ParaMatildas and Young Matildas World Cup News

The ParaMatildas’ World Cup campaign opens next week and Impetus hears from head coach Kelly Stirton after this week’s training camp. The Young Matildas also found out their opponents for August’s U20 World Cup and we heard the views of head coach Leah Blayney (6/5/22).

Above: The ParaMatildas pictures at their Sydney training camp this week. Photo: ParaMatildas.

ParaMatildas head coach Kelly Stirton has named a 10-player squad to compete in the inaugural IFCPF Women’s World Cup in Salou, Spain. 

Running from 11th May to 17th May 2022, Australia will commence their maiden campaign against the Netherlands on 11 May 2022 with kick-off at 12:45pm Central European time / 8.45pm AET. 

Australia’s squad features players from Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, and New South Wales with two goalkeepers and eight outfield players for the five-a-side modified competition. 

Stirton expressed her delight in selecting the first squad to represent the ParaMatildas on the international stage. 

Above: The ParaMatildas in training this week. Photo: ParaMatildas.

“With the selection, this is an exciting time for these players who have been working towards this goal for the longest time.  They are ready to make history for our nation,” Stirton said.

“It was certainly a difficult process and through their efforts, the players have made this a real challenge to select the final squad.

“This is a squad with many strengths including leadership, speed, and agility.  We have a lot of girls with para-sports backgrounds meaning we have a quick squad, which is going to be a danger when we break behind those lines of defence.  Our positive attitude as a squad is also one to watch out for, we have that undefeated resilience.”

The squad ranges from the youngest team member, 15-year-old Charlize Tran to the experienced Nicole Christodoulou and Matilda Mason.  It also includes two Paralympians in Georgia Beikhoff and Rae Anderson, with Anderson recently competing at the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics. 

The side will be co-captained by Georgia Beikhoff and Eloise Northam with the duo handed their jerseys by former Matildas captain and Legacy ’23 ambassador, Julie Dolan and former vice-captain Moya Dodd in a jersey ceremony that included CommBank Junior Matildas head coach Rae Dower and seven Future Matildas players. 

Above: Lots to look forward to the ParaMatildas over the next couple of weeks. Photo: ParaMatildas.

“We are heading to Spain to play for each other and our country.  The players may be individuals off the field but when they are on the field, they are one.  The team has shown me that obstacles put in front of them can be overcome by working together as a team.” 

“I would also like to make special mention of the players that have helped us prepare for the tournament, especially Emily O’Sullivan and Rachel Tolson who have been here in our pre-departure camp.  All the players who have been a part of this journey are a part of theParaMatildas history.” 

After the opening clash, the pool matches will continue in quick succession with Australia taking on Japan (13 May), hosts Spain (14 May), and United States (15 May) to close out the fixtures. 

Following the round-robin stage, the top two nations will challenge for the championship while the bronze medal match will feature the third and fourth-placed teams. 

The CommBank ParaMatildas games will be broadcast on the My Football YouTube channel, while tournament match scheduling and results can be accessed here.

Impetus will be covering the ParaMatildas World Cup campaign – keep an eye out on our social media @ImpetusFootball on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for articles.

COMMBANK PARAMATILDAS SQUAD | 2022 IFCPF WOMEN’S WORLD CUP

Above: The ParaMatildas squad. Photo: ParaMatildas
NO.NAMEAGECITY, STATECLASSIFICATION
1 (GK)Holly SAUNDERS19Sydney, NSWFT1
2Nicole CHRISTODOULOU30Sydney, NSWFT2
3Tahlia BLANSHARD21Jilliby, NSWFT2
4Charlize TRAN15Sydney, NSWFT2
5Lainee HARRISON18Newcastle, NSWTBC
6 (GK)Katelyn SMITH26Perth, WATBC
7Eloise NORTHAM19Sydney, NSWTBC
8Matilda MASON30Canberra, ACTFT2
9Rae ANDERSON25Wamberal, NSWTBC
10Georgia BEIKOFF29Newcastle, NSWFT2

Young Matildas To Open U20 World Cup

Above: The Young Matildas squad that played New Zealand recently. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Football Australia.

The Young Matildas will face host nation Costa Rica to open the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica at the Estadio Nacional, San Jose on 10 August 2022. 

The Final Draw for the competition took place today at the Teatro Nacional in San José, one of the two host cities for the tournament.

Australia’s Group A schedule will see them also take on South American champions Brazil (13 August) and UEFA’s Spain (16 August).

Head coach Leah Blayney conveyed her anticipation for the tournament following the draw. 

“We’re looking forward to facing Costa Rica in the opening match at the Estadio Nacional.  What an exciting time for women’s football,” Blayney said.  “We’re going into every match respecting all our opponents and we will now prepare accordingly.”

“It’s going to be an incredible experience, already during our time in Costa Rica, the people and the community have made us feel welcome.  Returning in August and playing with this atmosphere is going to be very special.”

CommBank Young Matildas midfielder Sarah Hunter spoke about looking forward to playing some of the world’s best youth national teams in less than 100 days’ time. 

Above: Inside the Young Matildas huddle. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Football Australia.

“The draw makes our participation in the U20 Women’s World Cup feel very real.  Knowing who our opponents are allows us to fully focus on preparation to be ready for the competition,” Hunter said.  

“Costa Rica as the host nation obviously will have strong support which will make the atmosphere electric.  Being a part of the opening match with them will be an experience for us to remember and a chance to set the tone for the rest of our tournament. 

“Australia and Brazil have a great rivalry in women’s football.  They have such rich history in World Cups, and they will present a wonderful challenge for us, particularly as it will be the first time our group will face a South American nation.

“Finally, Spain is probably the benchmark for women’s football right now so getting the opportunity to play them at a major tournament is amazing to think about.” 

