Reds seal comeback win over Wanderers in front of record-breaking home crowd
Adelaide United moved back into third on the Westfield W-League table with a 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers in front of a record crowd at Coopers Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
5,159 fans packed the stands to smash the Westfield W-League attendance record and watch their home side come from behind to seal a victory crucial to Adelaide's chances of finishing in the top four.
The Reds got off to a shaky start when Olivia Price netted in the fourth minute of play for the Wanderers, silencing the bumper home crowd. But Isabel Hodgson equalised on 18 minutes, sending the sides to half-time on level terms.
Adelaide emerged from the break desperate to take the lead, with three points the only option for the home side to keep their Finals Series hopes alive. Goals to Maruschka Waldus and Fiona Worts were to follow as the Reds wrapped up a 3-1 win to move back above Canberra United and Melbourne Victory on the congested table.
A nervous wait is now on the cards for Adelaide, who played their last game of the regular season against the Red and Black. Adrian Stenta's side will now watch on as Canberra and Victory play out their remaining games, to see if they can hold onto their slender advantage in the fight for top four ascendancy.
Against a side with incredible backing in the stands, the Wanderers made the perfect start by striking early to silence the home crowd.
Price was the goalscorer for the visitors, squeezing her shot under Sian Fryer-McLaren after latching onto a loose ball in the penalty area to give the Wanderers an unlikely lead.
But the Reds took just 14 minutes to draw level once more when Hodgson appeared in the right place at the right time to gather a cross unmarked at the back post.
Hodgson took one touch to control, then decided for precision over power as she placed the ball off her side-foot into the bottom left corner.
Level at the half, Adelaide faced the challenge of finding a way to win to stay in the hunt for a place in the Finals Series.
The hosts did just that in a productive second half, sparked by Waldus' 50th-minute header to go in front.
Waldus was left all alone in the box as Emily Condon's corner sailed to the back post. The imposing defender stood tall and headed with power, burying the ball into the back of the net.
The icing on the cake came for the Reds in the 63rd minute when Worts doubled her side's advantage.
A smart set-piece situation worked perfectly for Adelaide when Waldus wheeled off her marker and found space to receive a pass from a free-kick situated on the tip of the box. Waldus' strike lacked power and pace but found Worts in the box, who brushed the ball home to make it 3-1 and seal a memorable win on a special day for the home fans.