The W-League is back, along with it is the hopes and dreams of each team as the work during the offseason is once again there for all to view on the pitch. Here’s a wrap up, match by match of how each game from round one went.
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 – 1 Adelaide United
The season kicked off on Thursday night with some late drama. A 92nd minute goal from Kyra Cooney-Cross took the Wanderers to a 2-1 victory over Adelaide, their first home win in 741 days.
Dean Heffernan’s side started brightly, winning a number of early set pieces that Adelaide had trouble clearing. However, the Reds would gain a foothold in the contest, hitting the front on 39 minutes when Alex Huynh fouled Mary Fowler in the area. The 16 year old also took responsibility for the spot kick, calmly placing the ball past Abby Smith.
Near the end of the first half, it was 1-1 when Alix Roberts charged down the right side and played a perfect cross for Kristen Hamilton, who could hardly miss from point blank range.
After the break, Hamilton would be denied a second goal by an excellent save from Sarah Willacy, and Wanderers débutant Cortnee Vine hit the crossbar. Adelaide continued to attack, forcing Smith into a number of stops to keep the scores level. This would prove crucial when another débutant in Cooney-Cross found the winner in stoppage time, her long range free kick evading the crowd and nestling in the back of the net.
Gallery courtesy KLZ Photography
Sydney FC 3 – 0 Melbourne Victory
Remy Siemsen marked her return to Sydney with a first-half brace before substitute Shadeene Evans scored her first W-League goal late on, as the reigning champions defeated Melbourne Victory 3-0 at Jubilee Stadium.
Missing several players through injury, Sydney deployed Angelique Hristodoulou and Natalie Tobin in defence, while Laura Brock’s absence earned Emily Menges a league début alongside Jenna McCormick in the Melbourne backline.
Despite those changes, Sydney took the lead after just four minutes. With Teresa Polias winning the ball in midfield, Caitlin Foord’s diagonal pass found Siemsen in the box, who dragged the ball onto her left foot and rifled it past Casey Dumont for her first W-League goal since February 2018.
18 minutes later Siemsen had her second, again thanks to a Foord assist. Found by Huerta on the right, Foord dispatched Angela Beard with a stepover before floating a cross over Melbourne’s defence for Siemsen to head inside the far post.
Sydney sealed the win with almost the last play of the game, as Evans latched onto Hristodoulou’s first-time cross inside the six-yard box, stooping to beat Haley Hanson and head past Dumont from point-blank range.
Newcastle Jets 1 – 1 Melbourne City
A vocal crowd of 1,523 cheered a Newcastle Jets side full of local talent to an uplifting 1-1 draw against powerhouse Melbourne City. A wonderful strike from Teigan Collister in the second half cancelled out City’s stunning opener by ex-Jets player Emily Van Egmond.
The opening minutes of the match were a tussle between the sides, with both having their chances. However it was the star-studded team of Melbourne City who showed they meant business when Van Egmond bagged the opener in the 22nd minute. A half volley that spiralled cleanly into the far corner showed the quality the Newcastle crowd are familiar with, however she was wearing the Sky Blue of City.
Following a summer of personnel changes for City, it was no surprise Newcastle looked the most cohesive, and more hungry to win the 50-50 balls, as City struggled to connect the passes fans are familiar with. Not willing to accept defeat easily, Newcastle dug in their heels and looked to mount a comeback.
With the intensity increasing, it was only a matter of time before Newcastle pulled one back. The piece of magic came from Teigan Collister, who smashed it past a fully stretched Lydia Williams to the sheer delight of the home crowd.
City found themselves on the back foot as the game wound down, and the Jets gained confidence. In the end, both sides had to settle for a draw.
Canberra United 2 – 0 Perth Glory
USA Under-23 international and Portland Thorns player Simone Charley exploded out of the blocks in Canberra United’s opening game of the season against Perth Glory at McKellar Park on Sunday, recording two goals for the home side in the first 15 minutes of the match.
Tormenting the left side of Perth’s defence on several occasions, Charley was first able to finish from close range after excellent service from Brazilian import Camila in the 6th minute. She completed her double just five minutes later with a stunning curling left foot strike from the edge of the Perth box.
In the absence of their yet-to-arrive international trio, the Glory were able to work their way into the match thereafter but were unable to translate their efforts into significant pressure on the Canberra goal.
Canberra coach Heather Garriock said after the game that while pleased to start with a win, her side was guilty of making the game difficult for themselves having taken the early lead, and will be looking to the health of co-captain Karly Roestbakken after she suffered a suspected broken nose.
Best for Canberra were Charley, Camila, Laura Hughes, and Olivia Price, while Caitlin Doeglas toiled hard for the Glory; a team whose shape improved when Shannon May joined the fray at half-time.