Phoenix crush Western United to continue hot ALW form
Justin Chadwick, Anna Harrington and Joanna Guelas |
Wellington have emerged as a surprise A-League Women title contender after continuing their stunning form with a 3-1 win over last season’s grand finalists Western United.
But Melbourne Victory’s 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle on Sunday has come at a cost after Matildas striker Emily Gielnik suffered a fresh injury concern.
In-form winger Holly McNamara scored a hat-trick as Melbourne City fought out a 4-3 win over Western Sydney.
The Phoenix finished bottom in their first two seasons, and started this campaign with a 1-0 loss to Melbourne City.
But securing three straight wins for the first time in their history has catapulted third-placed Wellington into early title contention.
Phoenix midfielder Chloe Knott scrambled home a corner in the 31st minute, then 10 minutes later Macey Fraser doubled the lead with a wonderful free kick.
An own goal to United substitute Kiewa Hieda in the 76th minute sealed three points for Wellington.
Chloe Logarzo scored a consolation goal for Western United in the 93rd minute, unleashing a long-range screamer that dipped wickedly over the leaping goalkeeper.
Just wasn’t our day today, but how good is it to see Chloe Logarzo back doing things like this 🔥💚🖤#WELvWUN pic.twitter.com/rXfO75f0rk
— Western United FC (@wufcofficial) November 12, 2023
City took the lead against the Wanderers from the spot in the 26th minute when McNamara was brought down by Amy Chessari and Rhianna Pollicina coolly buried the subsequent penalty.
Six minutes later, McNamara pounced on a loose ball and hooked the rebound into the back of the net.
Sophie Harding scored a terrific long-range strike for Western Sydney in the 42rd minute.
McNamara rounded Wanderers goalkeeper Shamiran Khamis to score in the 58th minute then headed home from a corner and completed her hat-trick six minutes later.
She grabbed at her foot but was able to play on, before being withdrawn for precautionary reasons in the 74th minute.
“She’s got the right mentality and she’ll be a superstar not just in this league, but probably for the national team and somewhere abroad pretty soon as well,” coach Dario Vidosic said.
Vicky Bruce scored in the 69th minute and Harding added another five minutes later to make for a nervous finish.
Victory moved to fifth after a double from Rachel Lowe and a 66th-minute strike to Ella O’Grady lifted them to an easy win.
Newcastle’s woes were magnified by an unlucky own goal from Rebecca Burrows in the 88th minute.
Gielnik lasted just 15 minutes before being subbed off in the 61st minute.
“She felt her calf just tighten up so we took her off as a precaution,” coach Jeff Hopkins said.
Brisbane’s top-four momentum ground to a halt after their 1-1 draw with Central Coast.
Central Coast opened the scoring in the 26th minute when Rola Badawiya headed home a corner.
The party was cut short when Brisbane captain Ayesha Norrie equalised a minute later.
A bad foul by the Roar’s Jenna McCormick on Wurigumula gifted the Mariners a chance to recapture their lead.
But Isabel Gomez’ penalty was saved by American goalkeeper Jordan Silkowitz.AAP