The opening game of W-League Round 7 was one to remember, with Sydney FC defeating Adelaide United 5-2 at Cromer Park in front of a Thursday night record crowd of 2,226.
In a game which had two separate delays due to lightning and floodlight failure, a Princess Ibini double, along with goals from Sofia Huerta, Danielle Colaprico & Savannah McCaskill, helped the Sky Blues overcome a Veronica Latsko double.
Sydney started brightly, however, just as they were building momentum, the game was stopped for almost an hour due to lightning in the area.
When play resumed, Adelaide took the initiative almost immediately, going in front after Latsko raced onto Michelle Heyman’s flick on and drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
The goal allowed the Reds to sit deep, and for a period they were able to frustrate Sydney, but the Sky Blues clawed themselves back into the contest in first-half stoppage time, with Huerta’s towering header restoring parity after a pinpoint cross from Caitlin Foord.
Just like in Sunday’s game against Brisbane, Sydney took the lead just before the hour mark. Persistence paid off for the Sky Blues as they kept the ball alive inside the penalty area, Colaprico ending the scramble with a neat finish into the bottom corner.
However, Adelaide were not going down without a fight, and equalised midway through the second half, with Latsko getting on the end of Gunnhildur Jonsdottir’s cross and guiding an expert header past Aubrey Bledsoe.
The two sides were trading blows at this point, and Sydney retook the lead with just under twenty minutes to play. Savannah McCaskill became the fourth American to score on the night, reacting quickest to head home after Colaprico’s free-kick was tipped onto the post by Sarah Willacy.
Incredibly, there was another delay seconds later as the floodlights went out, with play stopped for another 15 minutes.
The Sky Blues reacted much better to the second stoppage, dominating the remainder of the contest and eventually wrapping up the contest thanks to two late goals from substitute Princess Ibini.
The young attacker made it 4-2 after a neat finish from close range, before rounding off the scoring with a 25-yard thunderbolt in injury time.
After the game, Sydney coach Ante Juric paid tribute to the fighting spirit of his players, but also to their opponents.
“It’s actually the first win since I’ve been at Sydney, even last year, where we’ve won from behind.”
“Adelaide’s a very good team. Ivan’s done well with them, and they’re going to beat a lot of teams this year, so I’m happy we got the three points.”
The result means Sydney are now in third position, ahead of Adelaide on goal difference. Both teams have Friday night action next weekend, with Sydney making the cross-country trip to face Perth, while Adelaide host Melbourne Victory.