought they’d press us early… in the first 15 minutes they did really well, but after that we got ourselves into the game.

“I just don’t think we matched them enough in terms of endeavour and commitment. They got the first and second chances, they got good tackles in, worked hard for each other and made it hard for us,” he said.

Adelaide plays Melbourne Victory at Adelaide Shores in its next match on Wednesday night, while Perth will take on the same opponent in Melbourne next Sunday.

Adelaide United starting XI:  1. Melissa Barbieri (GK), 2. Monique Iannella, 3. Danielle Brogan, 7. Katrine Pedersen, 8. Emily Condon (87’ off), 9. Lisa-Marie Woods, 11. Isabel Hodgson, 12. Daila-Tais Borg, 15. Jenna McCormick, 16. Katie Holtham (87’ off), 23. Kristy Moore (C)

Adelaide United substitutes: 6. Dylan Holmes, 10. Alexandra Chidiac (87’ on), 17. Tiarn Powell (87’ on), 20. Sarah Willacy (GK)

Perth Glory starting XI: 1 Mackenzie Arnold (GK), 2. Sarah Carroll (72’ off), 4. Bronwyn Studman, 5. Shannon May, 6. Alanna Kennedy, 7. Gabrielle Marzano, 8,  Shawn Billam (60’ off), 9. Caitlin Foord, 12. Kathryn Gill (C), 15. Shelina Zadorsky, 17. Marianna Tabain

Adelaide United substitutes: 3. Cary Hawkins (72’ on), 13. Elisa D’Ovidio (60’ on), 16. Thia Eastman, 18. Gabrielle Dal Busco (GK)

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