Running from 10 to 28 August 2022, the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup features 16 nations drawn into four groups of four teams.  The top two finishers in each group will advance to the knockout stages, commencing on 20 August 2022. 

The Young Matildas were drawn out of Pot 4 which included the Netherlands, Canada, and Colombia.  The nations were placed in pots based on their previous showings at recent tournaments. 

GROUP AGROUP BGROUP CGROUP D
Costa RicaGermanyFranceJapan
AustraliaColombiaNigeriaNetherlands
SpainNew ZealandCanadaGhana
BrazilMexicoKorea RepublicUSA

2022 will mark the 10th edition of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup with Australia set to make their fourth appearance at the youth championships, reaching the quarter-finals on two occasions (2002, 2004).  Their most recent appearance was in 2006 with Blayney a member of that squad. 

Australia will continue their preparations for the tournament next week when they assemble for a training camp in Sydney. 


COMMBANK YOUNG MATILDAS | MATCH SCHEDULE | GROUP A

Costa Rica v Australia
Date: Wednesday, 10 August 2022 (local)
Venue: Estadio Nacional, San Jose

Brazil v Australia
Date: Saturday, 13 August 2022 (local)
Venue: Morera Soto, Alajuela

Australia v Spain
Date: Tuesday, 16 August 2022 (local)
Venue: Morera Soto, Alajuela

Wales Announce New Zealand Friendly

The Welsh will be taking on the Football Ferns next month. We hear all the details and the views of Wales head coach Gemma Grainger (5/5/22).

Gemma Grainger’s Wales will take on New Zealand, next year’s joint World Cup hosts, in an international challenge match on Tuesday 28th June (KO 18:00 BST) in the Pinatar Arena in Spain.

The two sides last met in June 2019, when a Kayleigh Green goal secured the 1-0 win for Cymru in drizzly conditions at the Leckwith Stadium in Cardiff. The match will see a return to south-east Spain for Grainger’s side, after competing in the 2022 Pinatar Cup in February.

New Zealand, ranked 22nd in the world, will be hosting next year’s World Cup alongside Australia. Wales are currently sitting in second place in their qualifying group in the bid to reach the tournament down-under and will hope to secure a play-off spot with two matches remaining, away to Greece and home to Slovenia.

The Wales head coach said: “This is a great opportunity for our preparation ahead of the final qualifying round group matches in September. It is the next step in the growth of the team. New Zealand are a higher ranked opposition, and we want to continue with that mentality of challenging ourselves in different ways.”

Foord Masterclass Spurs The Gunners To Vital Win

Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur

By Darrell Allen at the Emirates Stadium for Impetus (5/5/22)

Above: Caitlin Foord gets a shot in at The Emirates last night despite Spurs’ Ashleigh Neville’s attempted block. Photo: Arsenal WFC.

Arsenal comfortably beat North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night to set up a final day title decider in the FAWSL.

The Gunners moved to within a point of leaders Chelsea and have a superior goal difference meaning a win on Sunday at West Ham United will be enough to lift the title if Emma Hayes’ side lose or draw against Manchester United at Kingsmeadow. 

Tottenham had the first chance of the game, Maéva Clemaron set up Kyah Simon but the shot was straight into the hands of Manuela Zinsberger in the Arsenal net.

However, the home side established its dominance shortly afterwards. With just four minutes in the clock, Leah Williamson beautifully split the Tottenham defence with a stunning through ball to find Beth Mead who finished brilliantly to open the scoring.

Above: Beth Mead celebrates after giving the Gunners an early lead. Photo: Arsenal WFC.

Spurs almost found a way back into the game, but following a goalmouth scramble that saw Vivianne Miedema block two shots, the danger was dealt with.

This roused the contingent of Tottenham supporters who had their own segregated area in the Clock End, something which pleasingly has started to appear within the women’s game.

Steph Catley was next in for Arsenal but the move was cut out by Ashleigh Neville. Next, a stunning Mead ball then split open the Tottenham defence but Stina Blackstenius’ effort could only find Tinja-Riikka Korpela’s hands.

Arsenal continued to dominate the match but Tottenham did well to contain the onslaught of set pieces during the first half period.

Caitlin Foord came alive and almost finished, but the ball hit the side netting after an in-box scramble before Miedema fired just wide of goal.

Matildas star Foord continued to be a nuisance for the Tottenham defence and particularly was giving Shelina Zadorsky a torrid time as she continually pushed and probed.

Catley also continued to cause Tottenham trouble all evening in a wide position but also cutting inside.

The Williamson and Mead link-up was a feature of the evening. Another great ball from former which the latter fired wide.

The Tottenham defence was standing firm but you sensed it was only a matter of time before the second arrived.

Foord had time for a further shot at Korpela but the lead remained singular at the break.

The second half followed a similar pattern of total Arsenal domination, and a tale of the two M’s early in the second period. Mead found Miedema who skipped inside the Tottenham defence and let fly but Korpela saved.

Foord continued to be influential in everything Arsenal were doing, carving the visitors defence open on numerous occasions.

It was the Australian who played a delightful ball across, but Mead could not finish.

Foord was everywhere as more great running found Miedema again who found the Tottenham defence napping but fired over.

Katie McCabe was introduced to a terrific reception from the Emirates crowd who were in party mood all evening.

The second goal arrived when Miedema hit a low swinging ball across and Foord was there to slide in to finish and deservedly double the Arsenal lead.

Above: In true North London derby style, it all got a bit heated in the second half… Photo: Arsenal WFC.

Ill temper was sparked when Lia Wälti put a horrendous challenge in on Josie Green with the Arsenal star fortunate to escape with a yellow.

The highlight of the night was to come as Foord curled in a delightful third to wrap the win up in style for Arsenal.

