Storm and power delays fail to halt Sydney's progress in 5-2 thriller
Sydney FC have overcome a resilient Adelaide United 5-2 in a crazy encounter at Cromer Park as a thunderstorm threatened to force the opening game of Westfield W-League Round 7 to be abandoned.
The match, which had to be delayed twice for unsafe weather and a power failure, was a game of the season contender with seven goals scored across the four separate periods of play.
Sydney enjoyed the majority of possession and chances before the first stoppage and should have gone ahead after five minutes when Savannah McCaskill was picked out by Sofia Huerta but her attempted volley was well wide.
Reds goalkeeper Sarah Willacy had to be alert, tipping away a Lisa De Vanna attempt before McCaskill’s attempted chip just cleared the crossbar.
With the match delayed for just under an hour, players had to keep warm as well as mentally switched on as officials waited for the storm to clear.
After the re-start it was Adelaide on the front foot, scoring just two minutes after play had resumed, Veronica Latsko shrugging off Alana Kennedy and beating Aubrey Bledsoe at the far post.
The visitors dug in as the Sky Blues drove forward and were seconds away from entering the official break ahead if not for Huertas’s goal four minutes into injury time.
The American was picked out by Caitlin Foord and rose to meet the cross, heading the ball well out of Willacy’s reach and into the net.
Willacy was again the hero after the break as she denied De Vanna from close range but there was nothing she could do in the 58th minute as Danielle Colaprico gathered a ricocheted shot and shifted it onto her left foot before burying the ball into the bottom left corner.
Despite their continued domination Sydney were again pegged back and again through Latsko, the American getting her head to a Gunnhildur Jonsdottir long ball and giving Bledsoe no chance to tie things up in the 66th minute.
A match of twists and turns continued four minutes later after Princess Ibini was fouled just outside the box on the baseline. The resulting free-kick was curled towards goal by Colaprico and tipped onto the post by Willacy, the rebound falling into the path of a diving McCaskill and into the back of the net.
Perhaps sensing the excitement was too much one of the light towers went out with yet another break required until light was restored.
The result was sealed for the home side in the 89th minute after Ibini was in the right place to tap home a Chloe Logarzo attempt that rebounded back off the post.
Not content with just one to her name the Young Matilda struck again in injury time with a well-driven shot past the diving Willacy.