ALW Match Report: Western United 3-2 Brisbane Roar

Western United A-League Women

Western United moved to within a point of the Liberty A-League Women summit after a stunning 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar on Sunday evening.

Chloe Logarzo was the start of the show, capping off a special week after her call-up to the Matildas squad was confirmed.

United’s co-captain opened the scoring with a header before Brisbane hit back to take the lead before half-time.

Western United dominated throughout the second half and finally broke through in the final 10 minutes with Adriana Taranto registering the equaliser before winning a late penalty, which was coolly converted by Logarzo to secure the three points.

Western United Team News

There was one change to the starting line-up as Kat Smith welcomed Tyla Jay Vlajnic back into her side, the Serbian international having missed United’s last two games.

Exactly one year on from her last Liberty A-League appearance, Aimee Medwin was included in a matchday squad for the first time since rupturing her ACL as she took up a place on the bench.

First Half

Western United looked to bring the early heat to an already scorching City Vista and got on the front foot immediately, looking to exploit the space out wide with Vlajnic and Keiwa Hieda bombing forward.

Vlajnic set up Logarzo with a cut-back early on but Brisbane were quick to clear the danger before another attack came from Hieda down the other side.

The Japanese threaded a perfectly timed and weighted ball to Hannah Keane whose first-time shot was tipped wide for a corner, from which the opening goal arose.

Logarzo ghosted towards the near post and applied a deft, glancing header to send Vlajnic’s delivery into the back of the net, giving Western United the perfect start.

United continued to look comfortable in possession but Brisbane threatened on the counter-attack, looking to get down the sides of Western United’s back-three.

That threat would ultimately expose United’s defence in a two-minute spell around the half hour mark as Brisbane suddenly jumped in front.

Rather similar in their construction, both goals came from long passes out to Brisbane’s left wing and balls back into the middle, the first of which was finished by Kijah Stephenson and the second emphatically by Mia Corbin who side-footed a bouncing ball in off the post.

That prompted a tweak in the system from Smith as United reverted to a back four and immediately got back on the front foot.

Adriana Taranto moved out wide and found plenty of joy with the ball for the remainder of the first half, but aside from another half chance at a corner, United had to look towards the second half to find a way back into the contest.

Second Half

United looked to erase the deficit as quickly as possible in the second half, getting at Brisbane from the restart in search of avenues to goal.

Alana Cerne thought she had found that avenue when she bundled the ball in from a deep cross by Grace Maher, but the offside flag halted celebrations and the goal was ruled out.

Western United continued in total domination in the second half with chance after chance coming from the Green and Black.

Adriana Taranto expertly played Logarzo in behind the Brisbane defence and the No.6 rifled a shot into the left-hand post. Hieda was swiftly onto the rebound but fired her attempt over the crossbar.

Kahli Johnson and Medwin came off the bench with 20 minutes to play to add further spark into United’s forward play, while Taranto continued to be behind much of the side’s attacking impetus.

The No.15 found space down the right flank to shoot towards the near post after an excellent ball from Grace Maher, with the goalkeeper turning the effort behind for a corner.

After winning the set piece, Taranto was on hand to profit from it as another superb Vlajnic delivery brought about the equaliser. This time, her corner arched towards the back post and was nodded home by Taranto for her fifth goal of the season.

With 10 minutes to find the winner, United seemed to find an even higher gear heading into the end of the game.

Logarzo couldn’t believe she didn’t put United in front when she streamed in down the left-hand side after Vlajnic picked her out with a ball over the top of the defence.

The No.6 looked destined to score but Jordan Silkowitz pulled off a superb one-on-one sav, which ultimately proved to be only delaying the inevitable.

Logarzo’s time would come at the beginning of stoppage time in dramatic fashion. After Kahli Johnson rattled the crossbar from long range, Adriana Taranto got to the rebound before being brought down by Tameka Yallop for a penalty.

A hush fell around City Vista but Logarzo held her nerve and sent Silkowitz the wrong way before being swarmed by her teammates.

Plenty of time remained for more drama but Western United managed the closing stages and Hillary Beall held on firmly to a late Brisbane free-kick as the final whistle sparked celebrations around City Vista.