Heroic Moments: Campagnale breaks City hearts to salvage point and record
Round 5 of the Westfield W-League threw up some incredible moments, but how could we look past Georgia Campagnale’s 97th-minute equaliser against Melbourne City?
The 21-year-old had been on the pitch for just over ten minutes and parity appeared to be creeping out of Adelaide United’s reach.
Ivan Karlović’s Lady Reds were seconds from their first defeat of the 2018/19 Season.
READ: Cool-headed Heyman delivers in the end for Adelaide United
FULL-TIME HIGHLIGHTS: Melbourne City v Adelaide United
Then, the unthinkable happened.
Amber Brooks received the ball with her back to goal and slid the ball across the 18-yard-line into what appeared to be the path of Michelle Heyman.
But the Westfield Matildas striker showed calm of the highest order, allowing the ball to roll across her and into Campagnale's orbit.
That Adelaide’s substitute was able to steady herself and find the bottom corner past Lydia Williams, at such a crucial point in the game, is more than enough to earn Campagnale the Round 5 Heroic Moment.
Campagnale’s goal was worth more than just one point though. It maintained Adelaide’s unbeaten record and helped them keep pace with league-leaders Melbourne Victory who are beginning to create a gap at the summit.
Simon back to her best
Melbourne City haven’t had too much to cheer about in the 2018/19 Season thus far, but things may get a little brighter with Kyah Simon returning to the scoresheet.
The 27-year-old has had a torrid injury run over the past 18 months, so to see her stringing together consecutive appearances will please Westfield Matildas fans.
Her goal against Adelaide United would have pleased fans even more and, if not for Campagnale's late leveller, would have been a much-needed winner for the three-time champions.
Regardless, Simon has now shaken the proverbial monkey off her back, getting the ball rolling as she tries to lead City to the Finals Series and defend their crown.
Nairn outshines Ledbrook’s loud return
Speaking of Melbourne, Victory are having a cracker of a 2018/19 Season, enjoying four wins and a draw to race out of the blocks.
And leading the charge has been Christine Nairn.
The USA international headed into Round 5 having a league-high 14 chances in four games, averaging almost three chances per game.
She created another two chances in Victory’s onslaught, but they weren’t being converted into goals.
So sometimes when you want something done, it’s better to do it yourself.
Nairn did just that in Round 5, reacting quickest to Emily Gielnik’s shot which cannoned off the crossbar.
The 28-year-old put her body on the line to grab her first goal of the 2018/19 Season and cemented herself as one of the Westfield W-League's most dangerous players.
The goal proved crucial for Jeff Hopkins’s side as the Wanderers would halve the deficit courtesy of a Kylie Ledbrook screamer.
Servet Uzunlar fought in the middle to win possession, playing the ball back to a supporting Ledbrook who was more than 40 yards out.
Uzunlar could not have dreamed her pass would become an assist, but that’s exactly what happened thanks to Ledbrook’s laser-sharp finish.
Time appeared to stop as Lebdrook’s shot flew through the air and over a sprawling Casey Dumont into the top-left corner.
Amy Harrison’s long-awaited return
When Amy Harrison fell down in a heap on January 7 against Newcastle Jets, a return to first-team action seemed but a distant pipe dream.
Scans confirmed the 22-year-old had suffered a serious knee injury, rupturing her ACL and MCL in an innocuous fall.
It was Harrison’s second serious knee injury, succumbing to a similar injury a year earlier in the other knee.
So to see Harrison not only return, but start, in Sydney FC’s match against Canberra United was a moment every football fan would be proud of.
It takes a lot of guts to be able to return to full fitness, let alone full intensity. Harrison showed just that, throwing herself into challenges and putting her body on the line as Sydney FC chased an equaliser in Canberra.
Bravo, Amy Harrison, we wish you all the best for the 2018/19 Season and beyond.
Karly Roestbakken tees off in style
It’s hard to believe Karly Roestbakken is only 17-years-old when she’s firing home belters from outside the box.
Roestbakken had played three games already for Canberra United this season, going above and beyond on each occasion and playing the full 90 minutes.
It’s therefore no surprise that on her fourth start, Roestbakken let fly.
Olivia Price held up the ball superbly with her back to goal, and laid it back to Roestbakken who found some space just outside the box.
No touch was needed as Roestbakken struck the ball with her instep, bending it past Aubrey Bledsloe who could only watch as the ball flew into the corner of the net.
More remarkably, Roestbakken had lay on the ground minutes earlier in what appeared to be a genuine injury concern.
But her bounce-back encapsulated that of her team who now have their second win of the season and are back in finals contention.
Ubogagu roars at McDonald Jones
Chioma Ubogagu is having quite a year.
The 26-year-old made her debut for England in November, before scoring her maiden Westfield W-League goal in Brisbane Roar’s 1-0 victory over Newcastle Jets.
The goal was somewhat fortunate as Yuki Nagasato’s attempted shot fell into the path of Ubogagu.
But luck is only half the equation, as the England international still had a job to do in finding the net at a crucial part of the game.
As it turned out, the task was easily surmounted by Ubogagu, firing past Britt Eckerstrom and catapulting Brisbane up to equal-fourth on the ladder, six points behind ladder-leaders Melbourne Victory.