Sunday, November 29, 2009

Westfield W-League Round 9 review

Well well well. What a round! And the key word? Revenge.
Melbourne claimed the perfect revenge for THAT round 9 game last year when Canberra booked its place in the finals and ended the Victory's season, with the Victory's 1-0 win this year all-but securing a finals place for them. Then Perth Glory had its grudge match against Brisbane, after being smashed 6-0 in its last game just last month, and two goals from Katie Gill was enough to hand the Roar only its second ever W-League loss. It also meant Brisbane cannot win back to back league titles, while the Mariners are now in the box-seat to complete their fairytale journey of wooden-spoon fodder to league champions. Although, sets-up a controversial game next week with Sydney FC and the Mariners playing off effectively for the league championship, perhaps a little weird when most of them are NSWIS scholarship holders? But anyway, that's still a week away. For now, read ahead for all the details from what was an amazing round of football in Round 9 of the W-League.

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 3 (Michelle HEYMAN 36’, Kendall FLETCHER 71’, Lydia VANDENBERGH 74’) bt NEWCASTLE JETS 1 (Tara ANDREWS 44’) at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford. So the Mariners knew a win here would make them tough to catch in the league championship, whatever the result in the final match in Round 10. And they managed to get it, after the poor Newcastle Jets suffered defeat in almost exactly the same way in two weeks. The Mariners scored first, just like Canberra did last week, before Tara Andrews equalised and the scores were tied for about 30minutes. Although, by then the game was pretty different as Newcastle were down one Matildas midfielder after Amber Neilson was red-carded for dissent. Anyone know what she said? Anyway, the rest went pretty much exactly the same as the week before. Last week against Canberra it was a goal to Tseng Shu O and then Kahlia Hogg, in the 74th and 76th minutes that gave Canberra a 3-1 win. On Friday night at Bluetongue Stadium, it was the Mariners two field-playing American imports (as opposed to its other one, goalkeeper Jillian Loyden), who scored in the 71st and 74th minute to give the Mariners the three points. So Newcastle have just one game left to try and avoid the wooden-spoon. And it's against Brisbane Roar who will desperately want some form heading into finals, but have struggled recently.
Referee: Peta McCallum, Assistant referee: Liz Shorter and Penelope Nash,Fourth official: Catherine Nash
Central Coast Mariners line-up: 1. Jillian LOYDEN (GK) 2. Caitlin COOPER (c), 3. Lyndsay GLOHE 4. Rachael DOYLE 9. Renee ROLLASON (7. Teresa POLIAS 90’ )10. Kendall FLETCHER 11. Michelle HEYMAN (5. Jessica SEAMAN 87’) 12. Samantha SPACKMAN 14. Ashleigh CONNOR (13. Trudy CAMILLERI 70’), 16. Jenna KINGSLEY, 19. Lydia VANDENBERGH
Substitutes not used: 20. Rachel COOPER (GK)
Yellow Cards: Caitlin COOPER 77’
Red Cards: Nil
Newcastle Jets line-up: 20. Emma-Kate DEWHURST (GK), 3. Pelay INGLES, 5. Stacey DAY (18. Leia SMITH 52’) , 6. Amber NEILSON, 7. Gema SIMON, 8. Bronte BATES (9. Kate HENSMAN 63’), 10. Hayley CRAWFORD (c), 11. Carlie IKONOMOU, 15. Renee CARTWRIGHT (13. Caitlin JARVIE 80’), 16. Kirstyn PEARCE, 19. Tara ANDREWS
Substitutes not used: 1. Alison LOGUE (GK)
Yellow Cards: Bronte BATES 39’, Carlie IKONOMOU 79’
Red Cards: Amber NEILSON 24’

