Keane brace sees United topple leaders City
HANNAH Keane has rediscovered her goal touch in style, scoring twice to help Western United to a hard-earned 3-1 win at A-League Women ladder-leaders Melbourne City.
Coming off a five-match scoring drought, Keane’s double lifted her side to second on the table, reducing the gap to their hosts to six points.
In a match packed with chances for both sides, Keane put Western ahead in the 28th minute with her third goal in four games against City.
The American import reacted quickest to head home from the edge of the six-yard box after Chloe Logarzo’s right-foot shot was beaten out by goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx.
New Zealand international Hannah Wilkinson levelled for City just four minutes later, making the most of a corner from Rhianna Pollicina that was headed back into the danger zone by Kaitlyn Torpey.
Chances continued to come and go for both sides, and Wilkinson thought she’d given City the lead shortly after halftime only to see her effort chalked off for offside.
It was United, though, who struck the killer blow when Keane doubled up after 52 minutes.
Right-back Julia Sardo surged down the flank before curling a pass to the feet of the lively Logarzo.
The Matildas midfielder nudged the ball into the path of Keane, who fired into the empty net to put the visitors 2-1 up.
Having lost only once in their previous six matches, City pressed hard for an equaliser with Wilkinson regularly in the thick of the action.
The hosts had a penalty shout waved away when Torpey went down in the box under a challenge from Alana Cerne just before the hour mark, and moments later Wilkinson timed her run perfectly and lifted a shot past Hillary Beall that brushed the side netting.
Western United wrapped up the points 10 minutes from time when 19-year-old Kahli Johnson lashed home a close-range effort to make it 3-1.
On as a second-half sub for her first appearance since fracturing her leg in November, Johnson collected the ball on the right of the box after Logarzo was denied by Proulx and made no mistake as she fired home on the angle.
There was almost a fairytale finish for United, when Avaani Prakash was teed up by Johnson three minutes into added time, but the 17-year-old’s powerful effort crashed back off the crossbar.