Adelaide United were stumped by Newcastle Jets as they lost 1-2 against all odds in the penultimate round of the W-League.
The teams met on New Years’ Eve to play the earliest W-League game in history, where Adelaide ran amuck and won 3-2.
Adelaide’s slim chance at their maiden finals run hung in the balance as they head into the must-win match against the Jets, a side who is playing for pride while making predicting final fours just that bit harder.
The visitors saw two changes in their lineup – Teigan Collister earning her first start as she replaced an injured Gema Simon, and Larissa Crummer returning to her natural position as a striker.
On the other hand, Adelaide welcomed their two Icelandic stars, Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir and Fridriksdottir, back from international duty.
Newcastle looked the better team in the opening minutes, their high press threatened the home side’s defence and forced them to sit deeper than usual.
Jets’ plans of playing Crummer on top look to have paid off in the ninth minute, when she was in on goal after snatching a poor back pass by Adelaide’s defence to go solo against goalkeeper Sarah Willacy.
However, a heavy clash between the two in the box put a heartbreaking stop to Crummer’s time to shine as striker as she suffered a serious leg injury and had to be stretchered off the field via ambulance.
After a lengthy delay in the game for Crummer’s treatment, Wright stepped up to the spot to put away the penalty.
Newcastle’s lead seemed to wake Adelaide up as they injected intensity and a sense of urgency that were missing from the side when they lost 1-4 last week against Western Sydney Wanderers.
And it did. Seven minutes later, Adelaide equalised through Friðriksdóttir who latched onto the ball when Newcastle’s defence struggled to clear their lines. She fired it past Britt Eckerstrom to chalk up her second goal of the season.
The Reds had slightly more possession and control in midfield in the first half, with Jónsdóttir and Dylan Holmes working hard in the engine room.