Wanderers stun United in ALW

November 30, 2023 BY

No chances: Western United forward Kahli Johnson was subbed off for precautionary reasons mid-way through the first half of her side’s loss to Western Sydney. Photo: JAMES GOURLEY/ AAP IMAGE

In-form striker Sophie Harding has steered Western Sydney to a 2-0 victory over Western United for their first win of the A-League Women season.

Harding pinched the ball off United goalkeeper Hillary Beall in the 82nd minute at City Vista Reserve on Saturday, with Cushla Rue adding a second 11 minutes later.

Robbie Hooker’s first win at the helm also snapped a nasty streak: Western Sydney had gone 20 games away from Wanderers Football Park without a win.

The victory lifts them to four points and ninth on the table, while United on seven points sit seventh.

United racked up 16 shots with six on target to Western Sydney’s 14 and also six on target, but were left to rue failing to take their chances in a game where they dominated possession.

Mark Torcaso’s United also lost forward Kahli Johnson to injury in the 33rd minute, but said her substitution was for precautionary reasons.

Johnson’s replacement, Keiwa Hieda, forced good saves from Wanderers goalkeeper Shamiran Khamis in the 45th and 75th minutes before the visitors snatched the lead out of nowhere.

Beall received a back pass from Alana Cerne and took a touch with her left foot and her head down, failing to spot the onrushing Harding.

The Western Sydney striker pinched the ball away as Beall prepared to kick with her right boot, leaving the ‘keeper on the floor as she scored her third goal in two games.

Khamis was brave in the 86th minute to come out and collect a dangerous ball from Chloe Logarzo.

Minutes later, as United pressed for an equaliser, the Wanderers sealed victory.

Holly Caspers won the ball in the middle of the park and slipped through Rue with a wonderful through-ball.

The attacker beat United’s defence for pace and coolly iced the game.