Hello. It’s me. I’ve been wondering if after this whole year you’d like to meet.
But seriously, welcome back to my favourite part of the week Match Day Monday! Throughout this season I’m going to be changing it up a bit with how I do Match Day Mondays, you know, keep things fresh like how you try to keep on a fresh pair of socks all the time yeah. So hopefully you can join me for the ride.
As a uni student, the W-League generally falls at the optimum time for me yeah. Most, if not all, games fall within my holidays, meaning I’ve got hours to watch and digest them all whilst your average joe is out making a living. For the rest of the season this will be true for me. I’ll be travelling around for most of it, and living the life of a queen, watching soccer until my eyes give out on me. However this round is the toughey to get through before the lap of luxury, as the games fall right around the five day period of my final lot of law exams (I’ma THIS close to having a law degree yo). So due to this inconvenience, and whilst I have pages of notes to tell you about, which will come in handy I’m sure for the podcasts over at either Not Quite Footy Made or The Women’s Game, today we are doing the cheat version of a quick dashing of what Molly’s thoughts are on the game. Much like how you ask for a dashing of cream on your TimTam drink at Gloria Jeans, but knowing it will likely wind up with half the can, lets get to it. [Also how good was it actually to watch more than one game!]
Western Sydney Wanderers 0 – 3 Sydney FC
Sydney FC was sky blue Thursday night. The quality of Sydney FC’s midfield engine room of Colaprico and Polias were just another class apart, meant the WSW forward duo of Siesmen and Khamis, AKA the defectors, were isolated for long spells and the duo were able to move the ball to the dynamic front four of Foord, LDV, Logarzo and McCaskill in ways that looked easier than drinking water out of a sippy cup. Whilst on the phone about that front four of Sydney, let’s take a moment and just appreciate how good they were. We know Foord, LDV and Logarzo made things tick last season, but the addition of McCaskill is a stroke of genius I imagine Einstein would have felt himself when an invention went his way. McCaskill looked dynamite with the ball at her feet, her movement and passing both added that extra bit of class to an already classy forward line. A makeshift defence for Sydney didn’t look a problem either, and whilst looking shaky early with playing out of the back, when Kennedy and Ralston are back that’ll clear up those nerves back there.
For Western Sydney, look three nil is slightly harsh. Their downfall was how to properly execute their 442, especially as they didn’t have the pace of the wide players that is usually required in that formation. In the dying minutes, when Halloway was pushed up the part to the flank, it was clear pace is what will make this formation tick. Questions have to be asked though over, why have four in the middle when at your disposal you’ve got LaBonta, Ledbrook and Uzunlar, three who would be up there with any three midfield and could balance each other out. Having it as a four pushes one of those players out wider than they ought to be. It’s uncomfortable. If they plan on sticking to the play of 442, they will need to spend a bit more time on the training ground at this point. One killer thing WSW have going for them though is Whyman in goals. She saves them and then sets them up with her super quick release of the ball. WSW need to utilise this if they want to see success this season. A bit more time to gel and their season isn’t completely wrote off. From the opening fixtures, what was on paper of Sydney being a contender is becoming a reality, so this game was always going to be backs against the walls for WSW.
Sunday Afternoon Madness
Brisbane Roar 1 – 1 Perth Glory
Both teams set out missing players, so like missing teeth, how the cookie crumbled was always going to be interesting.
In all honesty, Brisbane should have gone into the break at least a goal ahead. There is always the classic “if you don’t take your chances, you’ll regret it” and “the second half is a totally different game”, and the moment Perth got their goal on the other side of halftime, Brisbane proved all these mantras as true. A combination of Gorry owning the midfield, acting like a puppeteer and Ubogagu constantly changing things up in the front line and causing the Glory defence a nightmare, meant Roar should’ve had the game gift wrapped before the half. Some clever play however went by unrewarded, and they went into the half with nothing on the scoreboard.
