Resilient Reds defeat Wanderers in front of record-breaking crowd

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A W-League record-breaking 5,159 supporters watched Adelaide United erase an early deficit to defeat the Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 at Coopers Stadium. 

Although Adelaide had many fans watching on, Sunday’s clash got off to a horror start for the Reds when Olivia Price pounced on a loose ball in the box and gave the Wanderers a 1-0 lead inside five minutes.

Instead of crumbling under the pressure of a big game, United was determined to respond immediately.

Using the passion resonating from the record-breaking crowd, Adelaide launched a counter-attack that ended with Isabel Hodgson calmly putting away Mallory Weber’s lofted cross to tie the game, 1-1.

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Sadly for the Reds, rising star, Charlotte Grant succumbed to a leg injury and was replaced by Laura Johns shortly after the equaliser. 

The remainder of the first half was an arm wrestle but neither team could take the lead before the break. 

As soon as the whistle blew to start the second half, Adelaide found their rhythm and attacked with freedom.

After the pressure mounted on the Wanderers, Maruschka Waldus would show everyone her aerial ability and finish off a well-placed corner with her head to give Adelaide a 2-1 advantage. 

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Struggling to find their way back into the game, Western Sydney came close to drawing level again but Leena Khamis’ chip shot dipped too late and landed on top of the United goal.  

Fiona Worts eventually made the Wanderers pay for their misses when she got on the end of a scrappy clearance inside the box and put the game beyond doubt at 3-1 with a close-range strike.

Adelaide head coach, Adrian Stenta was delighted with his side’s performance and hoped the girls could host more games at Coopers Stadium in the future.

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“It’s a wonderful opportunity for them and hopefully playing at Cooper’s won’t be a one-off,” Stenta added.

“It’s great to play here [Coopers Stadium], it’s a fantastic stadium, one of the best in Australia. I’m glad the girls got this opportunity.”

The first-year coach also expressed his gratitude to all the United fans who came out and broke the W-League’s single-game attendance record.

“It would be great if we could get that kind of support for all home games but I’m just thankful for all the supporters that came out,” He said.

“They showed these girls that they are worth coming out to watch, cause I know they are.”

Following the 3-1 result, Adelaide rise to third on the W-League standings but their finals hopes rely on other results in the last round. Meanwhile, Western Sydney remains in sixth. 

Feature image credit: Jordan Trombetta

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Amir Daou
Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity and Bachelor of Media and Communications student at Flinders University. Writing intern covering the latest in Adelaide United news and matches. Sport is my passion and I'm excited to learn more about the industry during my time with The Football Sack.

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