The Dub is back! Okay, I know it was back on Thursday, but it felt like proper Dub Day on Sunday. Three games, back-to-back (and simultaneously), it was a fantastic afternoon to sit down with a bev and watch the return of the best league in the world.
I had been looking forward to the W Big Blue since the fixtures were announced (one week ago, or something?). It was the champions v the premiers, Foord v McCormick, traditional powerhouse v surprise package. Who would come out on top?
The game was more even than the final scoreline suggested. It felt that way, anyway. I can’t say my serious analytical brain was switched on (I was watching in the middle of a Latin Festival in Fitzroy which, by the way, was awesome), but the game for me was decided by simple moments of quality – quality that Victory just didn’t have today.
I had barely grabbed my first glass of Sangria before Sydney scored first. A lovely ball from Caitlin Foord found Remy Siemsen, prompting a SHOOT FIRST TIME FARKEN from all five of us at the pub. Luckily she is a much better footballer than any of us will ever be, knowing to take a touch around the defender and slot it home past Dumont with ease.
Sydney were up a goal but didn’t look settled. Melina Ayres in particular was looking threatening in and around the box. It was still anyone’s game.
Enter Caitlin Foord and Remy Siemsen, again. This time Foord placed the perfect corner over the defence and made it easy for Remy to head the ball into the corner. As much as I feel like the worst person in the world for saying this, if I were a Victory fan I’d be pretty peeved that Jenna McCormick left her completely unmarked. As someone who has Jenna in my fantasy team, I am extra shitty. God dammit, Jenna. (Still love you sm don’t hate me).
Again, the rest of the half was an even game. You got the feeling that at any point, Victory could score. It could easily be one of those crazy games, 2-2 or 3-2 or 3-3. However, it just wasn’t to be. I suspect it has something to do with being a bit scratchy in the first game of the season but quality players make a huge difference and when you have someone like Caitlin Foord absolutely running the show it was always going to give Sydney that cutting edge advantage that perhaps they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
The second half was… look. It was largely unexciting. It followed a general theme that I’m going to keep coming back to of two teams who weren’t quite at their best separated by a few outstanding players. It is what football is, sometimes.
However, the last few minutes did provide one of the best moments of the round and possibly the season. The sight of Shay Evans celebrating after getting on the end of a delightful cross from Hristodoulou is enough to warm anyone’s heart. If you’re not familiar with her story, it’s well worth checking out. This is the kind of stuff we watch the W League for, people. This, and dramatic 4 goal comebacks, and lights turning off after crazy thunderstorm delays, and general tomfoolery. But mostly this.
There isn’t enough evidence to make solid conclusions about either team just yet, but Victory would be worried about their return up front. They need the evergreen Dowie to make her mark and they need their midfield to create. On Sydney’s side, Caitlin Foord is a very good footballer. That’s the tweet.
Bring on DUB 2019/20. Today may have seemed like a straightforward scoreline, but just wait. You just wait.
By Taryn Heddo