The Liberty A-League took centre stage on Sunday, January 16 with three fixtures keeping you entertained through the afternoon and into the evening.
Front runners Sydney FC and second-placed Melbourne City extended their advantage over the remainder of the competition with respective wins on Saturday, before Melbourne Victory worked to bridge the gap with a 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers in one of three Sunday fixtures.
Wellington rescinded a 2-0 lead over Brisbane Roar to lose 3-2 at WIN Stadium, whilst Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory drew 1-1 to round out the action on a super Sunday of non-stop football.
KEEPUP followed along live as Sunday’s Liberty A-League triple-header took place, capturing all the biggest moments of the day including a pair of iconic celebrations, a wonderful Hana Lowry strike, a rampant Roar comeback and more.
- Wellington Phoenix 2-3 Brisbane Roar
- Western Sydney Wanderers 0-1 Melbourne Victory
- Newcastle Jets 1-1 Perth Glory
LIBERTY A-LEAGUE: PHOENIX V ROAR
MATCH REPORT: PHOENIX 2-3 ROAR
Gorry completes the comeback (4.05pm AEDT)
Utter heartbreak for the Phoenix. A clumsy Ava Pritchard challenge on Jessie Rasschaert in Brisbane’s attacking box saw the Roar earn a late penalty with less than five minutes left on the clock.
Larissa Crummer missed a spot kick for the Roar in the first half at 0-0 and Wellington took full advantage, storming into a 2-0 lead. But the Roar pegged one back before the break and another just after it to draw level once more.
In the 86th minute, Gorry put the ball on the spot and sent Lily Alfeld the wrong way to complete Brisbane’s 3-2 comeback win.
Crummer gets Roar back level (3.25pm AEDT)
After a very slow start from the Roar, the two sides are back on level terms thanks to Larissa Crummer’s close-range finish early in the second half.
Katrina Gorry sent Cannon Clough down the right flank with an invasive through ball and Clough’s resulting cross fell fortuitously to Crummer to tuck home from close range.
‘I didn’t really believe it’ – Whinham celebration a priceless moment to savour (3.00pm AEDT)
The look on Alyssa Whinham’s face said it all: half disbelief, half elation as the Phoenix went ahead for the first time in Liberty A-League history through the youngster’s well taken left-footed finish.
The scenes of celebration were fitting of the moment.
“This was just a really beautiful moment for Alyssa Whinham,” said Paramount+ co-commentator Grace Gill at half-time.
“She had a lot of pressure but just managed to buy herself a little bit of space.
“I think her reaction is almost better than the goal; the disbelief in her face and the joy was just gorgeous.
“It is a really classy finish, a lovely little strike to the left. Perhaps Georgina Worth should’ve done a little bit better… but that celebration, that’s one that’s going down in the history books.”
Wellington led Brisbane Roar 2-1 at half-time.
“I didn’t really believe it,” Whinham told Paramount+ pitch-side reporter Russ Gibbs at the break.
“I probably should’ve played it off a bit cooler… I was so surprised. I don’t score many goals.”
Hecher hands Roar a lifeline (2.40pm AEDT)
It was panic stations for Brisbane Roar after the opening half-hour of play, with Wellington storming to a 2-0 lead at WIN Stadium.
But Crummer – who missed a glorious chance to put Brisbane ahead from the penalty spot – played a key role in getting her side back into the contest, winning the ball high up the field and feeding Mariel Hecher into the box to finish past Lily Alfeld and halve the deficit.
It’s 2-1 in favour of the ‘Nix heading toward the half-time break.
Jale carves out dream lead for the ‘Nix (2.35pm AEDT)
They’d never led a Liberty A-League fixture before today. But after Alyssa Whinham’s opening goal, Grace Jale headed home from a corner routine to put Wellington two goals to the good against Brisbane Roar at WIN Stadium.
The Phoenix are all over their visitors at the 25-minute mark of this contest.
Phoenix ahead through unlikely scorer (2.30pm AEDT)
Wellington have hit Brisbane with a one-two punch, denying the Roar from the spot down one end before venturing down the other to pull one goal ahead at WIN Stadium.
Alyssa Whinham was the scorer for the ‘Nix, and her reaction to finding the back of the net for the very first time in the Liberty A-League was a moment to savour. Whinham took possession in her side’s attacking box, emerging from two lunging Roar challenges to bury the ball off her left foot into the far corner of goal.
