There’s new leaders in the Westfield W League after the seventh round of matches. Impetus editor Ben Gilby reports.
Western Sydney Wanderers have capped their outstanding start to the season by ending 2019 as W League leaders. Dean Heffernan’s side, who have never previously won more than four games in a season in the club’s history before, recorded their fifth win of this campaign in some style with a 4-0 thumping of Canberra United, taking their goal tally in the last two games to nine with none conceded in the same period.
After a fairly even start to the game at McKellar Park in the ACT, it was the Black and Reds who took the lead seven minutes before the break and it was seventeen year-old Aussie starlet Kyra Cooney-Cross who looped a header over Canberra keeper Sham Khamis from Erica Holloway’s cross.
Canberra continued to create chances, but, crucially, they failed to take advantage. The ‘Wander Women’ made them pay in some style. Republic of Ireland international Denise O’Sullivan had previously narrowly missed on two occasions, but on 69 minutes there was no denying her as she fired in from the edge of the area.
To the disappointment of the 1,243 crowd, the Parramatta based side added two further goals in a four minute spell. It was their supremely dangerous pair of Kristen Hamilton and Lynn Williams on the scoresheet yet again to ensure their side ended 2019 at the summit.
Melbourne City had the bye and are now second on goal difference from Western Sydney Wanderers.
Sydney FC are third, just a point behind the top two after requiring two late goals to see off winless Adelaide United at Jubilee Stadium.
After well over an hour of nip and tuck, which saw Adelaide create a number of excellent chances – notably for Lais Araujo and Mallory Webber – United’s hopes of gaining an unlikely point out of the game were crushed. Remy Siemsen’s cross took a wicked deflection off of the South Australian’s defender Amber Brooks and flew into the net.
It was the sort of luck that dogs a team struggling at the foot of the league table, and things got worse as the clock moved into stoppage time at the end of the game when a firecracker of a shot from Princess Ibini rocketed in to the delight of the excellent Kogorah crowd of 3,373.
Brisbane Roar took advantage of Canberra’s heavy loss to Western Sydney Wanderers to enter the finals places for the first time this season thanks to a 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets at Lions Stadium.
An excellent crowd of 2,189 gathered to welcome home Queensland’s Matildas legend Elise Kellond-Knight, and the Roar started on the front foot with Jets’ keeper Claire Coelho constantly denying the home side – first when she tipped Hayley Raso’s shot past the post and then keeping out Carson Picket’s effort. If those saves weren’t important enough, Coelho then rustled up another four outstanding stops with Raso, Tameka Yallop, Natalie Tathem and Katrina Grey all seeing their efforts kept out.
To add to the Brisbane frustration, it was Newcastle who eventually took the lead, with a textbook counter attack which ended with Tara Andrews smashing a half volley into the net.
Just before the break though, the Queenslanders finally made the breakthrough when Isobel Dalton’s cross was nodded in by Matilda’s legend Claire Polkinghorne.
Despite creating a hatful of opportunities in the second half, Brisbane could only add one further goal, but it was enough to gain the win and a place in the top four when eighteen year-old Hollie Palmer responded quickest to Carson Picket’s shot which came back off of the crossbar. Brisbane made hard work of the win, but now they are in the finals places, they are going to be very tough to shift.
The final match of the round saw Melbourne Victory gain only their second win of the season after returning from Western Australia with a 2-1 win over a Perth Glory side who are experiencing a tough run of results.
Perth started the game positively and Kat Jukic saw a magnificent effort come crashing back off of the post with Victory keeper Casey Dumont beaten all ends up. Another golden opportunity slipped away from Glory after Crystal Thomas’ feeble attempt at a spot kick, which was awarded after she was taken out by Emily Menges.
Melbourne picked themselves off of the canvas and hit Perth with a sucker punch when Amy Jackson’s long range scorcher cannoned off of the crossbar and down into the goal.
Eight minutes into the second half, Melbourne – and Jackson – doubled their tally after a game of penalty box pinball. Natasha Dowie and Rosie Sutton had efforts blocked before Jackson headed the ball in from virtually on the goal line.
Perth responded well to this latest misfortune and got a goal back when Leticia McKenna capitalised on a defensive disaster from Victory’s Emily Menges to fire home off of the post. Try as Perth might, they could not find an equaliser, and it was another tough result to take for a poor Dorrien Gardens crowd of 618.
The next round of matches in the Westfield W League take place between 2nd and 5th January. Impetus will have all the news from Round Eight next week.
Latest Westfield W League Table:
|Western Sydney Wanderers||6||5||1||0||16||3||16||+ 13|
|Melbourne City||6||5||1||0||8||3||16||+ 5|
|Sydney FC||7||5||0||2||12||8||15||+ 4|
|Canberra United||7||3||1||3||10||12||10||– 2|
|Melbourne Victory||6||2||2||2||6||8||8||– 2|
|Newcastle Jets||6||1||1||4||6||10||4||– 4|
|Perth Glory||6||0||1||4||4||11||1||– 7|
|Adelaide United||6||0||0||5||4||11||0||– 7|
Teams in bold qualify for the Finals play-offs.