Match Day Monday – Round 3

Breathe in, breathe out. This is the W-League. I would say it’s gone full rogue this weekend, but we all know it was already there from the first kick of the ball this season. Instead I’m going to look at this as an early birthday present, as the league has brought full chaos and mayhem this weekend. I flipping love it. Who is gonna win week to week? Who knows! Bar the poor old Wanderers, which we really we need to sit down and talk about, and we will do.

So. Because there is legit a lot to process this weekend, lets get to it.

 

Melbourne City 0 – 2 Melbourne Victory

The sky may have fallen, but all non-City fans are in heaven. Victory have now won the last two Melbourne derbies, and thus have bragging rights for real.

Apparently this season I’m to have no luck with the games I somehow don’t organise my life around effectively. The first two rounds I was unable to watch the Canberra thrillers. This round I missed the Melbourne derby upset due to saying “yes” to going to the movies with rellies without thinking about footy friday nights. Amateur mistake, I know, but sometimes I make them. My movie finished with enough time to get home with ten minutes to go in the match. Due to MyFootball being a pain in the neck, requiring hours before the replay is up, I decided to wreck the surprise and flick the match on. I wasn’t ready for it. I should have been sitting. Victory were up by two goals. Flicked around some messages to find out what has gone on, to find out Kellond-Knight was playing centre back. I was stunned. Even my dad text me the next morning saying simply “kk in defence”, even he knew that’s not what’s up.

Since I have watched the game in full. It was almost textbook, best case scenario that I had going on in my head. City struggled, and ran out of options going forward with Spencer thwarted by the Victory defence. Victory capitalised on their opportunities, the first being an exquisite short corner (the only time you will hear that phrase come from me). Nairn pumped the ball into the box, Dowie rose, but KK was the victim to the centre back nightmare of an own goal as the ball bounced off her head into the net. City tried to pass their way around Victory, but didn’t reach the intensity necessary. While Victory are old hat at sitting deep and letting a team play at them already this season, having done that for a solid half an hour against the Jets last round. Victory further extended their lead through Gielnik, who looks to have found a gold patch this week, scoring another ripper, low and hard to the far post after being played in on goal.

A two goal lead, an uninspired City and a Victory side content with the points. Spelt disaster for the sky blue side, as they succumbed to a second defeat in three (that feels good to write), whilst Victory coasted to… well victory.

 

Newcastle Jets 1 – 0 Canberra United

Just take a moment right now, and check out that Vine goal. It’s a complete stunner, and there were a few this round. Otherwise I totally overestimated how attacking these sides would be in my preview. Not that either were totally flat or anything, it’s just bar the goal and perhaps young Colliester on the flank for the jets and Carpenter  when venturing forward for Canberra, there wasn’t much of a spark for either of the sides.

The game was hard to watch and to have a proper bearing of, as both sides were lying deep, leaving loads of space between the lines. Of more concern was the little support found by the side pushing forward as the midfield were often lagging behind, reminiscent of how I lag behind in any type of foot race. Maybe it’s just me, but after going from the high intensity of international football, with midfield support and the high press a constant, switching to this match felt a bit uneasy. 

However, in my book, the Jets played clever football. They knew their strengths, it wasn’t through the middle as they usually look to when Van Egmond is available. Instead they used their pace on the flanks, to then cut in for the likes of Stengel and Kingsley to hold play up. Clever, showing they can indeed adapt to life without that super strong centre midfield. Meanwhile Canberra struggled to to find the patience needed to break down the Jets. Obviously Canberra are a side with pace, who can move the ball from their defence to attack quickly, hence the Jets playing a deep line to deal with this situation. Without being able to get in behind the defence, Canberra just couldn’t link up the way they would’ve been hoping. It’s honestly gorgeous to see how adaptable this side is positionally in general play, a bit like how a banana is adaptable in being a snack, meal or dessert. However, they lacked the patience to really break down a strong Newcastle defence, instead resorting to long shots as the game wore on, which just weren’t up to the grade to test Eckerstrom in goal.

Still, a game of tight margins. The Jets did enough to get vital points, in a game you would otherwise be unlikely to want to write home about. 

 

Perth Glory 3 – 0 Western Sydney Wanderers

There are three things I want to talk about in this match.

