Cooney-Cross delivers after training ground practice pays off

It was a case of practice makes perfect for super sub Kyra Cooney-Cross.

Western Sydney Wanderers snatched three points against Adelaide United when the 17-year-old dead-ball expert watched her 92nd-minute free-kick whistle into the corner of the Lady Reds net.

Cooney-Cross only joined up with her new teammates this week after moving on from Melbourne Victory last season and spending the back end of the off-season at the AFC U-19 Women’s Championships with the Westfield Young Matildas.

In fact, only five days ago she was playing in an energy-sapping third-place playoff in Thailand. But there was no chemistry required on the match-winning play, and it certainly was no fluke.

Cooney-Cross’ set-piece was a strike forged after hour-upon-hour on the training field perfecting her craft, although she admits she was not exactly aiming for a shot on goal. 

“No, I don’t know what I was thinking,” Cooney-Cross said.

“But I have been practicing them every day in training.” 


The spotlight of Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season was almost taken by another Westfield Young Matilda.

Sixteen-year-old prodigy Mary Fowler earned her side a penalty from a dazzling run and dusted herself down to fire Adelaide United into a 39th-minute lead.

United States international Kirsten Hamilton, another Westfield W-League first-timer, canceled out the 16-year-old sensation’s strike on the brink of half-time to set the match on a knife-edge.

Cooney-Cross was introduced as a 51st-minute substitute in place of fellow 17-year-old debutant, Vesna Milivojevic.