Lionesses captain Williamson was replaced late on to a standing ovation and Foord later forced Korpela into a further save.

There was time for Spurs to be awarded a late penalty as Angela Addison was brought down by Lotte Wubben-Moy but the spot-kick was saved by the legs of Zinsberger to round off a miserable night for the visitors.

Sweet Caroline rang out around the Emirates at Full Time as Arsenal celebrated another North London Derby win and the fact they have taken the FAWSL title race to the final day.

Above: Beth Mead and Caitlin Foord – Arsenal’s goal scorers and outstanding performers on the night. Photo: Arsenal WFC.

Player of the match: Beth Mead

Teams: ARSENAL: Zinsberger, Wubben-Moy, Williamson, Catley, Mead, Little, Miedema, Wälti, Maritz, Foord, Blackstenius. Substitutes: Williams (GK), Beatty, Maanum, Parris, Mccabe, Boys, Iwabuchi, Wienroither, Cull.

Scorers: Mead 4′. Foord 71, 82′.

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Korpela, Zadorsky, Green, Bartrip, Harrop, Naz, Williams, Simon, Clemaron, Ayane, Neville. Substitutes: Spencer (GK), So-Hyun, Jiali, Ale, Addison, Summanen, Lane.

Referee: Louise Saunders.

Attendance: 13,438.

Above: Caitlin Foord and Lotte Wubben-Moy (right) jump for joy. Photo: Arsenal WFC.

Busselton City: A Proud History And Building For A Big Future

As an extension of Impetus’ coverage of the Western Australian women’s football scene, Sharon Cowley from WA’s South-West Soccer Association Premier League club Busselton City spoke to Ben Gilby (4/5/22).

Above: Busselton City FC. Photo: Sharon Cowley.

Busselton City, located in the South-West of the state are celebrating their centenary this year. Whilst their women’s team has not been around for quite as long, their first female team was fielded over 70 years ago.

Sharon revealed: “Busselton have always been a huge advocate for woman’s football which dates back to as early as 1946. However, it did not last all those years. The club picked up on having a ladies team more permanently from 1997, who had nicknamed themselves ‘The Busselton Redbacks’. In coming years the club expanded to two ladies teams – a reserve side and a senior one playing in the South West Soccer Association (SWSA).”

With the 2022 season now underway, Sharon outlined how the SWSA is looking this year. “This competition has an amazing 14 ladies teams playing throughout the two divisions.

“While once the league used to be competitive in the local area, more opportunities have presented themselves to more talented players which see them stepping up to the ‘Southwest Phoenix’ ladies team. Others may head to Perth to bigger clubs, move overseas or play at university, which is fantastic to see.”

Busselton City have an established pathway for girls to develop with the aim that they will eventually move up to play senior SWSA football.

Above: Busselton City (red) challenge for possession. Photo: Sharon Cowley.

“Our club aims to have girls going from juniors to seniors to hopefully further on if they wish to follow that path,” said Sharon. “We have a very positive, supportive club. We recently joined up with our local Busselton Soccer Club to become one club for this to make an easier pathway for our juniors and we have lots of our senior players coaching to help.”

As such an established club, it should come as no surprise that Busselton City have produced some excellent players over the years, as Sharon highlighted.

“Asha McClurg grew up around the club from a child watching her Dad play, then joining herself. She has just joined Coastal Carolina University after spending the last two years at Sussex.

“We have had the amazing Baxter Thew who started playing seniors with us at 13 years old, she is currently playing for Bankstown City Lions FC in the New South Wales NPL competition after an a successful stint at Murdoch University Melville, who won last season’s Western Australian NPL.

“Arianna Dawson started playing for Busselton when she was in grade six at school, and by the time she reached senior level she already looked dangerous with her super-speed and ball skills. She moved on to America to play at Dodge City Community College in Kansas for two years then went to California State University Dominguez Hills for another two. At present she is captain of the ladies South West Phoenix team.

Above: In control – Busselton City. Photo: Sharon Cowley.

“Then, there is Siobhan Longmore who has more talent in her big toe than my whole body. She followed her big sisters, Arianna. Siobhan played for Dodge City in Kansas for two years before heading to Eckerd College, Florida for a further two years. At present, she is playing for Fremantle City Football Club in the Western Australia NPL.”

As Western Australia has finally opened up after two years of COVID restrictions, Sharon believes that the pandemic has not had an overly negative impact on the club.

“We were not able to host our annual Carnival, but other than that we have been able to carry on. Our aim is to continue to grow strength in our juniors to carry them on to the seniors.

“We had a few amazing years winning the league title and cups along the way, but also had rebuilding years where we struggled to win a game, but have always fought to make sure we have a Premier Ladies team.”

Busselton City’s season to date:

Table From: Football West Gameday.
Above: Busselton City look to breakthrough. Photo: Sharon Cowley.

Mexican Wrap

Impetus’ Jorge Ceron rounds up all the latest action from Mexico’s top tier as the regular season draws to an end (4/5/22).

Above: Tiguana (Xelos) celebrate their dramatic qualification for the Finals with a dramatic goal at the last possible moment. Photo: @XolosFemenil.

The regular season of Mexican women’s soccer came to an end on Monday night, and it couldn’t have ended in a better way, a couple of heart-pounding and exciting games. The top eight sides now head into the Liguilla or the so-called playoffs where the best eight teams face each other.

Week 17 had three games that didn’t impact the final table. Atlas beat León 2-1 at the Jalisco Stadium, in the north of the country. Santos Laguna defeated Mazatlán 1-0, and Pachuca drew 1-1 with Necaxa.

In the latter game, Charlyn Corral (former Levante and Atletico Madrid player, who was the top scorer in Spain in 2017-2018) was still aiming for the top goalscorer’s crown. Corral needed one goal to snatch the award from Alicia Cervantes of Chivas. In the end, Corral failed in her bid.

