Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers
A Sunday afternoon viewing of football on the first round of the W-League 2017-2018 brought to our much beloved tv screens Newcastle Jets and the Western Sydney Wanderers. This game ended in a robbery. The ref called it with only three minutes of stoppage time instead of four. Those last three minutes saw some of the best play for the Wanderers and blowing the whistle instead of allowing the corner, plus a minute early, leaves me dreaming up what could have been. Any how, here is what happened during the game.
WSW showed up with a bang. They brought it, stunning a slow Jets side. Unfortunately for WSW, they were unable to breakdown a compact Jets side. Rather the upper hand was gained by the opposition when a bouncing ball over the top of the defence lead to a miscommunication between WSW goalkeeper, Trudy Burch, and her CB, Ellie Brush, to allow Jet’s American forward Stengel to coolly slot the ball into the back of the net.
At 1-0 the Jets comfortably controlled the remainder of the half, thanks to their stellar midfield that consists of Emily Van Egmond and Tori Huster. So often EVE capably connected defence to to attack in a matter of seconds, and made transitional play look easy to execute (which it really isn’t). In the last 10 minutes of the half WSW looked to get themselves back into the contest with a substitution bringing on Israeli Lee Falkon.
At the beginning of the second half, the Jets left their urgency in the change rooms, meanwhile WSW remembered how to play in midfield with the help of their internationals Falkon, La Bonta and Pieete able to gain the upper hand in midfield. Still the Jets somehow remained compact in defence, with WSW forgetting to look to the flanks for space. WSW did cause trouble with long balls behind the defence, but just couldn’t capitalise despite the number of opportunities.
Right when the game was starting to look terse and painful, WSW came up with the breakthrough. Their goal was a beautiful affair, a ball from La Bonta to the end line for Pieete to some how manage to flick it back towards the six yard box for Hallway to head it back in. Youtube it. It should be on there, it’ll be worth it.
However, for all of the trouble WSW had gone to in the second half, it was simply destined for EVE to win on her return back to Newcastle. A response faster than your cuppa tea break, gave the Jets the winning goal from a deep free kick floated into the box for Kingsley to knock into an keeper-less net.
WSW threw everything but the kitchen sink in search of another goal in the last five minutes of the game, but the Jets continued to remain compact in defence to see the game out to keep all three points.
Final Score|| Newcastle Jets 2 v 1 Western Sydney Wanderers
Western Sydney Wanderers
- WSW look interesting. Many wrote them off because of the lack of experienced Matildas. But they have quality with their imports of La Bonta, Piete and Falkon. They also picked up experienced defender, Ellie Brush in the offseason.
- This is a team who will be competitive this season. Also off the back of this game, the combination of Falkon and La Bonta could be wonderful to watch, so long as they both have off games against Sydney FC.
- Best looking midfield on paper. In patches of this game they looked to be the best, but at other times they were underwhelming. With some more time together and some consistency, they may well develop into the best midfield in the comp.
- Key for this game was their defence. Even by playing with three in the back, the back line and midfield looked compact without the ball and were difficult to break down. This is a team that could let in very few goals this season. (That or WSW are really going to struggle this season…)
Round 1 Results
Sydney FC 1 v 3 Brisbane Roar
Perth Glory 4 v 1 Melbourne City
Melbourne Victory 2 v 1 Canberra United
Newcastle Jets 2 v 1 Western Sydney Wanderers
Round 2 Games
Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory ||
Friday 3rd November 5.30pm
On Fox Sports and SBS Viceland
Western Sydney Wanderers v Adelaide United ||
Friday 3rd November 7.30pm
Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC ||
Saturday 4th November 5pm
Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory ||
Sunday 5th November 2.30pm
On Fox Sports and SBS Viceland