Melbourne City suffered its first loss of the A-League Women’s season on Saturday evening, going down 3-1 to Western United at AAMI Park.
After falling behind on the scoreboard early in the contest, Emina Ekic levelled the scores for City in the first half, before a Chloe Logarzo brace in the last half hour secured the three points for Western.
After three wins from its first three fixtures to begin the season, Head Coach Dario Vidosic decided to stick with an unchanged line-up.
After appearing from the substitutes bench last week, captain Emma Checker was ruled out due to illness, with Isabella Accardo coming into to the squad.
Starting XI: 1. Sally JAMES (GK), 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 3. Naomi CHINNAMA, 14. Katie BOWEN, 7. Julia GROSSO, 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA (C), 24. Daniela GALIC, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 13. Emina EKIC, 19. Maria Jose ROJAS.
Substitutes: 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 4. Chelsea BLISSETT, 6. Leticia MCKENNA, 20. Caitlin KARIC, 21. Isabella ACCARDO.
With the sun shining down on AAMI Park, Western United struck first in the contest, with Melissa Taranto opening the scoring in just the 2nd minute.
City were quick to up the tempo, dominating possession and creating a number of chances in front of goal in the opening 20 minutes.
Bryleeh Henry came close to finding the equaliser in the 8th minute, with her shot being denied by the upright after some nice play in the build-up from Maria Jose Rojas and Daniela Galic.
Despite trailing on the scoreboard City, continued to create opportunities with the midfield creating chances for the likes of Rojas and Henry up front.
Henry’s relentless pressing of the United backline was rewarded when she won the ball on the right hand side of the box before looking to find Rojas in the middle.
As United attempted to clear the ball from the box, it landed at the feet of Ekic, who showed great skill and composure to turn the defence inside out before firing it into top left corner in the 28th minute to give City the equaliser.
Moments later, Kaitlyn Torpey unlocked the United defence with a deft flick that put Rojas into space, the Chilean’s attempt brushing the side-netting.
All tied up at the break, City almost got off to the perfect start in second half with Rojas fancying her chances from well outside the box with a long-range chip which sailed over the head of the goalkeeper and struck the crossbar.
Rojas was quickly back amongst the action, drawing a penalty after her attempted cross contacted Tyla-Jay Vlajnic’s arm inside the box in the 53rd minute.
However, Pollicina’s attempt from the spot was saved by Western United ‘keeper Hillary Beall, keeping the scores level at 1-1.
While City had more of the chances to start the second half, a superb strike from outside the box from Chloe Logarzo sailed into the top of Sally James’ net to give United the lead once again in the 64th minute.
Western were able to win a penalty in the final stages, which Logarzo despatched with the final kick of the game.