Sydney FC solidified its hold on first place with a goal fest at home to third place Canberra United on Monday January 2, defeating the Capital City side 6-1. Seventeen-year-old rookie midfielder Remy Siemsen—an Australian U-20 international—scored a brace and now has four goals on the season. Singles were scored by Kyah Simon (Boston Breakers)—her third of the season but first from the field of play, Nigerian international Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit)—her first goal in Australia, as well as Leena Khamis (three goals on the year and 38 in her W-League career for fourth among all-time leaders) and Nicola Bolger (two goals on the year). Alanna Kennedy (Western New York Flash) received her second yellow card in the 63rd minute and despite being down a player, Sydney increased their 4-0 lead with two more tallies. Japanese international Yukari Kinga scored her first goal of the season for Canberra in the 65th minute.
For Sydney, Caitlin Foord (ex-Sky Blue FC) and Simon played the entire match while Ordega started but was subbed out with 10 minutes remaining. For Canberra NWSL loanees Hayley Raso (Portland Thorns), Stephanie Ochs (Houston Dash), Celeste Boureille (Portland Thorns) and Jasmyne Spencer (Orlando Pride) all started, with Spencer subbing out in the 68th minute. Three-time Women’s World Cup veteran Lisa De Vanna (Orlando Pride), who just recently joined Canberra—her fifth side all-time in the W-League after time with her hometown club Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City—came on as a substitute in the 59th minute for Emma Checker, who has three full caps with Australia—her last in 2014. Sydney virtually doubled its goal difference advantage (+11) and now has a four-point advantage over second place Perth (21 versus 17 points, respectively), while Canberra remains in third place on 16 points. Sydney FC also evened their all-time record versus Canberra to 6-6-2 (W-L-T), with two victories in league semifinals (2009/10 and last season’s 1-0 victory). Next week, in the premier match of the round, Sydney FC hosts struggling champions Melbourne City in a rematch of last year’s Grand Final, won by City 4-1 in Melbourne.
Melbourne Victory 4, Brisbane Roar 1
Melbourne Victory opened the New Year on January 1 with a shocking 4-1 defeat of host Brisbane Roar for its first win of the season. Boston Breakers loanee and English international Natasha Dowie scored a hat trick to lead Melbourne to the win, with forward Laura Spiranovic—in her sixth year with the Victory—opening the scoring in the 18th minute. Brisbane’s loan reply came from Australian international forward Amy Chapman. Spiranovic and Chapman scored their first goals of the season, while Dowie temporarily jumped into the league goal-scoring lead with eight, one ahead of Sky Blue FC loanee Sam Kerr, who scored in Perth’s match the next day to leave them tied. For Melbourne Victory, Samantha Johnson (Chicago Red Stars), Christine Nairn (Seattle Reign), goalkeeper Bianca Henninger (Houston Dash)—back after missing a month recovering from a knee injury—and Dowie all played the entire match.
Maddy Evans (Orlando Pride) played 90 minutes for the Roar, as did former NWSL players Katrina Gorry (ex-FC Kansas City) and Claire Polkinghorne (ex-Portland Thorns). The win for Melbourne Victory still leaves them in eighth place with six points, but with three games remaining and seven points behind fourth place, their chances of making the playoffs are slim. The loss is a substantial setback for Brisbane, who remain in fifth on ten points with Western Sydney Wanderers but have played one more match and trail in goal difference (-6 versus -4, respectively) compared with the Harbour City side.
— Victory W-League (@victorywleague) January 2, 2017
Perth Glory 1, Newcastle Jets 1
Perth Glory needed a late goal from Sam Kerr (Sky Blue FC) to snatch a share of the points with visiting Newcastle Jets on January 2. Perth is undefeated in five matches, but the two lost points leaves them second in the standings and three points behind Sydney FC. Newcastle remains in seventh, four points out of a playoff berth. Jenna Kingsley gave the Jets the lead just after the second half restart, but Sam Kerr scored her eighth goal of the season in the 69th minute to tie the game; she is now tied for the league goal-scoring lead with the Melbourne Victory’s Boston Breaker loanee Natasha Dowie. In the first half, Kerr had a penalty kick saved by Katelyn Rowland (Western New York Flash) after the forward was pulled down in the box by Australian youth international defender Grace Macintyre.
For Newcastle, Megan Oyster (Boston Breakers), Jen Hoy (Chicago Red Stars) and Rowland all played 90 minutes, while Arin Gilliland (Chicago Red Stars) did not play as she was still resting a quad pull. For Perth, Alyssa Mautz (Chicago Red Stars), Nikki Stanton (Sky Blue FC), Vanessa Di Bernardo (Chicago Red Stars), Mexican international Arianna Romero (ex-Houston Dash) and Kerr all started, with Di Bernardo subbing out in the 69th minute.
— Westfield W-League (@WLeague) January 3, 2017
Melbourne City 1, Adelaide United 1
Adelaide United came away from Melbourne City with a 1-1 tie on January 2, extending the reigning champions’ winless streak to four games. Jess Fishlock (Seattle Reign) gave the home side a lead in the 26th minute, but Rachel Quigley, who played earlier this season for Hwacheon KSPO in the Korea Republic’s Women’s top league, scored in the 70th minute (her second of the W-League campaign). City peppered the Adelaide goal in the final minutes as Australian youth international goalkeeper Eliza Campbell saved an on-target Fishlock header, while late substitute Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City) hit the post with a sharp volley. Melbourne City remains in fourth and in a playoff position with 13 points, while winless Adelaide United is still in the cellar with 4 points.
For City, NWSL loanees Lydia Williams (Houston Dash), Laura Alleway (Orlando Pride), Steph Catley (Orlando Pride), Bev Yanez (Seattle Reign) and Fishlock played the entire match, while Tymrak entered the game in the 76th minute for Marianna Tabain. Lauren Barnes (Seattle Reign) did not play as she is resting a wrist injury. For Adelaide United, NWSL loanees Monica of Brazil (Orlando Pride), Danielle Colaprico, Sofia Huerta and Katie Naughton (all three from Chicago Red Stars) played the entire match.
— Westfield W-League (@WLeague) January 3, 2017
Western Sydney Wanderers had a bye this round.
Table After Ten Rounds
- Sydney FC (7-2-0, 21 pts, +11)
- Perth Glory (5-1-2, 17 pts., +8)
- Canberra United (5-2-1, 16 pts, +4)
- Melbourne City (4-3-1, 13 pts, +3)
- Western Sydney Wanderers (3-4-1, 10 pts, -4)
- Brisbane Roar (3-5-1, 10 pts, -6)
- Newcastle Jets (2-4-3, 9 pts, -1)
- Melbourne Victory (1-5-3, 6 pts, -8)
- Adelaide United (0-4-4, 4 pts, -7)
Brisbane Roar vs Western Sydney Wanderers, 10:35 pm EST (Friday)
Canberra United vs. Adelaide United, 2:00 am EST (Saturday)
Sydney FC vs Melbourne City FC, 10:30 pm EST (Saturday)
Perth Glory vs Melbourne Victory, 3:00 am EST (Sunday)