Melbourne City FC were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at Lakeside Stadium as Sarah Willacy saved a late penalty to deny Patrick Kisnorbo’s side the chance to move into the top four on the Westfield W-League table.
City’s Ashley Hatch registered her first goal for the club when her glancing header put the home side in front in the 14th minute, a reward for their early dominance.
The second-half was a similar tale to the first as Patrick Kisnorbo’s side controlled proceedings but failed to capitalise on their dominance in front of goal. City’s inability to find the back of the net ultimately cost them all three points as Mautz’s 73rd minute strike ensured that the spoils were shared.
City will look to return to winning ways when they host Canberra United in a double header with the Club’s Men’s team at AAMI Park next Sunday.
Head Coach Patrick Kisnorbo made two changes to the starting XI that faced Sydney FC in City’s 3-2 loss in Round 4, Matildas shot stopper Lydia Williams returned to the squad as Welsh maestro Jess Fishlock returned from international duty.
Steph Catley’s shot on goal in the 3rd minute set the tone for the home side, as City came out of the blocks firing against the Reds.
Makenzy Doniak had a chance to put the visitors in front against the run of play when she met Adriana Jones’ cross, but her header sailed over the crossbar.
City continued to press and put Ivan Karlovic’s side under pressure, Alanna Kennedy’s header sailed over the cross bar from a corner as Kyah Simon’s powerful shot was stopped by Emma Checker on the last line of defence.
Jess Fishlock and Yukari Kinga were the catalysts for most of City’s attacking play in the opening 45 minutes, Fishlock’s creativity combined with Kinga’s vision continued to trouble Adelaide.
After continued dominance, City were eventually able to break the deadlock in the 14th minute when Ashley Hatch registered her first goal for the club. Rebekah Stott’s delightful cross found the American who headed home past Sarah Willacy.
The 22-year-old had several shots on target in the first-half as she dominated proceedings on the right wing.
Jenna McCormick was shown a yellow card in the 16th minute for a foul on Lydia Williams following a solid punch from the Matildas goalkeeper.
Although City’s supremacy was evident, the understanding between Jones and Doniak grew as the half progressed, with the latter being Adelaide’s most dangerous attacker.
Patrick Kisnorbo’s side continued to dictate proceedings but were left frustrated by the finishing product in the final third.
Catley worked tirelessly on the left wing creating several chances for her teammates with her lethal left foot. Kennedy and Barnes’ partnership at the centre of defence continues to go from strength to strength, with Kennedy’s ability to read the play a standout.
The result could have been beyond doubt by the half-time interval if it weren’t for United’s Willacy, the shot-stopper made several vital saves to deny the home side ensuring that the first half ended 1-0.
Adelaide United had a chance to equalise early in the second-half when Mautz hit the upright in the 51st minute after Doniak’s delightful through ball, a chance that appeared to kick-starta City rally.
City turned the ascendency as Hatch cut inside nicely to turn Campagnale inside out but her left-footed strike sailed inches too high, two minutes later the Californian had another chance to make it 2-0 when she went one-on-one with Willacy but the keeper’s pressure forced her shot wide.
Kennedy pierced open the Adelaide midfield with several decisive passes from defence, allowing Fishlock and Simon to attack the Reds’ back four at pace and expose the gaping holes.
The ever-reliable Amy Jackson anchored the midfield adding to the stability of Barnes and Kennedy at the back.
City missed a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 in the 69th minute when Simon found Fishlock in the box – the Welsh star’s ball missed Larissa Crummer by only inches across the face of the goal.
Wasted opportunities came back to haunt City in the 73rd minute, when McCormick’s cross was buried by Mautz inside the box to level proceedings 1-1 against the run of play.
After Adelaide drew level, Kisnorbo’s side again responded but were ultimately left frustrated by missed opportunities in front of goal.
Barnes’ free kick in the 81st minute was met by Kennedy, but the 22-year-olds towering header glanced across the face of goal.
Fishlock was then fouled inside the box in the 88th minute when Willacy spilled the ball and took the midfielder to ground. Simon stepped up with an opportunity to secure all three points for the home side but was denied by Willacy’s excellent diving save, as the keeper made up for her error.
City’s last chance of the game came in the 92nd minute when Kennedy again met a Simon corner, but the centre-backs header flew over the cross bar.
Westfield W-League Round 6
Sunday, 3 December 2017
Melbourne City FC 1
Adelaide United 1
Venue: Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park
Melbourne City FC: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (GK), 2. Yukari KINGA, 3. Lauren BARNES, 4. Ashley HATCH, 7. Steph CATLEY (C), 9. Larissa CRUMMER (11. Rhali DOBSON 78′), 10. Jess FISHLOCK, 13. Rebekah STOTT, 14. Alanna KENNEDY, 15. Amy JACKSON, 17. Kyah SIMON,
Substitutes not used: 6. Aivi LUIK, 19. Tyla-Jay VLAJNIC, 23. Melissa HUDSON (GK)
Head Coach: Patrick KISNORBO
Adelaide United: 3. Makenzy DONIAK, 4. Alyssa MAUTZ, 5. Jenna McCORMICK, 6. Georgia CAMPAGNALE, 8. Emily CONDON, 9. Adriana JONES, 10. Alex CHIDIAC, 11. Laura JOHNS, 12. Chelsie DAWBER, 13. Nora PEAT, 15. Emma CHECKER (c), 20. Sarah WILLACY (gk), 24. Danielle COLAPRICO, 25. Katie NAUGHTON
Substitutes not used: 30. Evelyn GOLDSMITH (gk)
Head Coach: Ivan KARLOVIC