An injury-time equaliser from Wanderers forward Catherine Cannuli denied Adelaide United an unlikely winning start to their Westfield W-League season.
An injury-time equaliser from Western Sydney Wanderers forward Catherine Cannuli denied Adelaide United an unlikely winning start to their Westfield W-League season.
The new-look Adelaide, having collected the wooden spoon in each of the past three years, went ahead just past the half-hour with a goal from Alexandra Gummer on her league debut.
It was a goal earned largely against the run of play but seemed set to earn the robust Lady Reds all three points against a Wanderers side without key players Mackenzie Arnold, Heather Garriock, Servet Uzunlar and Alanna Kennedy.
The match was largely a scrappy encounter on a greasy Marconi Stadium following drizzle throughout the day.
Both sets of players gave their all but the goalkeepers had little to do in the opening half, although the lively Michelle Carney came close on her W-League return after several years- absence.
Gummer broke the deadlock when she stabbed the ball home from close range after the home side failed to clear the ball after a corner.
The Wanderers looked without a cutting edge in attack for long periods despite having the better of possession.
The match sparked to life late on and Adelaide spurned two golden opportunities within a minute.
Firstly, substitute Tegan Riding rounded the goalkeeper but failed to hit an open net from 40 yards.
United captain Kristy Moore chipped just wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Moments earlier Catherine Cannuli blazed a sweet volley towards goal but Melissa Barbieri somehow finger-tipped it wide.
Cannuli was not to be denied, however, and she crashed an unstoppable shot home in a near replica of Adelaide-s goal.
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Catherine Cannuli 92-) Adelaide United 1 (Alexandra Gummer 31-)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Dimi Poulos (gk), Caitlin Cooper, Shawna Gordon, Emily Van Egmond, Rachael Soutar (Jessica Seaman 63-), Tori Huster, Jenna Kingsley, Michelle Carney, Catherine Cannuli, Teigan Allen, Jordan Baker (Linda O-Neill 63-)
Subs: Helen Petinos, Georgia Rowntree (gk)
Adelaide United: Melissa Barbieri (gk), Bianca Gray, Alexandra Gummer, Jessie Wharepouri (Jessica Waterhouse 88-), Laura Stockdale, Rachael Quigley, Daila-Tais Borg, Jayah Brown (Isabel Hodgson 61-), Jenna McCormick, Tiarn Powell (Tegan Riding 78-), Kristy Moore
Subs: Jessica Waterhouse, Kelly Barltrop (gk)