Firstly. The Wanderers as a whole, mate we need to talk. What is going on? I was stoked to see Ledbrook back in the side, but she is no defensive midfielder, that’s like putting vegetables in a cake. The cake is sweet and gonna do bad, but totally rad things, just like Ledbrook will do upfront. By putting vegetables in cake you ruin everything the cake stands for, like putting Ledbrook too deep so she can’t join the party in creating magic within decent distance of the goal. Further, you’re a side looking for goals yeah? I see you, you’re the only side not to bag any now at the end of the third round. So why sit a goal poacher in Siesmen on the bench, while Khamis is your hit women at the top of the set up. Love Khamis, she’s put in some bloody good goals (top memories of one against you in fact), however she is no longer an out and out number 9. Having lost pace, Khamis has been playing in the midfield for at least the last two seasons. Why? Because she isn’t the goal threat of previous years. You need goals, lets change this hey. But I’m glad it looks like you’ve thrown 442 out the door. Usually a major fan of the old system, but if you’re not going to play pace on those flanks, what’s the point? You’re definitely a side that is a work in progress, and this result shows. There were hints and whiffs of goodness, like knowing a bakery is around the corner. But instead of walking into the bakery, you’ve gotten distracted and are just hanging out near it. The bright point? Lowe. Absolute genius on the ball. Very excited to see more of footy played by those blessed feet this season honestly.

Secondly. Serving up a Kerr and Hill combo, ordering an extra side of fries. It’s going to be the most popular order at KFC honestly. I can already imagine the popcorn chicken boxes with their faces on it. They were fantastic and quite obviously back for another season of success. In a match where the Wanderers were knocking for lengths, the duo stepped up and put the goals in when they mattered. There were a couple of stunners here too. What makes the two good? Both are capable of being the last player, both are capable of dropping and find the ball to feed it through to the other. How does a side defend against this? Not very well, especially when they pick out a couple of top notch finishes.

Thirdly. The commentary. There’s a lot I could say, and to really go in and nit pick. But I’ll try not to ok. Instead I will say this. The commentary here made me really appreciate the other commentary we have had in many of the other matches I’ve watched this season. Meaning the norm is to have commentators refer to our games as their games too. Our commentators know our players, know our teams and the details of the matches as a fan. This shows in how they give the play by play. Ultimately they provide the quality that allows me as a fan I to feel just as part of the commentary team in my living room as if I were at the match with them. So to the commentators that are also W-League fans, thank you. We hear you. Please continue your coverage of the game, and may your group grow with even more W-League groupies. (I’ll join, I can talk and banter alright yeah, and will even learn how to pronounce some of the more complicated names too).

 

Brisbane Roar 0 – 1 Adelaide United

From the kick off this match had one nil written all over it, but to make sure it wasn’t outshone by the round’s other matches, the result was flipped from what many predicted and it was Adelaide who took the points.

Bit like a ticking clock, the match was monotonous in the first half. Roar did what they do, passing around the back, trying to find the gaps in their opponents armour. Pretty certain their motto above the locker room is “patience, Obi Wan”, because that’s how they play out of the back. Adelaide turned the pedals early, trying to catch the Roar out by surprise, but as the match settled they looked content to allow the Roar to hold up possession and capitalise on the counter with some delightful long balls.

The potential is there for Roar. With Yuki finally on the park, and her link up with Gorry, plus Pickett ruling the left flank. This side has potential to create some absolutely mesmerizing football. However that didn’t turn up today, and a lack of an out and out number 9 in the starting XI shows. For the Red Stars, Yuki has Kerr, an out and out number 9, to supply the ball to. Roar need to find their own Kerr quick to find the goals necessary if they want to compete for a top four spot come season end.

For Adelaide, this feels like a cheeky win, but non-the-less deserved. Whilst this doesn’t look like a side who will play the most beautiful football in the world, this result lays down a flag saying they will be competitive this season. All we can ask for honestly. Willacy once again played out of her skin in goal, denying a couple of golden opportunities for Roar. Losing Campbell might have been a blow, but on current form, Willacy has it right now, and Adelaide is looking strong in the goalkeeping department despite Campbell’s absence. Otherwise, without the ball the side looked compact, proving difficult for Roar to break down. Notably they are yet to concede in their two matches. Whilst Adelaide didn’t see tonnes of the ball, with the ball they looked a lot more succinct than their last outing. They were able to work some combinations, and ultimately make it count, with Latsko pouncing on the end of one, capitalising on a lapse in concentration between the Roar centre backs.

The goal by Adelaide, did force Roar to open up and actually search to create something. But Adelaide buckled down the hatches and Brisbane just couldn’t find a goal.

 

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