Adelaide fall just short after Canberra draw

Adelaide United’s season has ended in heartbreak after a 1-1 draw with Canberra United at the Adelaide Shores Football Centre.

Needing to take maximum points to be in with a chance of making the finals, the Lady Reds went behind midway through the first half after Veronica Perez put the visitors in front from the penalty spot.

Abby Dahlkemper evened things up in the dying minutes of the first half with an expertly taken shot, but Adelaide could not find the back of the net for a second time.

The Lady Reds made a nervy start to proceedings, allowing Canberra to dominate for much of the first half.

United were unlucky not to break the deadlock through Michelle Heyman after Rebecca Kiting latched onto a misplaced backpass. Kiting’s chipped cross found Heyman in space at the back post but her touch proved too heavy.

Minutes later some slick triangle passing resulted in Emily Condon being played into space down the right hand side. Condon’s inch perfect cross found Tiarn Powell at the back post, but she could not direct her header on target.

Canberra finally opened the scoring on 22 minutes when Perez was sent to the spot. Ashleigh Sykes managed to outpace Isabel Hodgson down the left wing, and was brought down inside the box as she cut in.

United continued their dominance up until the 43rd minute, after Condon’s cross was not properly cleared, with the ball falling perfectly at the feet of Dahlkemper who hit it sweetly on the volley.

The Lady Reds came out with a sense of urgency in the second half and they enjoyed the lion's share of possession as a result.

Substitute Allira Toby caused headaches down the left-hand side and looked a likely avenue for Adelaide on their path to goal, but the Lady Reds failed to capitalise.

The final few minutes were end to end, with goalkeeper Kaitlyn Savage coming up big to deny Nickoletta Flannery in a one-on-one situation, only for Condon to hit the far post seconds later. That proved to be as close as Adelaide would get as the scores ended level.