Super Sunday W-League and A-League
Super Sunday: two big W-League semi-finals and a top-of-the-table A-League encounter10 February 2019 | FT Editor
There are two semi-finals in the W-League today with premiers Melbourne Victory to meet Perth Glory at 2pm at AAMI Park, and Brisbane Roar to meet Sydney FC at 6.15pm local time at Dolphin Stadium, Redcliffe.
Caitlin Foord has been “Sydney FC’s destroyer-in-chief” all season and is now looking to make Brisbane Roar the next victim. Foord has scored nine goals from 12 games and 31 chances created this season, five of the goals coming against Brisbane Roar - with only Perth Glory's Sam Kerr with better figures. She says that having a stable position on the right side of Sydney's attack has helped her focus on her position, rather than thinking about where she would be playing next.
Sam Kerr wants people to move on from the national “coaching fiasco” and return to focus on the game, starting with today's other semi-final. Kerr will return to Chicago Red Stars next month until the World Cup in June. She says “It’s been a rough time for the Matildas, but we’re just keen to get back on the field and show Australia we’re still the same team and preparing for the World Cup.’’ She says Perth Glory is feeling confident ahead of today's match.
Dani Weatherholt is not a 'limelight-hogging' striker or a acrobatic goalkeeper; she is not showy or flashy, but she is a ball winner in midfield sometimes “referred to as water carriers for the way they simply go about their business ... [as] the heartbeat of the team,” writes Michael Lynch. While accolades have gone to other players such as Natasha Dowie and Emily Gielnik, the American midfielder, who plays with Orlando Pride along with Christine Nairn (pictured), has been working her way behind them getting the job done. Coach Jeff Hopkins says Weatherholt is “the missing link” which has helped transform Melbourne Victory this season, and saying she is great on-and-off the field. Worth a read to find out more.
Western Sydney Wanderers, 2 v Central Coast Mariners, 0
It was the Western Sydney Wanderers first win in more than two months, giving them breathing space from the wooden spoon position where Central Coast find themselves marooned on just six points, six points behind ninth-placed Brisbane Roar. The goals were scored by Tarek Elrich and Jaushua Sotirio. How did the experts see it?
- Dominic Bossi: Wanderers snap winless streak against last-placed Mariners
- Tom Smithies: Wanderers bounce back to winning ways in A-League with victory over Mariners
Melbourne City, 1 v Adelaide United, 1
It was a bit of much ado about nothing that different with Melbourne City's new signings both on the pitch, but Adelaide United taking the advantage via Criag Goodwin just on half-time, but resolute enough to hold on to a draw after Jamie Maclaren equalised in the 69th minute, after lovely lead-up work from Luke Brattan. Melbourne City continued kept pressing but had to settle for the draw. The expert view:
- Val Migliaccio: Craig Goodwin on target as Adelaide stay fourth on A-League table after draw with Melbourne City
- David Davutovic: Jamie Maclaren scores on debut to rescue a point for Melbourne City
- AAP: Maclaren off the mark in City-Reds AL draw
An oldie, but a goodie, Davutovic gives his list of the A-League's best imports and suggests that 36-year-old Diego Castro “is positioning himself as perhaps the A-League’s greatest import”. With his combination of “Latino magic and deft touches”, Castro would have a higher profile if he was in Sydney or Melbourne, and he is more influential in more games and seems fitter than ever. Davutovic talks with Perth Glory CEO, Tony Pignata, who has previously been up close and personal with Alessandro Del Piero and Milos Ninkovic, who says Del Piero's “impact was without peer” but it depends on the criteria. Davutovic rates the greatest imports as Thomas Broich, Castro, Del Piero, Ninkovic, Besart Berisha, Bruno Fornaroli, Mathieu Delpierre and Keisuke Honda.
James Troisi has only played in 'away' grand finals and his aim this season is to make sure Melbourne Victory get to host the grand final. He says Melbourne Victory are keen to “make a statement” in this afternoon's top-of-the-table encounter which could be a huge factor in deciding the top two positions. Honda looks set to play in teh second half, depending how the game unfolds, while Perth Glory has all its “big guns” available.
Alex Wilkinson says Sydney FC has not given up on the pursuit of a third successive A-League title, despite the surprise loss on Friday night to Brisbane Roar, conceding that they will need “a near perfect record” for the remainder of the season, but with Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory to play again, that they are 'down but not out'.
- Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory, 2pm local & AEDT, AAMI Park - semi-final
- Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory, 5pm local & AEDT, AAMI Park
- Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC, 6.15pm local, 7.15pm AEDT, Dolphin Stadium (Redcliffe) - semi-final
w-league, dani weatherholt, sam kerr, caitlin foord, a-league, diego castro