The Lady Reds were overpowered 4-1 by Sydney FC at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday in Round 6 of the Westfield W-League.
Despite another spirited performance, last season’s runners up proved too strong and experienced for United who are still searching for their first points of the season.
The Lady Reds opened the scoring on the half hour before Sydney responded with two goals in each half.
Sydney pressured United and enjoyed a couple of early chances but were denied by Lady Reds keeper Sian McLaren and then skipper Abby Erceg’s last-ditch sliding tackle.
Moments before Adelaide broke the deadlock, Sarah Walsh squandered a chance to put the visitors in front when she directed her close range header wide of the upright.
A minute later Marijana Rajcic stunned the visitors with a delightful chip from 30 yards. Rajcic raced onto a through ball and lobbed her shot over Sydney keeper Allison Lipsher as it struck the base of the upright before flying into the back of the net.
The United striker almost doubled the advantage immediately with a thunderous volley that sent Lipsher scrambling to tip the shot over the bar.
But with half time approaching, Sydney scored twice in quick succession to take a 2-1 lead into the break.
Heath Garriock showed all of her experience when she equalised for Sydney with the skipper beating her marker on the edge of the area and expertly picking out the top corner with a beautiful curler.
Five minutes later and Sydney were in front as Lady Reds keeper McLaren let a cross from Servet Uzunlar slip through her fingers.
Sydney pressed early in the second half and was again denied by McLaren before being awarded a penalty just after the hour when Emma Checker brought down Caitlin Foord inside the area.
Kylie Ledbrook stepped up to take the spot kick but saw her penalty come back off the upright.
With 15 minutes remaining Sydney extended their lead when McLaren punched a Leena Khamis corner into her own net.
McLaren’s afternoon went from bad to worse two minutes later when Foord’s shot from the top of the box slipped through her fingers to make it 4-1.
Adelaide United 1 (Mariana Rajcic 30)
Sydney FC 4 (Heather Garriock 38, Servet Uzunlar 42, Leena Khamis 76, Caitlin Foord 78)
Saturday 26 November 2011
Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Adelaide United: Sian McLAREN (gk), Ashleigh GUNNING, Anna GREEN, Abby ERCEG, Ebony PHILCOX (Daniela DI BARTOLO 50), Racheal QUIGLEY, Leanne SLATER (Katherine EBBS 56), Marijana RAJCIC, Donna COCKAYNE, Emma CHECKER, Grace HENRY (Georgia MACRI 68)
Substitutes not used: Kristi HARVEY (gk)
Yellow Cards: Ebony Checker 68
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney FC: Allison LIPSHER (gk), Teresa POLIAS, Danielle BROGAN, Renee ROLLASON (Caitlin FOORD 53), Estelle JOHNSON, Servet UZUNLAR, Heather GARRIOCK, Sarah WALSH (Brittany WHITFIELD 62), Kylie LEDBROOK, Thea SLATYER, Leena KHAMIS (Teigan ALLEN 77)
Substitutes not used: Monique JACKSON (gk)