MELBOURNE VICTORY 1 (Katie THORLAKSON 87’) bt CANBERRA UNITED 0 at Olympic Park, Melbourne. Well as a Canberra fan it was devastating to say the least, but will admit that Melbourne played very very well, created a number of chances and it took some excellent goal-keeping from Lydia Williams and defending from all of United's back-four, Nicole Sykes, Ellie Brush, Bronwyn Studman and Ellyse Perry to keep them out. In the end, the sustained pressure just worked when they conjured a goal from about the third rebound from a corner. It first was cleared back to the corner taker, Julianne Sitch, who smashed it back in again, it then went out to someone, couldn't see who, who put it back in from Melbourne and it rebounded off Jen Bisset on the goal-line where it fell to Katie Thorlakson, who basically didn't have to move and just pushed it in. It was definitely perfect revenge from last year's Round 9 game between the two teams, when Canberra ended Melbourne's finals hopes sealed their own. For Melbourne co-captain Tal Karp, a former Canberran, it was a grudge match. "Absoutely, before this game we hadn't got a point against Canberra and we desperately wanted that to change and get this game, we needed it for the finals, for myself personally and for the team it was a grudge match, we needed the points and we got them," Karp said.
Melbourne coach Matt Shepherd said reverting back to four-four-two after the girls had pestered him about it, had worked perfectly. Instead of not being able to get around Canberra's diamond midfield set-up with their own like earlier this year, with four across the middle, they completely dominated Canberra in the midfield. Katrina Gorry was particulary outstanding, her pacey runs caught Canberra on the break a number of times.
For Canberra, Ashleigh Sykes and Tseng Shu O just didn't get that much of the ball and apart from a clear handball that should have been a penalty and an Emily van Egmond header that went just wide, they didn't have that many clear-cut chances. Which United coach Ray Junna admitted, but said he thought his team didn't deserve to lose. "I don't think they deserved a win, I think a draw would have been a fair result," Junna said. "So we lacked a bit of penetration up front, we didn't really get in behind them, but I don't think we deserved to lose. "We just lacked a bit of movement, people were trying to pass it in rather than take it in, dribble it in and commit people, and we didn't do that today. The field was a bit big big and we got a bit stretched and I don't know, just that decision around that final third is the critical factor in football and we didn't have that today."
Williams, who had one of her best games all season despite the loss, with some cracking saves, said it was disappointing as she felt Melbourne had wanted it more. "That's just football for you, anything can happen, unfortuntely they scored a scrappy goal and at this point in the competition any goal is a goal, it's just unfortunate that they wanted it more than us on the day and I guess that's whats disappointing about it," she said. But she also joked that with Perth the only chance Canberra have to make the finals now, she would be calling all her contacts over there to make sure they did it for Canberra. And also quickly on the weather, from 43degrees in Newcastle the week before, to about 18degrees and rain for most of the second-half in Melbourne, what a difference a week makes for Canberra! crazy!
Referee: Catherine Hofmann, Assistant referee: Elizabeth Hyland and Jonathan Barriero,Fourth official: Stan Tasic.
Melbourne Victory line-up: 1. Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 2. Vedrana POPOVIC (3. Marlies OOSTDAM 77’), 4. Tal KARP, 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 10. Deanna NICESKI (8. Katie THORLAKSON 56’), 11. Julianne SITCH, 12. Monnique HANSEN-KOFOED, 13. Katrina GORRY, 14. Selin KURALAY, 18. Ursula HUGHSON (9. Stephanie CATLEY 85’)
Substitutes Not Used: 20. Nicole PAUL (gk)
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Canberra United line-up: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 3. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 5. Kahlia HOGG, 7. Ellie BRUSH (c), 8. Emily VAN EGMOND, 9. Grace GILL (2. Rebecca KITING 67’), 10. TSENG Shu O, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Nicole SYKES, 16. Ellyse PERRY, 19. Jen BISSET
Substitutes Not Used: 6. Ellie RAYMOND, 13. Thea SLATYER, 20. Jocelyn MARA (gk)
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil

SYDNEY FC 6 (Sarah WALSH 8’, Heather GARRIOCK 10’/74’, Leena KHAMIS 26’, Brittany WHITFIELD 90’+1, Kyah SIMON 90’+3) bt ADELAIDE UNITED 2 (Racheal QUIGLEY 82’/90’+2) Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide. So Adelaide's last W-League win was in last season when they beat Sydney FC 3-2 at Hindmarsh, but they just couldn't complete that kind of upset on Saturday. Particulary after Sarah Walsh and Heather Garriock set the score at 2-0 after just 10minutes, before Leena Khamis made it 3-0 after 26. The rest of the goals were basically scored in junk-time to take it out to 6-2, but good to see young Adelaide striker Rachel Quigley on the board again. She's actually now third in the league in terms of goals-scored with five, and considering Adelaide have only scored seven, that's a pretty decent record. But good to see Kyah Simon get on the board for Sydney FC, I'm pretty sure that's her first goal this year. They certainly seem to be hitting their straps at the right time of the year and can still claim the league championship if they beat the Mariners next week. And what a game to be on TV as the ABC match of the round. Whoever wins, wins the league championship. Couldn't get a better one! So Mariners fans, get on down to Bluetongue. Everyone else, make sure you watch! Also well done Adelaide on finding four female referees for this game. Great to see all girlpower on the pitch!
Referee: Lee Corey, Assistant referee: Airlie Keen and Stacey Sasopoulos, Fourth official: Ana Nevjestic
Adelaide United line-up: 1.Sian McLAREN (gk) (20.Kristi HARVEY (gk) 46’), 5.Ashlee FAUL, 7.Racheal QUIGLEY, 8.Ruth WALLACE (9.Angela FIMMANO 46’), 11.Georgia CHAPMAN, 13.Lauren CHILVERS, 14.Donna COCKAYNE, 15.Tenneille BOALER, 16.Christina PAPAGEORGIOU (c), 17.Karina ROWETH (3.Renee HARRISON 80’), 18.Rochelle KUHAR
Substitutes Not Used: 19.Nenita BURGESS
Yellow Cards: Donna COCKAYNE 62’
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney FC line-up: 1.Nikola DEITER (gk), 4.Alesha CLIFFORD, 6.Servet UZUNLAR, 7.Heather GARRIOCK (c), 8.Julie RYDAHL, 9.Sarah WALSH (2.Teigen ALLEN 60’), 10.Kylie LEDBROOK (18.Brittany WHITFIELD 76’), 11.Cathrine PAASKE, 15.Kyah SIMON, 16.Linda O’NEILL, 19.Leena KHAMIS (13.Catherine CANNULI 72’)
Substitutes Not Used: 20.Carla MONFORTE (gk)
Yellow Cards: Cathrine PAASKE 74’
Red Cards: Nil

