W League Round-Up

Impetus editor Ben Gilby rounds up all the action from the third round of matches from the Westfield W League in Australia.

New South Wales has kept its stranglehold on the W League with Sydney FC and cross city rivals Western Sydney Wanderers still holding one hundred percent win rates at the top of the table.

Sydney FC stay top on goal difference after a comfortable 3-1 win away to Perth Glory in a repeat of last season’s Grand Final. Whilst the Sky Blues have started 2019/20 the way they finished the previous campaign, for the Western Australians it is a season of transition with new, younger players finding their feet in the league. It hasn’t helped that their start to the season has been slightly disjointed as, following their opening day defeat at Canberra United, they had the bye last weekend, and therefore lay bottom with two matches played.

Sydney came out of the blocks like a sprinter and built a 2-0 lead after just six minutes. Remy Siemson cooly chipped the ball over the advancing Perth keeper Eliza Campbell after three minutes. Siemson doubled the score shortly after when she capitalised on some defensive malfunctions. Her shot was partially blocked by Campbell, but the ball rebounded from both posts and rolled in. Despite Perth rallying and creating some opportunities, any hope the home side had of rescuing the game went after 39 minutes when Princess Ibini was fouled in the area and Caitlin Foord stepped up to hit home the penalty.

Caitlin Doeglas got a goal back for Perth after the break, but Sydney still created the better chances with both Foord and fellow Australian international Chloe Logarzo going close. It was a comprehensive victory for the Sky Blues in front of a crowd of 797 at Dorrien Gardens.

Western Sydney Wanderers recorded their third straight win with a sensational 3-1 success at Brisbane Roar.

If anyone thought that Wanderers’ start to the campaign, which has seen them amass more points than in the whole of last season already, was a flash in the pan, then this success in Queensland will surely put them right.

Kristen Hamilton’s superb hat-trick was the difference between the two sides in front of a decent Thursday night crowd of 2,535 at Lions Park. However, it could have been so very different as the Roar started strongly and it took two super saves from Wanderers’ keeper Abby Smith in the opening ten minutes to keep Brisbane out. First, Smith turned away Carson Pickett’s long range strike and later Tameka Yallop’s header was pushed round the post.

Wanderers survived the early scare and began to dominate themselves. American star Lydia Williams, who has been a vital part in everything good the Parramatta based side have done so far, sprinted past the Brisbane defence to play in countrywoman Hamilton for her first after ten minutes. The second goal arrived just before the break, and this time it was three Americans involved in the build up. Sam Staab’s throw was flicked on by Williams and Hamilton couldn’t miss.

Ten minutes into the second half, Brisbane were given a lifeline when Western Sydney’s Erica Halloway made an error in defence which was gobble up by Pickett. She in turn squared the ball to Rylee Baisden who hit home. Any hopes that the Queenslanders had soon vanished as the Wanderers laid siege to the home goal. Williams’ fierce shot cannoned back off of the bar. But it was all over when Williams completed her hat-trick with a sensational goal. Kyra Cooney-Cross backheeled the ball into Williams’ stride. The American turned the defender and fired a scorcher in to complete a superb win.

Melbourne City are third and remain unbeaten, but are two points adrift of the Sydney sides after they narrowly saw off an Adelaide United side who will feel desperately unlucky to still be looking for their first win of the season.

The only goal of the game at John McEwan Reserve came after just eight minutes when Ellie Carpenter crossed for Kyah Simon to slide the ball home. Australian international Aivi Luik could have doubled the home side’s lead, but her long range shot was well saved by Sarah Willacy. City had three further excellent chances before the break to wrap up victory. Scottish international Claire Emslie had a shot saved by Willacy, and Simon hit two shots over the bar.

The second half saw Adelaide create a number of excellent chances, but an inability to convert them, combined with ill-luck – Brooks’ effort ruled to be offside. Melbourne City had further opportunities through Emily van Egmond, Claire Emslie and Ellie Carpenter, but in the end the crowd of 500 had to settle for the one goal.

The final game of the round saw Canberra United move up to fourth with an impressive win at Newcastle Jets in front of an equally impressive crowd of 3,446 at the McDonald Jones Stadium.

The side from the capital city built up a 2-0 lead around the half-hour mark. Ashlie Crofts opened the scoring on 29 minutes, when she followed up Karly Roestbakken’s shot which came crashing off the bar. Simone Charley doubling the advantage just three minutes later when she calmly placed the ball underneath the onrushing Jets keeper Claire Coelho.

Incredibly, there were still two further goals to come before the break – both from the spot by Tara Andrews and both after fouls on Nikki Flannery within five minutes of each other!

The outcome of the game was in doubt to the very end, and with nine minutes left, United grabbed a winner thanks to Elise Thorsnes who finished off a counter-attacking move with a shot into the bottom corner.

Melbourne Victory had the bye, and subsequently drop to fifth place with one win and one loss from their two games so far. Newcastle Jets are now sixth with Brisbane Roar, Adelaide United and Perth Glory still looking for their first points of the season.

Round Four sees a mouth-watering clash between defending champions Sydney FC and many people’s favourites Melbourne City. Elsewhere, Western Sydney Wanderers face a stern test of their credentials with a trip to Melbourne Victory. Brisbane Roar travel to a Canberra United side who have started very well. Either Perth Glory or Newcastle Jets will look to chalk up their first win of the campaign when they face off in Western Australia.

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