W-League Round 8: Sydney and Brisbane Keep Pace But Melbourne Still First

Melbourne was able to hold their spot on top of the table while Brisbane and Sydney attempted to keep pace with wins of their own. Adelaide was looking to build on their recent good form, however Western Sydney spoiled their chance for three points.

Adelaide United 1 (Condon 70’) – 1 Western Sydney Wanderers (Carney 90+6’)

 The Narrative: Coming off a big win over Canberra, Adelaide was looking to build on what’s been a surprisingly successful season for the Reds. It seemed that a win was in the cards for Adelaide but the Wanderers persistent attack finally fond a goal in stoppage time to end Adelaide’s chance for back-to-back home wins for the first time since 2008.

The Player: It seems as though when talking about the successes of Adelaide this season I’m constantly talking about goalkeeper Melissa Barberi. For most of the match Western Sydney was doing all the attacking and peppering the Adelaide goal with shots. Barberi kept her side in the match by making save after save and got a little help from the post as well.

Worth A Shout: Emily Condon is continuing to make a name for herself in just her second appearance for Adelaide. Just a week after becoming the youngest ever Adelaide player to feature in a match, Condon became the youngest ever player to score in the W-League. It was an important goal too as it broke up a streak of Wanderers attacking.

Newcastle Jets 0 – 3 Sydney FC (Bolger 15’, Foord 40’ 78’)

The Narrative: Sydney earned another well-deserved three points in this one heading into their round four makeup game with Western Sydney. There are a few positives to pull from this match for Newcastle. They didn’t allow six goals and they didn’t lose by four. Sure, they lost by three, but Sydney is clearly going to be one of the top teams this season and in all likelihood will be challenging for a title.

The Player: Five total goals in Sydney’s last two matches for Caitlin Foord and she doesn’t seem to be showing any sign of slowing down. Foord, as expected, has been a huge part of Sydney’s success. While her first goal was simply a result of right place right time, Foord’s second goal was set up by her excellent run.

Worth A Shout: Renee Rollason didn’t have anything on the score sheet to show for her efforts in this match but she was a big reason Sydney had two goals before the half. Rollason had a great passing sequence with Sam Kerr to set up Bolger with her goal and her driven shot on goal rebounded to Foord’s feet for her second goal of the match.

Brisbane 2 (Butt 67’, Gorry 75’) – 1 Perth Glory (Sutton 78’)

The Narrative: For a team that sits second in the table, it’s a bit surprising that this was Brisbane’s first win at home this season. The win came on the back of two beautiful curling goals for Brisbane, after frenetic back and forth pace in the first half of play. While Perth was able to grab a consolation goal back, still Brisbane went home with three points and solidifying their spot in the top four.

The Player: It’s hard to pick between Tameka Butt and Katrina Gorry on this one but I’m going to go with Gorry.  All match long Gorry’s passing was on another level, which helped set up Butt’s goal as well as her own. Gorry’s vision and ability to set up the attack were on display.

Worth A Shout: Tameka Butt probably had a goal of the year candidate with her 67th minute beauty. It seemed like she was bound to score a goal all game long, but just couldn’t finish on her many chances in the first half. Butt also helped set up Gorry’s goal with some quick passing skills.

Melbourne Victory 2 (DeVanna 47’, Friend 83’) – 1 Canberra United (Fletcher 66’)

The Narrative: It was a tight match-up between two of the top teams in the W-League but in the end it was a Caitlin Friend goal that saw Melbourne taking the three points and solidifying their spot at the top of the table. Canberra’s finishing was once again an issue and while they did get one goal on the board, it easily could have been more but instead find themselves on a two game losing streak.

The Player: While whether Lisa De Vanna was offside or not on her goal breakaway is a bit controversial, De Vanna’s play in this game was still superb. Almost every time Melbourne found their attack in the final third, De Vanna was right there making plays either crossing balls in or testing the keeper.

Worth A Shout: Caitlin Friend hasn’t garnered as much attention as Lisa De Vanna or Jess Fishlock this season; she’s been a key to Melbourne’s success this season. Friend’s seventh goal this season was the game winner this weekend, and helped her team to theirseventh straight victory.

Team Of The Week: Melbourne Victory

I overlooked Melbourne last week for a Sydney team that scored eight goals despite winning last week. Actually, they won the week before that and the week before…well you get it. Melbourne’s winning streak now sits at seven games, and they have a three-point lead on the table. It seems almost assured that Melbourne will find their in the top four at the end of the regular season.

Next Week’s Game to Watch: Canberra United vs Adelaide United

It’s a battle of the United’s next weekend, as two teams that are disappointed with this weekend’s results look to turn things around. Canberra is in the midst of a two game losing streak and need at least a point in this one to stay in the top four. Adelaide has a chance to crack the top four with a win and is looking to recover after Western Sydney stole three points from them at the final whistle.