Round 5 of the Liberty A-League season wrapped up on Sunday afternoon, with three action-packed fixtures providing talking points aplenty.
After defending champions Sydney FC conquered Adelaide United following their AFC Women’s Club Championship campaign, the attention turned to a pair of simultaneous fixtures.
Western United travelled to Queensland to return to winning ways in a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar, before a Holly McNamara-inspired Melbourne City comeback in a 3-2 win over Newcastle Jets on the road – soured by a late injury scare for the recently-recalled Matildas winger.
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Adelaide United 1-3 Sydney FC – Marden Sports Complex
Fiona Worts enjoyed a goalscoring reunion with Adelaide United to help reigning Liberty A-League champions Sydney FC to a 3-1 victory.
Worts came back to haunt her former side with two goals in the span of six first-half minutes as Sydney returned to league action for the first time since October 21, when they lost to Brisbane Roar, due to the international break and their commitments in the AFC Women’s Championship.
The Sky Blues were based in Uzbekistan for their three group-stage fixtures, defeating Bam Khatoon and Nasaf, before falling to a 3-0 loss to Hyundai Steel Red Angels last week that saw them eliminated from the competition.
On the road to the winless Reds on Sunday, Worts’ quick-fire double put Sydney into a 2-0 lead by the 26-minute mark before Adelaide rallied through Hannah Blake’s goal in first-half stoppage time but Princess Ibini’s 79th-minute penalty put the result beyond doubt.
Brisbane Roar 0-1 Western United – Ballymore Stadium
Western United spoiled Alex Smith’s first game in charge of Brisbane Roar after emerging 1-0 victors in the Liberty A-League on Sunday.
Brisbane appointed Smith to his first A-Leagues head coaching role earlier in the week following the departure of Garrath McPherson but his bow did not go according to plan at Ballymore Stadium.
Kahli Johnson’s 10th-minute goal was all that separated the two sides as 2022-23 Grand Finalists Western returned to winning ways after two games without a victory, while the Roar’s winless run extended to three matches.
MATCH REPORT: Western return to winning ways to spoil Roar boss’ coaching bow
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Newcastle Jets 2-3 Melbourne City – Newcastle Sports Ground No.2
Melbourne City star Holly McNamara scored two late goals in her side’s 3-2 win over Newcastle Jets on Sunday afternoon – but from the elation of a comeback victory comes immediate injury fears for the recently-recalled Matildas winger.
McNamara bagged a brace to turn City’s 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead in second-half stoppage time – but in the process of squeezing her second goal past out-rushing Jets goalkeeper Isobel Nino, succumbed to what appeared to be a knee injury, and was stretchered off the pitch after a lengthy delay.
The 20-year-old, who has suffered two ACL injuries in her career to date, was named in Tony Gustavsson’s Matildas squad this week ahead of a pair of friendlies against Canada scheduled for early December.
McNamara’s late brace came against a much-improved Jets outfit inspired by returning Matildas star Emily van Egmond who put one goal and one assist on the board in the first of four games back at her hometown club on a guest stint.
Van Egmond and Lara Gooch scored the first-half goals for Newcastle, after Daniela Galic’s early strike gave City a 1-0 lead. But the visitors dominated the second stanza, with McNamara’s goals turning defeat into victory and taking City level with league leaders Perth Glory on 13 points at the top of the table.