W-League Round 9: Melbourne Joined By Sydney Atop The Table

Melbourne dropped points late this week and with Sydney winning both of their games, there’s a tie atop the table. Canberra found a way to shake off their losing streak and Perth finally grabbed a much-needed three points.

Sydney FC 4 (Kerr 5’, O.G. 7’, Taylor PEN 47’, Bolger 58’) – 3 Western Sydney Wanderers (Carney 70’, Garriock 78’, Cannuli 81’)

The Narrative: With this match being made-up from week four, the Sydney derby did not disappoint. The game had to be made up due to Sydney’s trip to the Club World Cup and it was probably the most exciting game of the week. After falling behind 4-0, Western Sydney stormed back in the last 20 minutes to pull within one. It wasn’t enough though, as Sydney’s unbeaten streak continues.

The Player: Sam Kerr got things going with her early goal and she continued to challenge the back line of Western Sydney the whole game. While Kerr only gets credit for one goal, she was partially responsible for the Wanderers own goal and earned a penalty kick that Jodie Taylor sent home. 

Worth A Shout: The aforementioned Jodie Taylor has come into her own this W-League season. Taylor missed an easy chance in the second half but made up for it by putting on a passing clinic. Her assist to Bolger was a beauty and it seemed like she was involved in almost all of the build up play for Sydney.

Perth Glory 3 (D’Ovidio 31’, Sutton 48’, Tabain 67’) – 2 Newcastle Jets (Andrews 20’, Nenadovic 28’) 

The Narrative: Perth’s last win came in round four and Newcastle has yet to earn a single point this season. These are two teams that can probably start setting their sights on next season. Regardless, they still gave us an exciting back and forth match that saw a Perth comeback, keeping Newcastle’s season point total at zero.

The Player: It seemed that every time Perth got into the final attacking third, Marianna Tabain was sending an excellent cross into the box but with one to finish them off. Eventually Rosie Sutton answered the call and Tabain’s efforts were rewarded. Tabain also had the game winning goal, not a bad outing.

Worth A Shout: There’s not denying that Perth is a team dealing with quite a handful of injuries to their back line. But in the absence of key players, Elisa D’Ovidio has stepped up into a starting role. D’Ovidio got forward into the attack all game long, and netted the first goal of Perth’s comeback.

Canberra United 3 (Heyman 16’, Ochs 32’, Sykes 61’) – 0 Adelaide United

The Narrative: The battle for the last playoff spot was pretty one sided as Canberra avenged their loss to Adelaide from two weeks ago. Canberra was searching for their first win since round six and came out firing on all cylinders in this one. The scoreline could have been bigger but keeper Melissa Barberi kept things as close as she could for Adelaide.

The Player: When Michelle Heyman plays well, Canberra usually finds themselves coming away from that match with three points. Heyman was all of over the place all game long, either testing the keeper with a shot or sending in a teammate behind the defense. She only had one goal, but probably should have ended with two or three.

Worth A Shout: Ashleigh Sykes was involved in some way in every goal Canberra scored. Sykes’ header off the crossbar essentially set up Heyman’s opening goal and she had what we can call the assist to the assist on Stephanie Ochs’ goal. She then scored one herself to ensure all three points for her squad.

Sydney FC 4 (Kete 18’ Khamis 20’, Taylor 44’ 79’) – 0 Brisbane Roar

The Narrative: Just a few days after being named FIFA women’s player of the year, goalkeeper Nadine Angerer found herself watching her team get shutout against a red hot Sydney FC team. Brisbane had no answer for Sydney and went down 3-0 at the half. Offensively and defensively Sydney was superior and increased their season goal differential to +22 after all was said and done.

The Player: With three goals in two games, you could say it was a very productive week for Jodie Taylor. Considering she probably could have had two or three more goals in this one if it wasn’t for some excellent goalkeeping from Kate Stewart. Taylor also did an excellent job of creating chances with her passing.

Worth A Shout: The opening 25 minutes of the game were all about Emma Kete. Getting the scoring going with a header in the 18th minute, just two minutes later Kete sent in a fantastic through ball to Leena Khamis to put her team up 2-0. Kete did fall off the pace a bit as the game went on but her hot start was key for Sydney getting three points.

Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Seaman 85’) – 1 Melbourne Victory (O.G. 34’)

The Narrative: To maintain sole possession of first place on the table, Melbourne needed three points against a Western Sydney squad that was playing their second game this week. It seemed like Melbourne were going to escape with the necessary points until a Wanderers goal with five minutes left in the match.

The Player: Missed chance after missed chance for Lisa De Vanna in this one. However she still earns my player of the game nod for her ability to get in behind the defense and create chances. She also had a great pass to Jess Fishlock for what should have been the game winner, but the shot from Fishlock sailed high.

Worth A Shout: Jessica Seaman was quiet for most of the game, but she came alive when it mattered. Looking to earn at least a point, Western Sydney was pressing with minutes left in the game. Seaman ripped a shot from 25 yards out into the top corner to tie things up. It was her first ever W-League goal.

Team Of The Week: Sydney FC

Two games, six points, top of the table. It was an impressive week for the Sky Blues as they find themselves without a loss through eight rounds of play. They still have to make up their round three match against Canberra but it seems that playing two games in one week doesn’t faze this club. Melbourne has been impressive this year, but Sydney has been with them for every step of the way.

Next Week’s Game to Watch: Canberra United vs Perth Glory

Two teams that just ended losing streaks will face off next week and both will be looking to start a winning streak. Canberra currently sits fourth in the table and three points would go a long way in holding off Adelaide United. As for Perth, if they even want a chance of making the playoffs they probably need to win their last three games.