Sunday brought us five matches across the Isuzu UTE A-League and Liberty A-League, which finished in extraordinary circumstances with the final kick of the contest between high flying Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets in the Liberty A-League.
The Jets, 19 points adrift of the Sky Blues on the table, had managed to stay in the contest until the dying stages.
Part of the reason for that was keeper Claire Coelho, who had saved a penalty earlier in the game.
And with the last kick of the match, it looked as though she had written the ultimate script – a goalkeeper bundling home an equaliser right at the death.
But as Newcastle players wheeled off in delirium, the goal was disallowed for her initial contact on her opposite number, Jada Whyman.
Watch the incident, and all the key moments from Sunday’s action, below.
The Sky Blues, who have only dropped two points all season, held out for a 1-0 win, courtesy of Princess Ibini’s sizzling opening goal.
Had the equaliser stood, it would have meant Sydney FC would have only had a two point lead over Melbourne City heading into next weekend’s blockbuster. Instead, it is a four point buffer.
City put the heat on the Sky Blues with a 4-0 shellacking of Perth Glory. The earlier action in the ALW revolved around goal scorers. Hannah Wilkinson needed her late goal to stay top of the Golden Boot race, because Chelsie Dawber and Fiona Worts feasted in Adelaide United’s 8-2 rout over Brisbane Roar.
Liberty A-League Results
- Full-time: Perth 0, Melbourne City 4
REPORT: Ominous City hurt Glory’s finals momentum
- Full-time: Brisbane 2, Adelaide United 8
REPORT: ‘Statement’ win and historic loss
- Full-time: Newcastle Jets 0, Sydney FC 1
Isuzu UTE A-League
- Full-time: Central Coast 1, Perth 1
REPORT: Desperate late Glory strike steals point
- Full-time: Brisbane Roar 3, Macarthur 1
REPORT: Season record for Roar as Macarthur’s woes grow
TALKING POINTS: ‘They are in a big, big hole’
Full-time: Newcastle Jets 0 v Sydney FC 1
Full-time: Sydney cling on for a win in the most dramatic fashion possible. It looked as though the Jets had levelled with the last kick of the game to salvage a gallant point. Goalkeeper Claire Coelho bundled the ball home – but the goal was disallowed for her contact on opposing keeper Jada Whyman. Incredible finish.
8.10pm AEDT: Princess Ibini-Isei is unplayable tonight. She wins a penalty with an explosive burst down the left, wins the penalty, but Mackenzie Hawkesby’s penalty is saved!
8.06pm AEDT: Space opens up for Princess Ibini-Isei on the edge of the area and she rifles a sensational opener.
Full-time: Brisbane Roar 3 v Macarthur 1
Brisbane Roar celebrated Jack Hingert’s 200th A-Leagues match for the club by continuing their good form at home in a 3-1 win over Macarthur.
Roar set the tone with the quickest goal of the season after 62 seconds, but should have gone with it by half-time – unable to capitalise on a dominant performance.
They were not punished for their wastefulness, and in the end, extended Macarthur’s winless run to five matches.
8.22pm AEDT: That was short lived. Henry Hore converts a penalty for the Roar after a foul by Jake McGing to restore the hosts’ two-goal advantage.
8.18pm AEDT: Game on? Adrian Mariappa breathes life into Macarthur’s night to set up a tasty final 15 minutes in Brisbane.
8.05pm AEDT: Finally! Corey Brown hammers home a fine finish for the Roar to finally cash in on their dominance.
Half-time: Somehow, Brisbane only lead by the single goal.
Speaking on the Paramount+, pundit Georgia Yeoman-Dale mused: “I don’t know who the more disappointed coach is.
“Ante Milicic’s side looked slow, lethargic.
“Brisbane Roar created so many chances and couldn’t capitalise.”
Andy Harper warned: “You cannot squander that much dominance and get away with it.”
6.47pm: Nikola Mileusnic earns the hosts a dream start, Jay O’Shea the supplier with a sublime assist.
