CANBERRA UNITED again scored a handful of late goals to overcome a 1-0 deficit and register its second win of the W-League season, beating Adelaide United 3-1 at McKellar Park on Saturday.
For the second week in a row, Canberra took until the final 20 minutes to score, piling on a modest three goals compared with last week's five, to overtake the Lady Reds.
The reigning premiers have now scored eight goals with eight different scorers in their opening three games, including a 0-0 draw, a sign coach Jitka Klimkova says ''is confirmation we work for each other''.
Despite dominating play during a first half in which they had a Caitlin Munoz goal disallowed and 10 near misses, the Canberra players found themselves down a goal at half-time.
Adelaide striker Racheal Quigley took a free kick from 35 metres out in the 36th minute, clearing the wall and forcing goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold to make a diving save, but Arnold could only clear it as far as the post, with the ball ricocheting off the woodwork and bouncing back into goal. It was Adelaide's only shot on goal all half, and Klimkova remained confident her side would find the back of the net eventually.
''I really believed that we'd win this game, but it took a while,'' she said. ''You saw how many chances we created during the first half; we were the better team all 90-plus minutes, but we were waiting too long for our first goal.
''It's always hard when you are the better team and then the other team scores the first goal.
''It's mainly hard on our psychology, but it just showed us how strong we are, and we play until the end of the game and we didn't give up.''
The equaliser eventually came through Caitlin Cooper in the 72nd minute, the defender coming forward to head home a goal from a corner taken by Ariane Hingst.
Cooper's defensive partner, Ellie Brush, joined in on the goal-scoring action in the 78th minute, connecting on a Hingst free kick to open her account.
''I am so happy that we scored with set plays … we are training the set plays a lot, we were focusing before the season that we should score more goals with set plays,'' Klimkova said. ''Now, we should maybe focus on … scoring goals through the open play.
''We want to work on our finishing - if we would be better, the score would be much different today, so that's one thing which we'll work on.''
The only goal not to come from a set piece was the third for Canberra to Samantha Wood, who again made an impact coming off the bench. In her second game for Canberra, Wood found a corner of the net in the 84th minute with a strike from 40 metres out to score her first W-League goal and secure the result for the home side.
AT A GLANCE
CANBERRA UNITED 3 (Caitlin Cooper 72m, Ellie Brush 78m, Samantha Wood 84m) bt ADELAIDE UNITED 1 (Racheal Quigley 38m) at McKellar Park.