PERTH GLORY 2 (Katie GILL 17’/63’) bt BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Courtney BEUTEL 11’) at Clipsal Stadium, Perth. So at the start of the season I labelled Perth as one team that should make the finals. They can't now, no matter what happens in their last game (although they can keep Melbourne out), but finally they have produced a result that I think is worthy of their team. Yes, Sam Kerr and Katie Gill are stars, but they do have some quality players across the park but it just hasn't come together all that often for Perth this season. In fact, it's looking very much like last year when they finally got their good game going, only to just miss out on finals as they ran out of games. As far as a longer season goes, which will hopefully happen next year, I think Perth will be the team to benefit from it most. But anyway, to the actual game, while the Sportal report talks about just how dominant Brisbane were I think it's an important note that shots on goal don't always equal dominance. From other accounts, Perth held possession well and made the most of their chances, Brisbane did not and didn't actually pressure Emma Wirkus much. (Much like in Melbourne, where Canberra failed to actually test Melissa Barbieri). But the message is clear, Brisbane will need to up their game now before finals or they face the prospect of missing out on a chance to defend their premiership win.
But over in Perth, John Gibson was a very happy man. “Certainly we knew it would be a tough back end of the season but we trusted everything we have done this year and the girls worked really hard.”

“They deserve everything they got. We rode our luck a little bit at times but they just worked their backsides off for each other and that was fantastic” said Gibson. “All the departments, from our defenders to our midfielders to our forwards, were fantastic today and it was really pleasing.” He was also, not surprisingly, please with Katie Gill who was also in action at the other end of the ground, like saving shots off the goal-line for Perth as well as scoring. “Katie did exceptionally well for us today. She is a wonderful asset to the group and adds a bit of experience and some leadership. It was quality play today by her and Sam [Kerr] and it was good to see. For us now it is about getting positive results and moving forward. We have a really young group so I am looking forward to progressing with them next year.”
Referee: Rebecca Durcau, Assistant referee: Tim Mihevc and Trent Fleskens, Fourth official: Josh Mihevc
Perth Glory line-up: 1. Emma WIRKUS (GK), 3. Carys HAWKINS, 4. Sam KERR, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 8. Tanya OXTOBY (c), 9. Dani CALAUTTI, 12. Katie GILL, 13. Elisa D’OVIDIO, 15. Alex SINGER, 17. Marianna TABAIN
Substitutes Not Used: 16. Sadie LAWRENCE, 18. Ellis GLANFIELD, 19. Katarina JUKIC, 20. Zoe PALANDRI (gk)
Yellow Cards: Katie GILL 61’, Elisa D’OVIDIO 72’, Marianna TABAIN 90’
Red Cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar line-up: 1. Casey DUMONT (gk) 2. Kate MCSHEA, 3. Karla REUTER, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 6. Joanne BURGESS, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 10.Lana HARCH, 11. Aivi LUIK, 13. Tameka BUTT, 18. Courtney BEUTEL, 19. Ellen BEAUMONT
Substitutes Not Used: 7. Pam BIGNOLD, 12. Steph LATHAM, 15. Leah CURTIS, 20. Kate STEWART(gk)
Yellow Cards: Ellen BEAUMONT 86’, Karla REUTER 90’
Red Cards: Ni

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