W-League wrap: Victory earns hard-fought draw

Melbourne Victory came from behind three times to draw 3-3 with Adelaide United in its Westfield W-League opener on Sunday.

Natasha Dowie scored a brace at Coopers Stadium before the visitors equalised for a third time, Selin Kuralay coming off the bench to level with a stunning 25-yard effort.

Goals from Stella Rigon, Adriana Jones and Monica Hickmann Alves had put the Reds ahead on three separate occasions.

Victory coach Jeff Hopkins lauded his team for its fight, as he eyes further improvement.

"I'm reasonably happy, but the consistency of the game was a little bit up and down," he said.

"There were some real good passages of play and good 10-15 minute spells, but we just couldn't quite put those spells together for longer periods and there were probably one or two times we switched off defensively as well which cost us goals.

"Overall, I was really pleased with the spirit and the quality of the goals that we scored and the way we came back after being behind three times, but maybe a little bit disappointed with one or two other things.

"We're a work in progress I think but there's enough to be positive about moving on to next week."

Victory lost Melissa Taranto to injury early on, and fell behind in the 13th minute when a long-range free-kick from Rigon took a deflection to get past goalkeeper Bianca Henninger.

But Victory equalised just three minutes later through Dowie, who dispossessed goalkeeper Sarah Willacy before netting.

The frantic start continued as Jones scored for Adelaide, tapping in a Sofia Huerta cross from the left.

Victory dominated as Dowie and captain Christine Nairn combined repeatedly, the former hitting the post with a header early in the second half.

Dowie would complete her brace just after the hour mark, heading in a cross from substitute Kariah White.

Monica headed in for Adelaide before Henninger made a few excellent saves and Kuralay levelled with a stunning effort from range.

The lively White also hit the crossbar late on for Victory with a cross which turned into a shot.

Westfield W-League 2016/17 Round 1

Adelaide United 3 (Stella Rigon 13', Adriana Jones 20', Monica 74')
Melbourne Victory 3 (Natasha Dowie 16'/63', Selin Kuralay 81')