Speaking of Guadalajara, the top two teams in the table met at the Akron stadium as Monterey took on Chivas. There was not too much to report from other than the fact that four players suffered injuries due to the terrible state of the pitch as a result of some concerts. Chivas won 1-0 with goal from Carlina Jaramillo. Alicia Cervantes did not score but ended up with the top scorer’s award after netting 14 goals. It is important to mention that the goals were scored in just 13 games because she missed several games due to injury and COVID. Cervantes has now scored a total of 64 goals for Chivas.

Above: Alicia Cervantes – with 14 goals in 13 games, won the competition’s top scorer prize. Photo: @somos_de_chivas

On Friday the 17th day began with Atletico San Luis against Queretaro. Both arrived with hopes of qualifying for the top eight. They had to win and wait for results, although it was very complicated. Atletico San Luis, which is twinned with Atletico Madrid from Spain, won 3-1, but unfortunately for them the results in other matches didn’t go their way and their finals hopes died.

It was the same case in La Noria, where Cruz Azul needed to win and wait for results. They easily defeated Puebla 3-1 with a double by Magaly Cortés. To qualify they hoped that Xolas de Tijuana would not win.

In the main game on Sunday night, at the Universitario Stadium, two of the great favorites faced each other to lift the trophy of champions. Tigres de la UANL faced América. An additional ingredient was the return of Katty Martinez, (second highest scorer in the league’s history) to Nuevo León, but now dressed in the América shirt. Martinez was the protagonist of a controversial piece of play when she was tackled by her former teammate Blanca Sierra inside the area but was not awarded a penalty. It was a tight game in which both teams did not show their best weapons and ended 1-1 American Mia Fishel scored for Tigres and Betzi Cuevas tied the game.

Above: Mia Fishel celebrates Tigres’ goal. Photo: @TigresFemenil

Finally, we leave the games that defined everything, on Monday afternoon where Toluca hosted Pumas. Whoever won qualified for the Finals. Even a draw would allow Toluca to make it. Within the opening minute, Toluca took the lead with a goal from Diana Guatemala, and from there they dedicated themselves to defending knowing that only two goals could eliminate them. Yet, with 33 minutes gone, Pumas levelled with a penalty. They then went ahead from an own goal just after the hour. That would have been enough to eliminate the home side. But six minutes from the end, Mariel Roman tied the game and caused joy for Toluca. Yet still the scoring was not over. And in a moment of huge drama, with two minutes left, Marilyn Diaz arrived two minutes from the end and gave the victory to the university students and the pass to the finals. It was a great game.

The season ended with a match between border teams, Tijuana and Juarez. Tijuana needed to win to qualify for the Finals at Cruz Azul’s expense. It took over 70 minutes until major incident and then it all happened. Silvia Elicerio arrived to score Juarez’s first goal, but nine minutes later, Renae Cuellar tied the game. The closing stages were high drama. Juarez scored a second with three minutes left. A minute later, Xolos tied and then seven minutes of stoppage time was announced. Incredibly, in the last of those minutes, Esmeralda Verdugo scored a goal that gave Tijuana victory.

The Quarter-Finals will be played on Thursday and Monday.

Heroic Thetford Take Point From Fakenham

Fakenham Town 2-2 Thetford Town

By Darrell Allen (4/5/22)

Above: Becky White floats in a free-kick for Thetford Town at Fakenham. Photo: Darrell Allen.

Less than 72 hours after their 5-0 win over Bungay Town, a Thetford Town squad and management team that had since been ravaged by Covid, injury, and illness made the 70-mile round trip to face Fakenham Town.

Thetford had a playing squad of 12 and some of those were carrying injuries. Norfolk Women And Girls Football League Division One’s second-placed side Fakenham had the full 16 available so Thetford went in firmly as the underdogs. 

A positive for Thetford was the game was moved from the main pitch due to a veterans game and played on a smaller sized pitch which pleased the Thetford manager David Skipp ahead of kick-off.

It was Thetford who came out of the blocks fastest. A quick break saw Rebecca White find captain Melissa Boulton whose shot was saved by Tilly Betts in the Fakenham goal.

The subsequent corner by Hannah Rogers was cleared by Amie Hutchinson before a series of Thetford throws ins saw the early pressure continue with Dayna Howard forcing Betts into a save.

Fakenham began to get a foothold and a great ball through to Vicky Lubbock who then caught the Thetford defence off guard but could only slot past Lydia Ward to see the ball hit the post and go wide. 

The game turned into more of a midfield battle with the Town defence working hard but Fakenham were on top, but found Dayna Howard in the way every time. 

Thetford got back into what then became a stunning end-to-end contest. Good play from White, Melissa Boulton, Abbie Corbyn, and Courtney Musgrove saw an incredible amount of passes but ended up being cut out by Fakenham.

Above: Hannah Claughton takes a corner for Thetford Town. Photo: Darrell Allen.

Thetford opened the scoring when Melissa Boulton struck brilliant and the ball hit the bar before coming back out to top scorer White who finished superbly over the keeper.

The visitors should have doubled their lead before the break. White floated in a wonderful free-kick and Abbie Corbyn fired over the bar when it looked like a certain goal. It remained 1-0 at the break.

Thetford started with the second half with the same work rate and intensity as the first. A great Boulton break found White but it ended up in the keeper’s hands.

Fakenham had some more good moves but Klimcke and Dayna Howard were in the way of all of them. However, the visitors’ defence could not hold out.

Fakenham levelled the scores when Sophie Lubbock hit a great finish first time across Ward and in.

Nicole Costin floated in a beautiful free-kick for Fakenham but it was dealt with well by Ward.

