Rising Western Sydney Wanderers talent Kyra Cooney-Cross has been hailed as “the next big thing” following her rampant Sydney Derby debut.
The 17-year-old attacker was a stand-out for Dean Heffernan’s side as they demolished a star-studded Sydney FC 5-0 at Bankwest Stadium on Friday evening.
The result put paid to a horror run of results for the Wanderers against their cross-town rivals in the Westfield W-League – the Sky Blues undefeated in the previous eight meetings between the sides.
The Wanderers shone from the get-go against their cross-town rivals striking twice in the opening six minutes courtesy of composed finishes from Amy Harrison and Cooney-Cross.
However, it was Cooney-Cross’ second goal in the 42nd minute that lit up the highlight reel – delivering a pin-point finish from outside 20 yards that dipped and curled into the bottom corner.
With the result all but locked up, American attacker Lynn Williams then iced the result for the Wanderers in the final quarter hour with a brace of her own.
However, the post-match talk was focused on former Melbourne Victory starlet Cooney-Cross, with FOX Sports pundit and former Westfield Matilda Michelle Heyman leading the praise.
“I think she’s going to be one of the next big things,” Heyman said of the rising Wanderers star.
“We always knew she had something special.”
Heyman added: “She’s got that game awareness already at such a young age.”
Cooney-Cross told FOX Sports post-match that she sensed something special the moment she made contact with the ball for her second goal.
“I felt really good when I hit that,” she said.
Cooney-Cross further explained that despite the Wanderers lack of results against their rivals in recent years they were confident they could extend their unbeaten start to the Westfield W-League season.
“(It was) my first Sydney Derby and I think we really prepared for this,” she said.
“We did well all week and did a lot of training work on how we wanted to play.”
The Wanderers team performance was also praised by Heyman, who boasts 61 caps for the Westfield Matildas.
“I feel like every single player for the Wanderers had one their best games this season with the amount of chances that everyone created and the way they worked hard for each other,” she said.
The result moves Wanderers to second place on the Westfield W-League table. They are three points behind league-leaders Melbourne City, who are yet to incur the bye this campaign.
The Wanderers next test comes away to Canberra United on Boxing Day in the nation's capital.
Canberra United vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Date: Thursday, 26 December 2019
Venue: McKellar Park
Kick-off: 7:30PM AEDT