Reds hand Sydney first loss

Adelaide United has handed Sydney FC their first loss of the Westfield W-League season with a 3-2 victory over the Sky Blues at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday.

Adelaide United has handed Sydney FC their first loss of the Westfield W-League season with a 3-2 victory over the Sky Blues at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday.

United was down after conceding an early goal but hit back, scoring in the 11th and 30th minutes and had the game under control when they registered their third goal soon after the break.

The Reds were on a high until a deadly 69th-minute free kick from Kylie Ledbrook added some excitement to the contest with the visitors threatening to find the equaliser on a number occasions.

Both teams made the most of set pieces with two of Adelaide's goals coming from Sharon Black free kicks.

United coach Mike Barnett said the team did well to hold out the opposition after the break.

"Really, there wasn't many chances there at the end of the day and I think it was a well deserved victory," he said.

And he said Black's input in the team's season continued to be important.

"We've really been working on set pieces and so far in the three games we've been able to get a couple of goals from her free kicks."

Sydney FC coach Alen Stajcic said it was a game of missed opportunities but wasn't too critical of his team considering the commitments of some his players.

"We battled a lot of tough conditions today. We had five girls travel from Malaysia yesterday and arrived after the Young Matildas' campaign. We had two or three injured players on the park so we were always going to battle," Stajcic said.

"They looked weary before the game but that's no excuse."

It was an eventful start to the contest with Sydney FC striking first.

Leena Khamis found some space just outside the box and had no trouble beating the Reds' goalkeeper.

The home side then responded quickly through a magnificent free kick by Black. Her shot cleared Sydney FC's defensive wall and beat the right hand of goalkeeper Nikola Dieter.

Another Black free kick then saw the home side take the lead for the first time. Her thumping strike from 30 metres dipped into the danger zone and was accidentally deflected into the back of the net by Sky Blue Lisa Gilbert.

Adelaide then took control of the contest only minutes after the break with the plucky Victoria Balomenos converting from close range.

Sydney never gave up however and an overzealous challenge by Sarah Anorim earned her a yellow card and the visitors a free kick near the left corner of the box.

Ledbrook took the set shot and had no trouble beating Sian McLaren in goals with a sweet strike of the ball.

It triggered a willing conclusion to the clash with both teams running foul of the referee.

Sydney FC wringed a number of changes in the second half and finished the contest stronger. They kept McLaren busy and were pushing for their third score.

But the home side absorbed enough time, and played some good defensive football, to hold on for another victory at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Match Details

Adelaide United 3 (Sharon Black 7-, Lisa Gilbert (og) 30-, Victoria Balomenos 48-) Sydney FC 2 (Leena Khamis 4-, Kylie Ledbrook 69-)

Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide Sunday 9 November 2008 Referee: Kirralee Gardener

Adelaide United line-up: 20.Sian McLAREN (gk), 2.Renee HARRISON, 3.Sarah AMORIM, 4.Dianne ALAGICH (c), 6.Kristyn SWAFFER, 8.Sandra SCALZI (12.Tanya HARRISON 85-), 9.Stephanie TOKICH (7.Racheal QUIGLEY 46-), 10.Victoria BALOMENOS, 11.Sharon BLACK, 13.Leah ROBINSON, 17.April MANN (15.Lauren CHILVERS 69-)

Substitutes Not Used: 30.Kristi HARVEY (gk)

Yellow Cards: Sarah Amorim 68-, Sandra Scalzi 74-, Victoria Balomenos 76- Red Cards: Nil

Sydney FC line-up: 20.Nicole Deiter (gk), 2.Samantha SPACKMAN, 3.Danielle BROGAN, 4.Alesha CLIFFORD, 5.Lisa GILBERT, 6.Servet UZUNLAR, 8.Jo BURGESS (15.Jessica SEAMAN 65-), 10.Kylie LEDBROOK, 11.Michelle HEYMAN (16.Linda O-NEILL 53-), 17.Danielle SMALL (13.Loren MAHONEY 81-), 19.Leena KHAMIS

Substitutes Not Used: 14.Maggie ELHUSSEINI

Yellow Cards: Aleisha Clifford 83- Red Cards: Nil