Roar comeback adds to Phoenix pain in ALW

Adrian Warren |

Brisbane Roar have again come from two goals down to win an A League Women game, with Matildas stalwart Katrina Gorry’s late penalty condemning Wellington Phoenix to a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat.

The Phoenix, who had scored just one goal in their six previous games, looked on track for their first victory of the season after Alyssa Whinham and Grace Jale put them 2-0 up in Wollongong on Sunday.

But Brazilian Mariel Hecher pulled one back fo the Roar in the 34th minute and Larissa Crummer atoned for an earlier penalty miss by levelling the contest in the first minute of the second half.

Gorry, who knocked back a request to join the Matildas squad for the Asian Cup finals in India after recently becoming a mother, was hugely influential in the Roar’s comeback.

Her through ball helped set up the equaliser and she had several accurate long range shots through the game.

Outstanding Phoenix goalkeeper and captain Lily Alfeld made a fine flying save to deny her in the first half and, just before the hour, Gorry shook the crossbar with a swerving long range shot.

But Gorry had the final say when she took over the penalty duties after Crummer’s miss, sending Alfeld the wrong way in the 87th minute to score the winner followingr Ava Pritchard’s clumsy challenge on Jessie Rasschaert.

Brisbane also came from 0-2 down on the way to scoring their only previous win of the season against Melbourne Victory.

“We seem to like to go a few goals down to start playing well and we knew we had it in us,” Gorry said.

“We created quite a few chances, we probably should have put a few more away.”

Wellington led a game for the first time and looked on course to earn their second point, despite Brisbane creating most of the goal-scoring opportunities in the second half.  

Brisbane missed a gilt edged opportunity to open the scoring in the 15th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Talitha Kramer fouled Hecher.

Alfeld pushed away Crummer’s spot kick and saved a follow up shot from Gorry.

Roar were made to pay for their profligacy four minutes later, when Whinham kept the ball under pressure from two defenders and curled a left foot shot into the net from just over 10 metres.

Brisbane’s defence were embarrassed again five minutes later when Grace Jale headed in a Chloe Knott corner from about a metre out.

While Phoenix continued to press hard, Brisbane’s their enterprise was rewarded.

Krummer dispossessed Te Reremoana Walker and set up Hecher who fired a shot past Alfeld.

Wellington’s lead was wiped out straight after halftime, when Gorry’s sublime pass released substitute Cannon Clough down the right and Crummer lashed the loose ball home after Phoenix failed to deal with the cross.

Alfeld made seven saves, but Wellington have now conceded 21 goals in their seven matches.

“We went out there guns blazing first half and then dropped of quite a lot, its tough,” Jale said.