Full-time: Central Coast 1 v Perth 1
7.35pm AEDT: Late drama! Perth draw level late into stoppage time via Daniel Stynes. Central Coast had earlier had a second rubbed out, and just when they thought they had three points, a resilient Glory snatched the leveller.
“That’s what I play the game for as an attacker, but most importantly, we got a point out of the game,” beamed Stynes, speaking after the game.
7pm AEDT: Jason Cummings’ impressive start to life in the A-Leagues continues, with the striker breaking the deadlock with a trademark turn and shot.
Half-time: Mark Birighitti had to pull off a world class save in a half that deserved a goal in Gosford, but was deadlocked at the interval.
Full-time: Brisbane 2 v Adelaide United 8
Adelaide have inflicted Brisbane Roar’s heaviest ever Liberty A-League defeat, scoring an astonishing eight, with Fiona Worts on fire, bagging five.
Only Kate Gill and Hannah Wilkinson have ever done that before her.
Chelsie Dawber and Worts were a power combination up front as Adelaide United made a statement of intent as they look to make the finals series for the first time ever.
5.44pm: Scant consolation for the Roar, and it is the same combination. Connors with a brace, quickest to react after Gorry’s thunderous free-kick can only be parried.
5.39pm AEDT: Make that five for Worts. What a day out.
5.28pm AEDT: Worts has four, Adelaide have seven. She surges down the left and is unstoppable as she prods home.
5.25pm AEDT: Don’t take your eyes off this … and mercifully, it is a goal for the Roar. Katrina Gorry with the classy build-up, which Shea Connors prods home.
5.23pm AEDT: Oh dear, it is six, and it isn’t even the hour mark yet. Worts with a hat-trick, Dylan Holmes with a divine delivery to tee her up.
5.20pm AEDT: It is a tough day at the office for the hosts. Another set piece, another goal. Defender McNamara nods home.
Half-time: “They are in red hot form,” Paramount+ pundit Grace Gill enthused at the interval.
“Some of their build up play, combinations – they’re tearing Brisbane apart at the moment.”
She added: “For me, (Roar) are not utilising the areas of the field where they are the strongest (especially) in midfield.”
Alongside her, Georgia Yeoman-Dale added: “There have been a few mistakes at the back, but they are taking their chances.”
4.49pm: Adelaide are on fire. Fiona Worts bags a second, thanks to a swashbuckling raid, and delivery, down the right from Dawber. A sizzling four-goal half by the away side.
4.33pm: Fiona Worts has the Reds up by three by 33 minutes, tapping home after Mia Bailey couldn’t hold a decent strike from Dawber.
4.28pm AEDT: Adelaide get the reward for piling the pressure on the Roar with a deflected goal off a corner, with Hollie Palmer copping the own goal to her name.
4.20pm AEDT: Chelsie Dawber puts Adelaide United 1-0 up, cashing in on some poor Roar defending to punish the hosts and take the lead.
Full-time: Perth 0 v Melbourne City 4
4.57pm AEDT: Golden Boot leaders don’t need gifts, but Hannah Wilkinson got exactly that with a stoppage time goal to add insult to injury for the Glory. She finished coolly, rounding the keeper after a run in behind a tired defence, to net her 10th of the campaign.
4.54pm AEDT: McNamara makes it a brace to round out a good afternoon for City as they keep up their pursuit of Sydney FC.
4.25pm AEDT: Melbourne City go 2-0 up with Holly McNamara blitzing the Glory to double the advantage, turning defence into attack in a flash. McNamara’s goal makes it strikes in back-to-back games, and it came after a sensational quick release from Melissa Barbieri after a Glory raid down the other end.
4pm AEDT: Rhianna Pollicina scores with the last kick of the first 45 to put Melbourne City in the lead at Central Coast Stadium.
“She is in firing form,” Paramount+ co-commentator Amy Chapman observed.
“She is just testing it (a knee injury) out – but at the backend of the half she as not playing with hesitancy and she was looking the most likely for Melbourne City.”