The Western Sydney Wanderers Westfield W-League team head into Thursday night’s prime time encounter against third-placed Brisbane Roar full of confidence.
Wanderers members get FREE entry to the match.
Dean Heffernan’s team put in a spirited effort against Adelaide United on Sunday afternoon and perhaps deserved more than a 2-2 draw.
The Wanderers had 16 shots to Adelaide’s 12, but only managed five of those on target.
Goalkeeper Sarah Willacy’s last gap save to deny Maria Jose Rojas rescued the point in the end as the Red & Black came from behind twice to share the honours.
But it was 17-year-old Sarah Hunter who stole all the headlines after a superb all-round performance in both attack and defence.
Danika Matos was brilliant as well, while Leena Khamis and Georgia Yeoman-Dale were busy throughout the game.
Chelsie Dawber had given the Reds the lead in the 33rd minute after a great pass from Mallory Weber.
Just when the visitors looked like taking the lead into half-time, a smart run from Yeoman-Dale on the left wing saw her cross end up reach Hunter, who struck home a clever shot in the bottom corner.
The goal right on the stroke of half-time lifted the Wander Women, who came out breathing fire in the second period.
Chance after chance was missed with Khamis, Hunter, Chloe Middleton and Julie-Ann Russell failing to hit the target. Inevitably, against the run of play the Reds took the lead again through Dylan Holmes.
The Wanderers didn’t give in though with Matos and substitute Teigan Collister working hard in the midfield along with Hunter. It was Collister’s blistering speed that set up the second.
Collister chased what looked like a lost ball on the right wing, outpacing her Adelaide opponent before sending a teasing cross into the box where Hunter got enough power behind the shot to go through keeper Sian Fryer-Mclaren in the Adelaide goals.
The Wander Women pushed hard for the win but it wasn’t to be and Willacy’s last-second heroics ensured that both teams got a point.
The Red & Black have turned their attention to this week’s opponents Brisbane Roar who head into the match off the back of an 11-day break.
The Roar last played on 31 January where they defeated Melbourne City 3-2.
Jake Goodship’s team started the season with four draws before thrashing Melbourne Victory 6-0, setting them up with momentum for their encounter with City.
The star-studded Roar side has a number of current Matildas and will be a great test for the Wanderers come Thursday night.
Matildas striker Emily Gielnik has four goals to her name so far this season. Gielnik has combined well with Brazilian forward Mariel Hecher and between them, lead the W-League in goal-scoring chances with 30 between them.
Kim Carroll, Clare Polkinghorne, and Isobel Dalton have also all had strong seasons and will keep the Wanderers midfield busy.
Last season’s matches between the two sides were quite the opposite. Up in Brisbane, the Wanderers secured a 3-1 win while the return leg saw the Roar thrash the Red & Black 4-0 in the return match at Marconi Stadium.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Brisbane Roar
Thursday 11 February, 7:05pm