W League Round-Up

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

Western Sydney Wanderers’ sensational start to the season continued as they went top of the W League for the first time as their unbeaten run continued with an excellent 1-1 draw away to last season’s premiers Melbourne Victory.

Victory took the game on the road to Marwell, located some ninety-three miles outside of the Victorian state capital, and the vast majority of the disappointing crowd of 443 were celebrating after just eight minutes when Natasha Dowie played the ball in and American Haley Hanson slid in to steer it home.

The Wanderers, whose chances of going from wooden spoonists to table toppers in consecutive seasons dominated the rest of the contest, forcing home keeper Casey Dumont into a string of fine saves to keep the Victory lead intact. The pressure finally told on 62 minutes when Alexandra Huynh played in Lynn Williams and the Parramatta based side’s star player slotted the ball calmly under Dumont to record a highly creditable point.   

Wanderers are only top by goal difference as the only other unbeaten side Melbourne City gained a superb 2-1 win away to reigning champions Sydney FC.

Many have tipped City for a good season, and they showed exactly why by overcoming a seriously tough examination in the Harbour City which more than showed their title credentials in front of a healthy crowd of 2,690.

It took just three minutes for City to go ahead. Milica Mijatovic drove towards the Sydney box and played in Emily van Egmond. The home side’s defence were drawn to a dummy run from Claire Emslie leaving van Egmond in the clear to smash home.

Sydney were stung into action, and Lydia Williams was forced into action to deny Princess Ibini and Remy Siemsen. Five minutes before the break, the home side were level. Matildas star Chloe Logarzo played a delightful ball through to Sofia Huerta, who brought the ball down magnificently, beat Ellie Carpenter before driving home past Williams.

With fifteen minutes left, City sealed the win with a sensational strike. Australian international Ellie Carpenter put in a dangerous cross which was headed clear by Ellie Brush. Unfortunately for Sydney, Brush’s header fell at the feet of Milica Mijatovic who smashed it first time into the top corner to win the battle of the sky blues was won for Melbourne City.

Brisbane Roar earned their first three points of the season with a 2-1 success at Canberra United who remain fourth despite the reverse, their second in a row.

The Roar dominated the game, in front of 1,185 in the nation’s capital, and it was only a matter of time before they took the lead. Hayley Raso played a delightful pass through to Brisbane’s all-time record goal scorer Tameka Yallop. Her effort was adjudged to have gone over the line after rebounding down from the crossbar. In any case, Indiah-Paige Riley followed in to make sure.

Canberra had the odd chance to equalise, notably when Camilla put in a tempting cross which Elise Thorsnes couldn’t connect with. Roar made United rue the miss shortly afterwards when Raso got on to the end of Mackenzie Arnold’s clearance kick, went past Leema Khamis and headed home.

Despite their domination, Brisbane could not add to their tally. It was Canberra who managed to add the only remaining goal of the afternoon when Thorsnes took the ball from Roar’s Clare Polkinghorne and fired past Arnold for 2-1.

The final game of the round was at Dorrien Gardens where two sides without a win so far faced off. Last year’s beaten Grand Finalists, Perth Glory saw their difficult start to the campaign continue as they suffered a third successive defeat as Newcastle Jets took the points in Western Australia in front of 604 spectators.

The early stages saw Glory on the front foot, with Shannon May and Caitlin Doeglas wasting opportunities by firing high, wide and none too handsome.

Newcastle were more accurate and took the lead on twenty-three minutes when Nikki Flannery volleyed home Teigan Collister’s cross. Perth wasted several opportunities to draw level, and it was the Jets who led at the break.

Glory were punished further for their profligacy in front of goal when Tara Andrews combined with Gema Simon before hitting a shot which cannoned off of the bar before rolling in.

Perth finally got in on the goal-scoring act thanks to fierce shot from their newly arrived Spanish international Celia Jimenez on fifty-seven minutes. There was plenty of time for Glory to respond, and Julia Sardo could have levelled, but her header was well saved.

Newcastle had one further golden opportunity to seal their win after being awarded a penalty following Hana Lowry’s handball, but Jenna Kingsley’s effort was saved by Eliza Campbell.

Adelaide United had the bye.

Table Round Four

Western Sydney Wanderers43107310+4
Melbourne City43106310+3
Sydney FC4301839+5
Canberra United4202766+1
Newcastle Jets4112564– 1
Melbourne Victory3111464– 2
Brisbane Roar3102573– 2
Adelaide United3003140– 3
Perth Glory3003270– 5

Teams in bold qualify for Finals stage of the season.

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