SAVED! Alfeld denies Crummer from the spot (2.20pm AEDT)
Wellington Phoenix captain Lily Alfeld has kept her side on level pegging with Brisbane Roar, saving Crummer’s spot kick with a strong left palm.
With a quarter of an hour on the clock Roar forward Mariel Hecher won her side a penalty, and Crummer stepped froward to plant the ball on the spot. She fired low toward the bottom-right corner but Alfeld made the save; Katrina Gorry was denied on the rebound before Roar captain Ayesha Norrie had two attempts to finish blocked by some desperate Phoenix defending.
LIBERTY A-LEAGUE: WANDERERS V VICTORY
MATCH REPORT: WANDERERS 0-1 VICTORY
FULL-TIME! Victory 1-0 Wanderers (6.00pm AEDT)
A win and a much-needed clean sheet to Melbourne Victory has seen Jeff Hopkins’ side steady the ship in a 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at CommBank Stadium.
Maja Markovski’s emphatic penalty was the difference in the end, dispatched in the 74th minute of play.
The result gives Victory breathing space in third spot on the table, three points above Adelaide United in fourth.
Markovski channels inner Ronaldo to put Victory ahead (5.50pm AEDT)
At just 20 years of age, Maja Markovski showed confidence beyond her years to step forward – ahead of many Victory teammates with more experience in the game – to take her side’s second-half penalty won after a handball in the box from Rosie Galea.
After a confident run up, Markovski buried the ball into the top-left corner of goal, sending Western Sydney keeper Sarah Langman the wrong way to put her side 1-0 up at CommBank Stadium.
A beaming Markovski replicated Cristiano Ronaldo’s iconic celebration in the aftermath of her crucial finish.
Chidiac hits the woodwork from range (5.26pm AEDT)
Allowed far too much room to strike on goal, Alex Chidiac let a left-footed strike fly from outside the box, shaving the wrong side of the post as the thunderous attempt somehow evaded the top-left corner of Western Sydney’s goal.
Chidiac saw a second attempt in the space of 30 seconds flash just wide of the opposite post as the Victory creator attempted to wrestle the ascendancy in the goalless affair.
A goalless first half at CommBank Stadium (4.52pm AEDT)
There’s nothing to separate both Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory after 45 goalless minutes at CommBank Stadium.
Sheridan Gallagher, Caitlin Cooper and Clare Hunt had the best of the chances for the Wanderers in the first stanza, whilst Markovski, Alex Chidiac and Catherine Zimmerman failed in their attempts to get the Victory ahead.
LIBERTY A-LEAGUE: JETS V GLORY
MATCH REPORT: JETS 1-1 GLORY
FULL TIME: Jets and Perth play out enthralling 1-1 draw
It was a game which struggled to get going in the first 45 minutes, but the second half exploded into life as both teams exchanged blows in a 1-1 draw at No.2 Sportsground.
Hana Lowry and Elizabeth Eddy were the goalscorers on the night for both Perth and the Jets respectively.
Equalising Eddy makes Perth pay (8.20pm AEDT)
Wasted chances began to accumulate for a Perth side hammering down the door to find a sealing second goal at No.2 Sportsground.
But the Jets held firm defensively, allowing American import Elizabeth Eddy to get down the other end and get the hosts level, unlocking the Glory defence with an interchange of passes with Lauren Allan before sending her strike into the bottom left corner.
Jemma House rattled the crossbar shortly after Eddy’s equalising goal as the home side ramped up the pressure in search of an unlikely winner.
Lowry puts Perth up in Newcastle (7.55pm AEDT)
One touch to control, one touch to finish – Hana Lowry has broken the deadlock with a masterful finish.
Mie Leth Jans played the Glory teen in on goal, and with her back to goal Lowry took a touch on the turn before burying her right-footed strike into the bottom-left corner of goal.
In the five minutes that followed Tash Rigby hit the crossbar with a close-range header and Lisa De Vanna called Claire Coelho into action as the visitors applied the clamps in Newcastle.
Aquino stop keeps scores level at the break (7.30pm AEDT)
A clutch save from Morgan Aquino denied Newcastle’s Ashlee Brodigan an opener with the clock ticking down to half-time.
Glory failed to keep a hopeful ball across the box from piercing their defensive line, and Brodigan found herself in on goal, chasing the ball down on a slight angle inside the box.
But Aquino was quick off her line, getting in front of the Jets attacker to block the shot and keep her sheet clean.
It’s 0-0 between the Jets and Glory heading into the break.