United, Victory share spoils in six-goal thriller

Melbourne Victory came from behind three times to secure a 3-3 draw against Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Sunday.

The six-goal thriller exceeded all expectations as captain Stella Rigon opened the scoring, with Adriana Jones and Monica also netting. However Natasha Dowie (2) and Selin Kuralay drew the Victory level in what was a tantalising contest.

Adelaide’s Katie Naughton almost opening the scoring on seven minutes with a wonderful header that went just wide. However, United did not have to wait long to break the deadlock, as Rigon’s left-footed strike free-kick on 11 minutes found the back of the net after taking a deflection.

Two minutes later, immense pressure from Victory created an equaliser through Dowie. The England international dispossessed United keeper Sarah Willacy, who was found wanting when her attempted clearance was pounced on. On 19 minutes an expert through ball from Danielle Colaprico found Sofia Huerta to provide an assist for Jones, who thumped the ball into goal just inside the six-yard box.

Melbourne Victory had plenty of the ball, but it was Adelaide United who shined through their quick counter-attacks, especially with through balls and long passes to the powerhouse front three of Colaprico, Huerta, and Jones.

The fiery contest and goals continued into the second half as Rachel Alonso swung in a cross for Dowie, and her promising header only narrowly cleared the upright. On the hour mark Dowie connected with a header, this time successfully to find the equaliser once again beating a hapless Willacy.

Monica responded in the 73rd minute with a headed finish from a perfect free-kick delivery. After dangerous chances by both sides, it was Kuralay with a stunning strike from 25 yards that ensured the spoils were shared.

There was one final opportunity for the impressive Huerta to snatch a win, but in truth a defeat for either side would have been cruel.