Melbourne City moved into second place on the A-League Women’s table with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Adelaide United at Service FM Stadium.
A goal right after the interval to Young Matildas midfielder Daniela Galic had City well placed to claim victory before two injury-time goals capped off the win in style for the visitors.
For the Reds, it was their third consecutive defeat and third match without finding the back of the net.
Melbourne coach Dario Vidosic heaped praise on his young squad and the crucial goal so soon after half-time.
“I’m just very, very proud of the ladies and the effort they gave this afternoon,” he said.
“The few things that we spoke about at half-time we executed and we got the first goal from that, so that was really pleasing.”
City started brightly and had a great chance as early as the second minute when Julia Grosso won possession in the middle of the park, turned her defender and slipped through Bryleeh Henry.
The winger took a touch and whipped in a cross which just evaded Hanna Wilkinson inside the area.
United went close 10 minutes later through Dylan Holmes.
City stormed out of the half-time break and broke the deadlock within two minutes of the restart through 16-year-old Daniela Galic.
Rhianna Pollicina collected the ball 25 metres from goal and split the Reds defence with a delightful through ball for Henry, who squared it across the goal leaving Galic with the easiest of tap-ins.
As the clock wound down, the Reds pushed hard for an equaliser and almost found it on 87 minutes.
Holmes raced in behind Melbourne’s defence after being slipped through by Chelsie Dawber and supplied a low and hard cross.
Substitute Emilia Murray was almost on the end of it at the back post but couldn’t connect despite her lunging effort.
The visitors iced the victory in injury time with McKenna finding the back of the net on 91 minutes after her 20-metre free kick took a wicked deflection off the Adelaide wall and looped over Grove.
A minute later and City found a third with a stunner from Caitlin Karic.
The substitute received the ball wide on the left, dribbled past her defender, cut inside and picked out the bottom corner from just inside the area with a superb curling effort.
Adelaide coach Adrian Stenta said the Reds failed to turn up for the start of the second half but the final score flattered the visitors.
“To concede a couple of goals right at the end was disappointing because I didn’t think it was a 3-0 game,” he said.
“I just think we came out cold; you can’t come out after halftime and concede a goal so quickly. It’s a mentality thing, I think we just switched on.”
Earlier, Western United coach Mark Torcaso said the A-League Women newcomers can compete for silverware after it beat Sydney FC 2-0 to claim its seventh straight win and go outright top of the table.
Hannah Keane’s well-taken first-half double proved the difference at City Vista Reserve, while Sydney’s defence had no answers for Women’s World Cup winner Jessica McDonald.
United has enjoyed the best start as an expansion team since Melbourne City’s unbeaten season in 2015-16, including beating all of last season’s top four: Premiers Sydney, City, Adelaide United and reigning champions Melbourne Victory.
“Any team can win a championship I believe,” Torcaso told reporters.
“But I honestly believe that we’ve got a good enough group that can really push teams and be around there at the end.
“That’s the best way that we’ve played all year.
“Obviously we’ve sort of ground games out but that’s obviously what we’re capable of, how we’re capable of playing and to be quite honest, that’s the perfect performance.”