Meanwhile the second half, Perth woke up. After a lethargic first half, Perth got hungry, much like I do around 10am when I forget to have breakfast. I’m pretty certain at half time, Perth’s coach just game the game plan talk of “two people man mark Gorry for eff sake” and “just go to the ball first, it’s as much yours as it is there”. And it worked. Hill finally stopped looking so isolated up front, while Gorry stopped owning the midfield. The inevitable happened and early in the half, Mautz got the goal for Perth, after Doeglas left Polkinghorne legless and timed the ball so Mautz was landing in the area right on time.
Roar fought back, but with a game that was starting with 10 minutes left on the clock that I had to watch, it was destiny that Roar had to wait until the 88th minute of the match to get the equaliser. A master stroke of genius by the Roar coach, meaning a shift to three in the back and Pickett further up the park, finally gave the home side the edge. It was Ubogagu who deftly crossed the ball, switching play and landing it right onto Pickett’s brilliant left peg, for Pickett to finally smash one into the net for Roar. Whilst it looked hectic whatever was going on in those final few minutes after this goal, when I was over watching the Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United game, neither side could find another.
Melbourne Victory 0 – 0 Adelaide United
For a full match report head on over to https://thewomensgame.com/news/missed-chances-leave-victory-adelaide-goalless-514622 where I’ve got you covered for the match.
But what you need to know if you don’t want to click that button? Melbourne look good. Their midfield is coming along nicely off paper as it looks on it. Prayers are answered. Dowie is finally receiving service, and for some reason the combination of Ayres and Nairn just seems to work, even when they’re on opposite sides of the field. The combination reminds me of saladas and jam, don’t question it, just enjoy. Victory looked like a team who knew what they wanted to do. They wanted to play their football, and to pass the ball, playing out from the back, creating clever combinations up the park. The side pulled this off.
Meanwhile at Adelaide, they don’t seem to have a clear game plan as of yet. Sure, with Checker and Brooks in the back line they are able to look solid there and the side will be happy with that. However, the front line looks disjointed, with none of them on the same page, forcing their only opportunities to come from forced pieces of play from individual quality. The pieces are there, the players are there, it’s a matter of what to do with them and whether Adelaide can formulate and execute a clear game plan that will see if they can go without the wooden spoon this year. This point was lucky, they’re fortunate and will need that point for what is looking an increasingly tough season.
Canberra United 2 – 0 Melbourne City
The game that has everyone kinda shook. OK I haven’t watched this game at the time of typing this, watching one game is hard enough. So it’s saved for a study break tomorrow, or when my exams finally end. But from all accounts Canberra look fast and like they’ve got a plan. Whilst City still miss Fishlock, like a child misses their lost teddy.
Garriock is a master of the game, tactically speaking. Sure there are things that you (me) can disagree with Garriock on, however her knowledge of the game and balls to execute it to a tee is not something I would question, it’s world class. By the sounds of it CU went out with 3-5-2 and with a defence of Prior, Corsie and Orgill and all that pace across the park, why the flaming heck wouldn’t you do that? The formation lends itself to flexibility and excels when there is pace, which CU have in the bucket loads. I really want to watch this match with my notebook now.
At City it’s a matter of, teams come out wanting to beat triple champions and losing such a cornerstone of Fishlock from the club isn’t exactly easy on the foundations. Apparently Williams again in goals was her usual, save the world one save at a time, self. But to get two goals past a City side, no matter the line up is impressive. City weren’t just missing Fishlock, but also pivotal players who are currently away, so not all is doom and gloom as those players would be expected back soon. But still, losing your first game 2-0, no matter the line up, is a heavy blow to the confidence.
Special Shout Out
Just wanna put out a special shout out to the commentary team for the Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United team. For Thursday nights game I was lamenting the comms team, with their “interviews” during the match and a couple things being said. But Anna Harrington and Kate Gill on the comms for the Sunday arvo game has given me hope in the profession, as they spoke about the game in the way I hear the commentary in my head once I’ve tuned out the average commentators. So with more W-League games accessible, there will be more opportunities for amazing women, such as these two, to be heard by our ears, to grace us with beautiful talk about the world game.