Disaster struck for Thetford when Captain Boulton had to come off and Erin Lloyd was reintroduced to the pitch.

Fakenham broke brave Thetford resilience in the 70th minute when Olivia Barker found the corner to give the hosts a 2-1 advantage.

Above: Charlotte Howard on the ball for Thetford Town at Fakenham. Photo: Darrell Allen.

Thetford would now require every inch of team spirit and togetherness to get something out of this, they delivered.

You could forgive Thetford if they went on to collapse at this point. They had given everything for 70 minutes.

Somehow, somewhere the Thetford squad found a new burst of energy, a new feeling of togetherness and with the same great attitude, Corbyn, Rogers, and White were still getting joy in behind.

The reward came when great work from Musgrove saw the ball fall to Corbyn who smashed it beyond Betts to level the scores and spark wild scenes of celebration.

Thetford enjoyed the final stages of the game and Rogers had a shot into the keepers’ hands before Amy Skipp fired over the bar and Musgrove fired wide.

The scores ended level but this felt like a win for Thetford.   This is right up with Thetford’s best days of the season, to come away with limited numbers to second place Fakenham and get a fully deserved point. It took bravery, guts, team spirit, and determination of huge proportion.

The result was made even more impressive by the fact Fakenham had a free week and Thetford played less than 72 hours previous against Bungay Town.

With only one point needed from the final two games to finish fourth, this was a  huge achievement for the club. 

Thetford players of the match: Dayna Howard and Zoe Klimcke.

Teams: FAKENHAM TOWN: Betts, Pooley, Riches, Smith, Hutchinson, Sands, Dilling, Lubbock, Lubbock, Woods, Spurrell. Substitutes: Baker, Costin, Davies, Wright, Marjoram.

Scorers: Lubbock, Baker

THETFORD TOWN: Ward, Musgrove  Klimcke, Howard, Lloyd, Howard, Corbyn, Rogers, White, Boulton, Claughton. Substitute: Skipp.

Scorers: White, Corbyn.

The Swedish Scene

Ben Gilby rounds up all the latest action in the Damallsvenskan and Elitettan with some big games played (3/5/22).

Above: Rosengård and Hammarby mount an aerial battle on Friday night. Photo: Hammarby.

DAMALLSVENSKAN:

Round Six kicked off on Friday night with Rosengård hosting a revived Hammarby at Malmö Idrottsplats in front of 1,225 fans. The match was of big interest to fans of Australian women’s football with the defending champions naming Teagan Micah in goal and Charli Grant on the bench. Hammarby fielded fellow Matildas star Courtney Nevin in their starting line-up.

The match burst into life with two goals in three minutes either side of the quarter hour mark. Stefanie Sanders put the hosts ahead, but the visitors hit back shortly afterwards thanks to Emilia Larsson’s equaliser. However, Olivia Schough restored Rosengård’s lead in stoppage time at the end of the first half.

Above: Rosengård celebrate Olivia Schough’s goal. Photo: FC Rosengård

Hammarby remained well in the match until the final exchanges. However, it then fell apart for them. Substitute Bea Sprung put the defending champions 3-1 up and another stoppage time goal from Schough clinched Rosengård’s win which keeps them top of the table.

Above: AIK have much to ponder ahead of next week’s big derby clash. Photo: Gabriel Gustavsson.

AIK remain bottom after a 2-0 defeat at newly-promoted Umeå IK. The Solna-based side once more paid the price for a slow start. Two early for Umeå clinched the points. Emma Zingmark put the hosts ahead with just two minutes on the clock. The prolific Henna-Riikka Honkanen settled matters with just 17 minutes played to the delight of the 472 crowd.

BK Häcken’s title hopes hit a snag after they could only draw 0-0 at seventh-placed Vittsjö, who fielded both their Matildas stars Clare Polkinghorne and Katrina Gorry from the start.

Above: Vittsjö’s Clare Polkinghorne (4) battles for possession against BK Häcken. Photo: Hemmamatch.nu

The home side have proved to be very tough to beat this season with just one defeat in their opening games, although three of these have been drawn. The 607 home crowd would certainly have been the better pleased of the two sets of fans with this outcome.

Piteå took advantage of Häcken’s failure to win by going second just a single point behind leaders Rosengård after a 1-0 win at IF Brommapojkarna. The only goal came five minutes before the break when Katrina Guillou played in Hlin Eiríksdóttir to score.

Above: Action from Eskilstuna United’s win over IF Brommapojkarna. Photo: Eskilstuna United.

Eskilstuna United moved up to fifth after edging IFK Kalmar 1-0 at Tunavallen. The only goal came just over 20 minutes into the second half. Noor Eckhoff provided the assist for Elin Rombing to score the winner to the delight of the crowd of 611.

Above: Djurgården celebrate Stinalisa Johansson’s winning goal. Photo: DIF.

Struggling Djurgården gained an impressive 1-0 win at home to a Kristianstads side who had started the season in good form. The visitors had only lost once all season and scored 10 goals in five games going into this encounter. The ever-impressive Tove Almqvist set up Stinalisa Johansson to score the only goal of the game three minutes before the break. This result is the perfect confidence boost for Djurgården as they travel to deadly rivals, rock bottom AIK next Sunday.

The final game of the round was played last night and Linköping maintained their strong start with a 1-0 win over KIF Örebro. The only goal came ten minutes from time thanks to Saori Takarada to the joy of the 516 crowd.

Above: Linköping on the ball against KIF Örebro last night. Photo: Linköping Football Club

ROUND SEVEN FIXTURES: BK Häcken v Linköping, Hammarby v Vittsjö, Umeå IK v Rosengård, AIK v Djurgården, KIF Örebro v IFK Kalmar, Kristianstads v IF Brommapojkarna, Piteå v Eskilstuna United.

