Roar survive Reds fightback to win five-goal thriller
Brisbane Roar have reminded rivals they remain a finals threat with a see-sawing 3-2 win over Adelaide United at Lions FC Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Westfield Matildas star Hayley Raso shone bright with a double for the Roar as they notched their second win on the bounce to go fifth on the Westfield W-League table.
Indiah-Paige Riley gave the hosts the perfect start when she tucked away the opening goal just four minutes into the contest at Lions Stadium, and Raso then doubled the advantage in the 12th minute with a composed, angled finish to underscore the hosts’ early dominance.
A sharp finish from Mary Fowler pulled a goal back for Adelaide midway through the first half in one of several momentum shifts that defined the contest.
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With 15 minutes to play Adelaide drew level through a classy strike from Mallory Weber, but Raso’s second goal of the contest – tucked away into an empty net after she touched past the outrushing Sarah Willacy in the 83rd minute – proved the deciding factor.
The points are the Roar’s first at home this season after coming up empty-handed in their first two home matches of the campaign.
Adelaide remain without a competition point after four straight defeats to start their season, but put paid to a two-match scoreless run.
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The Roar made a quick-fire start to the contest when they capitalised on an Adelaide turnover just 4 minutes into the contest, as Carlson Pickett’s ball to the back post was cut back by Rylee Baisden for Riley to convert.
The Roar continued to look likely as Katrina Gorry and Raso drew saves from Willacy, before Tameka Yallop’s curling shot left Willacy flat-footed only to find the crossbar.
The pressure told in the 12th minute when Raso doubled the lead on the back of a cross from Baisden – shaking her marker in the box before slipping a well-placed finish past Willacy on the angle.
Adelaide righted their shaky start and soon began to find opportunities as Isabel Hodgson poked wide after being played in behind the Roar’s lines.
But the visitor’s broke-through soon after through Fowler, who sent a low drive into the bottom corner in the 25th minute for her second goal of the campaign.
However, Fowler spurned a chance in the 30th minute to level terms – scooping her shot at close range over the crossbar after being set up by a clever back heel from Araujo.
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Hodgson was next for threaten for Adelaide on 39 minutes with a rising strike going high of the target, while Roar’s last chance of the half came as Gorry’s long range strike was tipped on to the crossbar by a back-tracking Willacy.
The hosts looked to replicate their fast start in the second stanza through Baisden, who sent a shot across the face before drawing a save from Willacy in the 53rd minute.
Yallop was next to call on Willacy just minutes later – forcing a tipped save as the Roar looked to apply the screws – and drew another save in the 63rd minute from a similar position after being found in space in the box by a Natalie Tathem cross.
Gorry failed to threaten with a free-kick and Yallop again shot high of the target either side of the second half drinks break.
The Roar paid for their wastefulness in the 76th minute when Weber struck – cutting inside outside the box before guiding a shot into the bottom corner on the bounce past Mackenzie Arnold.
However, another twist awaited as Raso restored the hosts’ lead in the 84th minute, tucking away into an empty net after being slipped through the Adelaide line by Tathem.
A final chance presented for Adelaide in time added when Weber found the apex of the goal with a strike from distance that caught Arnold by surprise.