W-League: Wanderers’ Falkon punch leaves Adelaide sore and sorry

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An entertaining affair at Marden Sports Complex fell the way of Western Sydney who defeated Adelaide United 2-1 thanks to a 72nd minute winner from Lee Falkon.

Despite the teams eight points adrift of the top four in 8th and 9th heading into the clash the encounter scarcely felt like a wooden spoon playoff.

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Both sides retained their steely gaze towards the finals and that was reflected in a high-quality affair.

The Reds had Sarah Willacy to thank following some stunning reaction saves early.

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But the Wanderers were still able to capitalise on their offensive dominance through Marlous Pieete, who herself capitalised on an awful mix-up in Adelaide’s defence to finish past Willacy.

The hosts responded brightly to the setback though and Makenzy Doniak equalized in the 31st minute.

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It was on the back of a brilliant assist by Laura Johns who saved an over-hit cross before pulling the ball back to the American.

Alex Chidiac was at her sparkling best, perhaps deserving of her 30-yard drive that cannoned off the right post.

The Wanderers were always dangerous though and Lee Falkon finished smartly to the right to steal the spoils.

In her best performance for the year, Chidiac showed the nerve, spark and finesse that has seen the 18-year-old earn four caps for the Matildas.

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And although visibly shattered, coach Ivan Karlovic still managed to dish off plaudits for his integral playmaker.

“Alex to her standards probably hasn’t been her best early on, but she’s progressively gotten better and I thought she was excellent tonight,” said the disheartened coach.

“It was the best game she’s played for us this year.

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“She really gave us attacking drive, unfortunately we were just unable to capitalise on our opportunities.”

It’s a familiar tale for United fans to absorb.

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Today’s announcement of Adelaide legend Travis Dodd joining the coaching ranks failed to spark any turnaround in fortunes either.

“The pleasing thing is that we’re creating, we just have to execute better,” said Karlovic.

“Once you start to miss it starts to compound and players lose their confidence, but I don’t think there’s any reason for us to lose our confidence.

“We are playing really good football and have shown the ability to get results against the top sides.”

With two weeks until the Reds face-off against Sydney, they remain a mathematical chance to suit up in the postseason.

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But for that to occur the floodgates have to fall when they host the league-leaders.

“We have been working on all the attacking stuff at training, it’s not as if they’re not getting it,” Karlovic explained.

“It could be that there’s a game where it just clicks and we score three or four.

“Hopefully that’s against Sydney.”

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Benito Carbone
Benito Carbone
Adelaide-based writer, content creator and story-teller. Like one of those determined ants that require a second flick.

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