Table From: Svensk Fotboll.

ELITETTAN

SELECTED MATCH DETAILS:

It’s as tight as a drum at the top of the Elitettan with the top three only separated by goal difference and fourth-placed Gamla Upsala only a further point behind.

Above: Action from Lidköpings win at Bergdalens IF – a result that sent them top of the Elitettan. Photo: Lidköpings

Lidköpings FK went top on goal difference after a 3-0 win at newly-promoted Bergdalens IK. Tilde Ahlén opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour. It remained that way until the final stages when two goals in as many minutes at the denouement clinched top spot for the visitors. Jenny Stadin made it 2-0 with 89 on the clock. Ida Pettersson completed the scoring in stoppage time at the end of the game which was played in front of 129 spectators.

Växjö dropped down to second after being held 1-1 at home to Sundsvalls in front of 171 fans. Both goals came in a 10-minute spell after the fifteen-minute mark when Dessislava Dupay put the home side ahead. Olivia Wänglund levelled matters for Sundsvalls who are now in the chasing pack, just three points behind the leaders.

Above: Dessislava Dupuy (red kit) – scorer for Växjö. Photo: Hammarby.

Alingsås FC United are third after a 1-1 draw at home to IK Uppsala. Nicole Robertson’s goal put the visitors ahead eight minutes into the second half. Stina Jensen’s strike seven minutes from the end delighted the majority of the 145 fans at Mjörnvallen Idrottsplats. Such is the tight nature of the top of the Elitettan table, had Uppsala remained in front, they would have gone top of the table themselves. Instead, they drop to fifth.

Above: Stine Jensen – scorer for Alingsås FC United. Photo: Rudy Alvard.

Their cross-city rivals Gamla Upsala continued their impressive start to life in the Elitettan after promotion following a 1-0 win over Mallbackens IF Sunne. Mathilda Henriksson scored the only goal with less than 15 minutes left in front of 205 fans.

Next week’s matches will be fascinating with four of the top five playing each other.

Full Results Round Five: Bergdalens IK 0-3 Lidköpings FK, Älvsjö AIK FF 0-1 Team TG FF, Alingsås FC United 1-1, Växjö 1-1 Sundsvalls, Rävåsens IK Karlskoga 0-2 Jitex BK, Ifö Bromölla IF 1-5 IFK Norrköping, Gamla Upsala SK 1-0 Mallbackens IF Sunne.

Table From: Svensk Fotboll.

Round Six (Fixtures): IK Uppsala v Jitex BK, Team TG FF v Rävåsens IK Karlskoga, Alingsås FC United v Växjö, Bergdalens IK v Ifö Bromölla IF, Mallbackens IF Sunne v Älvsjö AIK FF, IFK Norrköping v Gamla Upsala SK, Lidköpings FK v Sundsvalls.

NPL Victoria Women Round Five Wrap

Kieran Yap provides his weekly round-up of all the action from the Victoria NPL Women’s competition. As usual, there is a detailed report on one game and a wrap of all the other matches along with photos (3/5/22).

Above: Calder United (white) on the charge against Bayside United. Photo: Jack Dilks 171819.

Bayside United 0-6 Calder United

Calder United recorded another impressive result as they put Bayside to the sword in a 6-0 thrashing.

Bayside were looking for a response after losing 7-0 to Bulleen Lions in round four. But their task was made more difficult by injuries in the squad. Alisa Chechelnitskiy make her second appearance for the senior team

Despite the score, the Under 19’s goalkeeper was among her side’s best players and made some stunning saves throughout the afternoon.

Calder United started with Harriet Withers for the first time this season. The winger has returned to the club as an A-League Women’s champion after her first campaign with Melbourne Victory.

The visitors were on the attack early with Stacey Papadopoulos’ pace and intent causing issues early for Bayside.

Above: Calder United looking to create once more against Bayside Untied. Photo: Jack Dilks 171819.

The first goal arrived in the 30th minute, after the two Calder attackers combined. Withers received the ball at halfway and launched a long, direct pass to Papadopoulos.

Spotting Chechelnitskiy only slightly off her line, the Calder United forward produced an incredible chip from the edge of the box. It was the first goal of the season for Papadopoulos and she could have hardly done it in better style.

Montana Mathews sparked the next Calder attack. She embarked on a long, powerful run that began inside her own half.  Papadopoulos got on the end of the eventual pass and should have scored a second. Withers almost turned the ball in from the scramble but Bayside survived.

The second goal arrived just before halftime. A free-kick 20 yards from goal was played short by Adriana Taranto. Alana Cerne’s shot was directed through the defenders and into the bottom corner. It was well placed and powerfully hit. Chechelnitskiy was unsighted by the wall and crowded penalty area and had little chance of saving it.

Withers continued to test the home defence. Her cross fell to Elle Talevski, but Chechelnitskiy was able to dive, stretch and tip the ball onto the post.

Above: There was plenty to celebrate for Calder United at Bayside. Photo: Jack Dilks 171819.

Bayside defended well and counterattacked for much of the second half. They held out until the 76th minute before another well-worked free-kick added a third for Calder United.

With Bayside set up to defend a shot. Taranto slid the ball wide to her left. Papadopoulos crossed the ball in low into the six-yard box and Raquel Deralas forced the ball home to make it 3-0.

With 10 minutes left of regular time, Calder United could have been forgiven for taking the foot off the pedal. However, they were effectively just getting started.

Against a tiring Bayside, they embarked on a relentless series of attacks to end to game and added another goal after Papadopoulos and Julia Sardo combined to set up Tiarna Stella for her first goal of her NPLW career.

Her first touch took her around the defender and her second was a perfectly hit shot into the top left corner. It was a goal created through composure and she struck it venomously. It was a memorable way to open her account for the club.

