We look at the highlights from the Westfield W-League in Australia for Week 5.
Player of the Week—Rhoda Mulaudzi (Canberra United)
Rhoda Mulaudzi, the South African forward in her first season in the W-League, scored the winner for Canberra in a 2-0 home victory over Sydney FC on December 2. She scored well into first half injury time; her goal was initially waived off but then confirmed by the referee. She spun after collecting the ball from a cleared corner kick near the touchline and fired it into the far corner of the net past Sydney FC goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit). Mulaudzi was tremendous throughout the game in her attacking role and might have been sending a subtle message to South African national team head coach Desiree Ellis to not forget about her. Mulaudzi was not called into the African Cup of Nations squad over the past two weeks, as her club teammate Refiloe Jane was, and returned to Australia in time for the match. The Banyana Banyana qualified for their first ever Women’s World Cup next summer in France before losing the final 4-3 on penalties after a 0-0 tie against Nigeria. For Canberra, Karly Roestbakken (17) scored the second goal on the hour mark and her third goal in three seasons in the Capital City. With the win, Canberra jumped into a tie for fourth with Brisbane Roar, while Sydney fell to second from the bottom of the table, ahead only of fellow Sydney side Western Sydney Wanderers.
Goal of the Week—Georgia Campagnale (Adelaide United)
Twenty-one year old Georgia Campagnale scored her first ever W-League goal in the 97th minute on December 1 to give Adelaide United a 1-1 tie away to Melbourne City, keeping the South Australian side undefeated. The 22-year-old midfielder is in her fifth season with Adelaide and has played over 40 league games, but her first goal was important in the game and brilliant to watch. She took a pass from Amber Brooks (Houston Dash) as she moved up toward the top of the penalty box and slotted a grass cutter into the corner past Lydia Williams (Seattle Reign).
— Teo Pellizzeri (@teopellizzeri) December 1, 2018
Note: It is surprisingly to some followers of the league that Adelaide is undefeated after four games and that all-time league leading scorer Michelle Heyman is scoreless for her new club, but that doesn’t reflect the verve that she has added to the Reds attack. Heyman dummied the Amber Brooks pass and attracted the attention of two City defenders, leaving Campagnale with an open slot to fire on goal. The Reds are for real this year and look to be glory bound for their first ever W-League playoff spot.
Save of the Week—Jada Whyman (Western Sydney Wanderers)
Nineteen-year-old Australian youth international goalkeeper Jada Whyman made some tremendous saves all game in a losing 2-1 effort away to undefeated table-toppers Melbourne Victory. Whyman, in her fourth season in Wanderland, made a world class save from fellow teenager Grace Maher’s shot in the 29th minute from the top of the box on the right side. Maher is in her fifth season in the league, after four years in Canberra. There was some good news for the Wanderers as they did score their first goal of the season with Kylie Ledbrook scoring a consolation goal in the 73rd minute.
⚽️SAVE OF THE ROUND ⚽️
— Westfield W-League (@WLeague) December 4, 2018
Import of the Week—Chioma Ubogagu (Brisbane Roar)
Chioma Ubogagu (Orlando Pride) scored the only goal of the game on November 29 for a crucial 1-0 road win over Newcastle Jets in the 56th minute. Brisbane only has scored three goals in four games (the other two from Ubogagu’s Orlando teammate Carson Pickett). Brisbane has a strong attacking side and has been dominate in shooting for long stretches in their four games but are still stuttering to score. Japanese international Yuki Nagasato (Chicago Red Stars) assisted on the goal, mishitting her pass to Ubogagu, which appeared to be offside but was a fair play, leaving Ubogagu onside and ahead of five Jets defenders. The 1-0 win came against Jets goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom (Portland Thorns) and the always stingy Jets backline. It was a good win for Brisbane. Brisbane had not won against Newcastle in their last five matches (one tie), with their last victory coming in September of 2014. Impressively, the Roar are the ultimate Road Warriors, going undefeated in their last 9 matches, with 8 wins and a tie including all of last season’s games. Coach Mel Andreatta joked after the game that perhaps they should stay in hotels before road games, but they had a strategy and process for away trips that is clearly working.
|Melbourne City FC||1||3||1||6||11||4|
|Western Sydney Wanderers||0||5||0||1||10||0|
Week 6 matches are
Thursday, December 6 Adelaide United hosts Perth Glory, 3:30 a.m. EST
Saturday, December 7 Western Sydney Wanderers entertains Canberra United, 1:20 a.m. EST
Sunday, December 9 Newcastle Jets is at home to Melbourne City, 10:30 p.m. EST (Saturday)
Sunday, December 9 Sydney FC entertains Brisbane Roar, 12:00 a.m. EST
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