Adelaide United faced off against traditional rivals Melbourne Victory in a thrilling 3-2 game at Marden Sports Complex in Round 8 of the W-League.
This was the second time these teams met this season and it was a much more eventful match than their first encounter, which ended in a 0-0 draw.
Latsko, Heyman and Condon scored a goal each, while Victory left Adelaide with consolation goals through Mastrantonio and Alleway.
Adelaide welcomed Fanndis Fridriksdottir back into the line-up after a medial ankle ligament strain, however Victory were without their starting defensive midfielder in Grace Maher.
Both teams came out firing looking to get a one-up on each together – Victory wanting to maintain their leader position on the ladder, while the hosts shook off their first loss of the season to Sydney last week to get back into the top four.
The first twenty minutes of the first half saw the two sides testing the waters, Victory forcing Adelaide to camp in their defensive half as they dominated possession, resulting in Adelaide pushing further up the park on the counter-attack.
The visitors’ best early chance came when Beard’s curving shot from the left flank forced a diving save from Reds’ goalkeeper Willacy.
However, at the half hour mark, Adelaide drew first blood through Latsko. The Reds’ leading goal-scorer pounced on the ball after a poor challenge, and drove the ball into the bottom left corner from outside the box.
There were shouts for a penalty for Victory on the 36th minute when Dowie was brought down in the six-yard box, but the protests were waved away.
Victory continue to converge on Adelaide’s goal, but these chances came to naught against the United’s defensive discipline.
Adelaide United emerged from the dressing room with intent as they had another close chance – this time, a lay-off from Heyman found Holmes who struck from range but her attempt bounced off the right post. Allen tried to clear the ball and it landed at Latsko’s feet, but she was unable to slot in the goal as her shot flew wide.
Victory had a chance to level on the hour mark when Victory won a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the box, but Nairn blazed her attempt high and wide, as Victory continued to search for an equaliser.
Heyman doubled the scoreline for the Reds, finally opening her scoring account by converting a penalty after a messy clattering of bodies with Allen in the box.
Just three minutes later, super-sub Condon made it three for Adelaide, meeting the end of Latsko’s cross. Victory’s goalkeeper Casey Dumont struggled to contain Condon’s first-touch shot as it rolled over the line.
Victory’s domination and press were starting to pay off and the visitors finally managed to pull one back through a stunning long-range strike by Mastrantonio on the 87th minute, when a clearance by the Adelaide defence landed square at her feet.
The game closed with Victory earning the last say. This time, thanks to Alleway, who headed home past a helpless Willacy at the end of Nairn’s in-swinging cross. However, it wasn’t enough to dampen the Reds’ spirits as they crunched out a 3-2 win.
Adelaide United travels east to face Newcastle Jets after the Christmas break, while Victory heads home to meet Perth Glory in Round 9 of the W-League.
Adelaide 3 (Latsko 30’, Heyman (p) 74’, Condon 77’) – Melbourne Victory 2 (Mastrantonio 87’, Alleway 90’)