Above: All action between Calder United and Bayside United. Photo: Jack Dilks 171819.

A fifth was added soon after when Withers and Stella set up Sardo to strike from distance. The shot flew past Chechelnitskiy and crashed off the underside of the bar before crossing the line.

Deralas was finding pockets of space in attack and pulled two brilliant saves from Bayside’s young goalkeeper. After a clever turn and dangerous strike, Chechelnitskiy dove spectacularly to tip it over the bar. The pair repeated the scene moments later, Deralas was somehow denied again.

Papadopoulos had started the scoring an hour earlier and in the 90th minute, she added her second and Calder’s sixth. After trying to dissect the defence with a probing pass, the ball deflected back to her. She raced through to finish from point-blank range.

The win took Calder United up to third on the table, they are playing with confidence and have multiple avenues to goal. They play bottom-placed South Melbourne in round six and will be confident of another win.

Bayside face Alamein next. After conceding 13 goals in two games, they will be eager to make amends and show improvement. Alamein were impressive against league leaders Bulleen on Monday night. Bayside will have to be at their best to get a result.  

Squads: BAYSIDE UNITED: Chechelnitskiy, Mclure (Gaudry 45+1) Shearing, Baker, Budiongo, Fogartry, Gilbert (Sata 89), Jowett, Parker, Ramsay (Anvari 45+1), Sousa (Porter 73)

CALDER UNITED: Dal Oste (GK) Matthews (Deralas), Sardo, Dakic, Robers (Eicke 52), A Taranto, (M Taranto) Cerne, Withers, Groba (Stella 69), Papadopoulos, Talevski (Cain 52).

Scorers: Papadopoulos 30′, 90′. Cerne 42′, Deralas 76′, Stella 86′, Sardo 88′.

Referee: Danielle Anderson

ROUND FIVE ROUND-UP:

Above: Heidelberg United celebrate a fine win against South Melbourne. Photo: Heidelberg United.

Elsewhere around the competition, Heidelberg United defeated South Melbourne 3-0 thanks to a brace from Stephanie Galea, including an incredible free-kick. Danielle Wise was the other scorer in a comfortable win.

FC Bulleen Lions and Alamein faced off on Monday night. Bulleen took a second-minute lead through Tiffany Eliadis before Emma Runnalls levelled the scores in the second half.

Bulleen looked set for their second draw of the season, but Alana Burn secured the points in the 82nd minute and return the Lions to the top of the table.

Box Hill United’s match against FV Emerging was postponed.

Table From: NPLW Victoria.

Norfolk Wrap

Darrell Allen brings us his ever-popular round-up of all the action in the Norfolk Women’s Football scene (3/5/22).

Above: Norwich City pictured on the Loftus Road pitch after their game at Queen’s Park Rangers. Photo: Norwich City Women FC.

Tier Four Norwich City ended their season in defeat, their final FA Women’s National League Division One South-East fixture. They went down 2-1 at Queen’s Park Rangers.

The game was landmark occasion for QPR with the hosts playing the game at the men’s team home ground Loftus Road in front of a crowd of 502.

Norwich City fell behind when Vicky Grieve opened the scoring for the hosts, Natasha Snelling levelled it up for the Canaries on 48 minutes before the hosts won it in the 88 th minute with a goal from Sue Kumaning. Always disappointing to finish the season in defeat, but Norwich City got their business done prior to this fixture, having won their previous four matches to secure safety with a game to go and they can look forward to FAWNL Division 1 South East football again next season.

It was also the final round of games in the tier five Eastern Region Premier Division, with Wymondham Town already finished and promoted as champions.

Above: All smiles at the finish for Wroxham. Photo: Wroxham FC.

Wroxham took centre stage and they won their final league game of the season 4-1 at home to AFC Dunstable. Due to the lack of availability of their home stadium at Trafford Park, the fixture was played at the nearby FDC Open Academy. The change of venue did not distract the Yachtswomen as Lauren Bullard opened the scoring early on, before Becky Russell made it 2-0 and continued her scoring form for the week having netted for Thetford Town in their 5-0 win for Bungay Town on Thursday night.

Lauren Bullard then made it a brace for herself to give the Yachtswomen a 3-0 lead at the break. Dunstable got a goal back from the penalty spot before Grace Birchall scored the fourth to complete a comfortable win for Wroxham. It’s a victory that sees manager Rebecca Burton end her fantastic tenure at the club on a high and they will be hoping to have one last success and win silverware when they play Wymondham Town in the Eastern Region League Cup Final next Sunday. 

Above: King’s Lynn Town celebrate Tiffany Forshaw’s goal. Photo: Tim Smith.

King’s Lynn Town finished their season with a 2-2 draw at home to Royston Town at The Walks. King’s Lynn led this game 2-0 thanks to goals from Aime Ford and a long-range blast from Tiffany Forshaw. However, Royston secured a point thanks to a penalty from Natalie Richardson and a late equaliser from Becky Charter. Royston finish the season second and the seventh placed finish for King’s Lynn Town also represents a very successful first season in step five. The club have earnt many friends on and off the pitch this season, and have been helped by their home games being played at The Walks. They will be hoping to continue their upward momentum in 2022/2023. 

Table From: FA Full-Time.

In the Norfolk Women and Girls League Division One, it was second-placed Fakenham Town who took centre stage with Mulbarton Belles already having completed their season and promoted as champions. Fakenham Town were frustrated and held at home 2-2 by fourth placed Thetford Town. Thetford took the lead late in the first half with a goal from distance from Becky White. Fakenham levelled it up through Sophie Lubbock before Olivia Barker gave them the lead. Thetford equalised late on thanks to Abbie Corbyn to take home a point and cause a shock result. 

