Matildas 2.0 (Melbourne City) met Fowler FC (Adelaide United) in Round 3 of the Westfield W-League. Melbourne City boasting only their second win of the season and Adelaide United leaving Melbourne still point-less.
My advice to fellow Adelaide fans is to chill. We could easily freak out. Yes we’ve played three games and we have zero points however our opponents have been unreal. We held the Wanderers until the very end, we held our own against Sydney-fucking-FC and we held on against Matildas 2.0 this evening. Each of those games were only one goal difference and in the past two we have only conceded one goal against the two best oppositions in the league.
Melbourne City also have reason to celebrate. Ellie Carpenter has been a hell of a get, as you notice watching how many balls were sent up the right during this game. The girl has so much energy, South Australia could use her as a back up generator. And how can we forget Australia’s favourite Kyah Simon, coming back from injury last week and straight into the starting line up.
No surprises that Melbourne City controlled most of this game. United’s newest import, Brazilian Lais Araujo – who I’m secretly or not so secretly expecting big things from this season – was kept silent by this crazy good Melbourne City team. As was the girl holding the weight of this team on her shoulders, Mary Fowler.
In the 8th minute we saw the first and only goal of this game by who else but Kyah Simon through an Ellie Carpenter assist. I am shocketh. Ellie was out on one of her regular runs and found Kyah approaching the centre of the box. Kyah hits the bottom right corner and City are 1-0 up.
With this defender-happy City outfit, a good portion of the game was just Melbourne City playing keep-away until Adelaide would eventually apply enough pressure. City made it very hard for Adelaide to play wide which saw their star striker, Mary Fowler, drop a lot further back.
To be honest I completely forgot Catley existed for a bit there. So much was happening on the right flank that I swear Steph only had like 10 touches for the entire first half.
Even with Hodgson’s runs, Adelaide just could not break down Melbourne City’s brick wall. However Adelaide were given a lifeline in the 52nd as Mary Fowler is brought down by Luik and awarded a free kick in a very handy area. Kahlia Hogg steps up for the free kick and finds Amber Brooks who puts it in the back off the net. Aaaaaand it’s offside. So close ladies. so so close.
Adelaide’s Sarah Willacy was once again instrumental between the sticks. When you have Kyah Simon, Emily Van Egmond, Aivi Luik etc etc you need to expect a tough day at the office.
With Ellie Carpenter’s very attacking role within this team, Brooks v Carpenter was an enjoyable battle. Amber knew exactly what she was up against this match and did not take any of Ellie’s shit. With saying this, the whole Adelaide backline did a hell of a job silencing both Aivi Luik and Kyah Simon for the remainder of the game.
Willacy in the 65th with a crazy good save, kept that scoreline tight by punching out Emslie’s shot who was able to find space through the feet of Dylan Holmes. Claire arriving on the left of the box, grabbing the ball from Catley and aimed her shot at the top right corner but was unlucky that Sarah was on the ball. Geddit.
The remainder of the second half saw Melbourne City continue to threaten the Adelaide United defence, with most of United’s midfield morphing into defender mode to assist. Fowler found herself feeling a lot like me when my colleagues are working on projects I know zero about but I continuously approach them offering for my assistance. United just had very limited opportunity to move forwards. City’s wings of Catley/Carpenter are about as scary as paying for anything in Melbourne. Honestly. they were on fire and our defence was terrified.
Adelaide definitely weren’t terrible this match, far from it. But it’s difficult as a team with a majority of WNPL players, going up against a team with a majority of Matildas/NWSL players. Adelaide now head into Round 4 with a bye whereas Melbourne City face their arguably, toughest opposition, Sydney FC. In my opinion, the league’s best defence up against the league’s best attack, I will definitely be turning into this one on Sunday.
By Rose Valente