The Western Sydney Wanderers Westfield W-League team will tackle reigning Champions Melbourne City in their third of four straight Thursday night fixtures at the Wanderers Football Park.
The Wander Women head into the game off the back of an exciting 1-0 win over Perth Glory last Thursday night at a drizzly Marconi Stadium, with a first-half strike from Julie-Ann Russell proving to be the difference.
The performance and result was the sign of a team maturing and growing in confidence, epitomised by Russell who’s maiden W-League goal capped off a solid performance from the former Irish international who was important in both defence and attack.
Russell has grown in confidence in recent weeks and her appetite for the contest as well as her telling runs and strong tackling proved vital for Dean Heffernan’s team.
Russell linked up well with Georgia Yeoman-Dale whose tireless performance reminded everyone of her value to such a young team.
With the former Matilda on the left and Teigan Collister and Danika Matos on the right, Perth were kept on the back foot all night, as the home side dominated with 18 shots on goal to Perth’s four.
Matos was outstanding again right back, heavily involved throughout the game. Veteran Caitlin Cooper was again ice cool in the last line, quickly transferring defence into attack, and in fact, it was her surging run that actually set up Russell’s goal.
Youngsters Sarah Hunter and Bryleeh Henry again showed their promise, with Hunter pressuring Perth when they had the ball, making crucial tackles that won the ball back for the Wanderers.
Libby Copus-Brown was again industrious in the middle of the park while Nikola Orgill’s distribution out of the back was solid.
It was an all-round performance from the Wander Women, with Perth Glory goalkeeper Lily Alfeld pulling off six quality saves to prevent the scoreboard from blowing out.
Melbourne City go into the match fresh off a three-week break with their last match on 4 February ending in a 2-0 loss to Sydney FC.
Rado Vidosic’s side have had a disappointing start to the season and sit in second last position on the ladder.
City still have quality international stars in the team though with Matildas Teigan Allen and Alex Chidiac along with Japanese star Chinatsu Kira all capable of producing big performances.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne City
Thursday 24 February 2021, 7:05pm
Wanderers Football Park