That result good news for third placed Dussindale and Hellesdon Rovers who stormed past Stalham on the road 13-0. Seven of those goals came from Vicky Leyer. There was also ahat trick from Shanice Sutton, a brace from Tallulah Bell and the other from captain Calista Tink. Dussindale therefore continue their relentless pursuit of second placed Fakenham Town. Fakenham have now finished their league games and face an anxious wait to find out where they finish as Dussindale sit 10 points behind but still have four matches to play. For a full report of this game, see Impetus tomorrow (Wednesday).

In arguably the day’s biggest game, Sprowston and Bungay Town shared the spoils in an entertaining 1-1 draw. Lucy Eagle opened the scoring for Bungay before the hosts equalised late on thanks to a goal from Keira Braithwaite. Bungay now must beat Thetford Town on Sunday to stand any chance of finishing in fourth place. 

Above: Harriet Hunwicks-Rush being applauded off the pitch after her final game, 12 years and 280 appearances for Long Stratton. Photo: Long Stratton FC.

In the day’s final game, Long Stratton hosted North Walsham Town at Manor Road, in what was an emotional occasion for Long Stratton’s Harriet Hunwicks-Rush who played her final game after 12 seasons with the club making 280 appearances along the way. Long Stratton sent her out in style winning 6-4 thanks to a hat-trick from Luci Middleton, a brace from Samantha Walker, and the other goal coming from Emma Allsopp. North Walsham were very proud of their performance running a good Long Stratton side close with just a squad of bare 11. 

Table From: FA Full-Time.

In Division Two, the story of the day in Norfolk saw Caister win the title with a superb 11-0 victory over Shrublands. There were five goals from Bethany Turner, a brace from Molly Simms, and strikes from Ellie Hills, Samantha Hunn, Hayley Muir, and Enya Tooke. The result saw Sophie Gillett’s team crowned champions in style with a game to go. They can also look forward to the upcoming NWGFL plate cup final against Dussindale and Hellesdon Rovers. 

Above: Caister FC celebrate winning the Norfolk Women & Girls’ Division Two title. Photo: Caister FC.

In the only other Division Two game on Sunday, King’s Lynn Soccer Club rounded off their season with a 5-0 win over Freethorpe thanks to four goals from Jordan Turner and the other from Kelsey Ramm. They now face a wait to see what the University of East Anglia do in their two final matches to see if they hold on to second place. 

Table From: FA Full-Time

Polished Pride

Pride Park 4-0 Borrowash Victoria

By Doug Outt (3/5/22)

Above: Pride Park’s Summer Evans with her commemorative shield marking her 50th appearance for the club. Photo via: Pride Park FC.

Pride Park moved into second in the Derbyshire Ladies League Division One with a polished and composed performance against a depleted Borrowash Victoria on Sunday.

It was third against fourth at Moorways, with both sides in the hunt for second place. Prior to kick-off, Pride’s striker Summer Evans was presented with a commemorative shield to mark her reaching 50 appearances at the beginning of April.

Vics made a lively start but there weren’t many chances early on. Pride Park gradually grew into the game and started to enjoy the better possession, although the first shot on target came from the visitors after 15 minutes, but was comfortably caught by Jade Howell in the Pride Park goal. The home side were building play up well, but the final ball wasn’t quite finding the intended player.

Nevertheless, The Pride started to build some momentum and there were chances for Beth Jones, Lottie Bryan, and Summer Evans, before two goals in three minutes for the hosts around the twenty minutes mark put the hosts in control. 

The first came after some slick build-up play as Evans played in Bryan who smartly squared it for Sophie Ayton on the right, who made no mistake from inside the box for her first goal of the season. 

Three minutes later, again after good build-up play, Bryan provided another assist as she unselfishly squared the ball to Evans who, with her back to goal, allowed the ball to run across her before turning and placing a smart finish wide of the keeper.

After 30 minutes Park were awarded a penalty after a free-kick was lifted into the box and the ball hit a defender’s raised hand as she challenged for a header. Tash Allderidge stepped up and drilled the spot-kick home to give Pride Park a 3-0 lead on the half-hour

Above: Sophie Ayton, scorer of Pride Park’s opening goal against Borrowash Victoria. Photo: Shaun Hardwick.

There were a couple more chances, for Beth Jones and Rachel Weaver, but at the break, it remained 3-0 to the home side, who were good value for their lead. 

It was important for Pride Park to maintain the performance level in the second half, and they started well, with early chances for Sophie Ayton, Eliot Sayavong, and Lottie Bryan. 

A few more half chances were created that couldn’t be converted, but shortly after the hour, The Pride extended their lead. A good passage of play culminated in an inviting ball into the area from Ayton which was met at the far post and smashed home by Eliot Sayavong 

The first good chance of the second half for the Vics – a header from a speculative ball forward – came with just under twenty minutes to play, but Jade Howell collected comfortably. 

With ten minutes to go, a goal-bound shot from Beth Thompson was diverted into the net by Sophie Ayton but the goal was ruled out for offside. There were no further chances for either side and Pride Park saw the game out for a valuable win. 

Defensive solidity set the foundation for the performance – it was particularly pleasing to get a third clean sheet of the season – and with some excellent build-up play added in for a fully deserved three points in a polished performance. It was good to see Eliot Sayavong and Sophie Ayton cap good displays with goals, and for Lizzie Pacey to get some playing time under her belt in her first outing since the start of the season, but there were good performances from all twelve players involved. 

The win takes Pride Park into second, behind champions Draycott, with two games to play; at Mickleover in two weeks (15th May, ko 1.30pm) and the final game of the season away to….Borrowash Victoria, again (29th May, ko 1.30pm), who have four games left.

Above: Eliot Sayavong, who completed the scoring for Pride Park. Photo: Shaun Hardwick,