Amazing Grace, and the Wanderers emBolden’ed by Sarina- Kick360’s A-League Women wrap: Week 9 | OneFootball

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·9 January 2023

Amazing Grace, and the Wanderers emBolden’ed by Sarina- Kick360’s A-League Women wrap: Week 9

Article image:Amazing Grace, and the Wanderers emBolden’ed by Sarina- Kick360’s A-League Women wrap: Week 9

Western United continued on their winning ways, while Western Sydney played their best game yet and Newcastle Jets provided another high scoring thriller.

Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory played out a thrilling 1-1 draw, both sides have been heavily affected by injuries and Glory added another in this game. Leading scorer Rhylee Baisden went down with what looked to be a serious knee injury in the second half.

Victory took the lead through a brilliant Paige Zois solo effort, while Perth substitute Alana Jancevski finished off a terrific move to level the scores for the Glory.

Sydney FC looked to be on the way to a thrashing of Newcastle Jets when Madison Haley, Sarah Hunter and Mackenzie Hawkesby had the away side up by three after 11 minutes. Tara Andrews and Adriana Konjarkski responded for Newcastle to make it interesting before a Princess Ibini penalty settled the game.

Canberra United defeated Adelaide United through goals from Michelle Heyman and a screamer from Grace Maher. Elsewhere on Saturday, Western United were challenged by Wellington Phoenix, but found a 78th minute winner through Tyja-Jay Vlajnic.

The big result of the round came on Sunday evening. Western Sydney Wanderers enjoyed their first win of the season and deserved it after their best performance in years.

Goals from Sheridan Gallagher and Olivia Price ensured all three points against Melbourne City. The addition of Sarina Bolden to the lineup gave them a presence up forward, and although the Philippines international did not score, they were a menace and made a huge difference. It already appears to be a very good signing by Kat Smith.

Round Nine talking points

Amazing Grace

Grace Maher is one of the universally popular players in the A-League Women. She is one of the off field leaders through her work with the PFA, a midfield general for Canberra United, and the designer of their much loved away uniforms. She is also one of the most spectacular players in the league.

Against Adelaide United, Maher scored Canberra’s second goal to follow up from Michelle Heyman’s opener. It was her second goal of the season, and somehow more spectacular than her first.

Maher won the ball near halfway then burst into space before unleashing a shot from nearly 40 yards that dipped under the crossbar.

Adelaide’s goalkeeper was barely off her line. The shot had to be perfectly placed and impeccably struck. This was not a low trajectory rocket, it was hit high and landed with perfect precision with the ball movement more commonly seen in golf than football.

Grace Maher is one of the A-League’s most watchable players. She is true artist in the middle of the park who excels at most aspects of the game.

The season is not even at the halfway point, and she already has two of the best goals of the season. It is a privilege to watch her play.

Newcastle should be everyone’s second team

It will be scant consolation to their dedicated fans, but the Jets are box office. Newcastle are one of the A-Leagues must watch teams on most weekends, regardless of who they are playing. They play with a daring style that keeps them in the contest, or at least makes opposition fans nervous.

Newcastle have scored 14 goals this season, putting them behind only Melbourne City and Sydney FC. They have scored in every single match with except one and have been unlucky not to have more. Ash Wilson’s attack has depth, players with varying attributes and the ability to be tactically versatile.

Tara Andrews brings a very different threat than Ash Brodigan. Lauren Allan is faster than most centre backs if she gets in behind, and prior to her injury, Sarah Griffith was shaping as a star of the league.

You have to score multiple goals to beat the Newcastle Jets, and they will make every team play at their best.

They deserve more wins but remain one of the most entertaining teams this season.

Victoria’s NPLW takes centre stage

Melbourne Victory’s draw with Perth Glory was full of talking points. Sadie Lawrence’s midfield role was important yet again with providing Perth’s creative players the platform they need, Sarah Rowe made her debut following a switch from AFLW side Collingwood, and Rylee Baisden suffered what looked to be a devastating injury.

Anybody attending the game would have seen Perth Glory well supported by personalised jerseys. Victorian attackers Sofia Sakalis and Alana Jancevski were both in the squad, with the number 23 represented in force.

Victory had their own NPLW Vic star on the field, Paige Zois was named for the second week in a row. She added to her assist last week with a goal of stunning style. After cutting in from the left, she curled a shot over Sarah Langman from the corner of the penalty area. It was a goal that Megan Rapinoe would have been proud of.

When Jancevski entered the field for Perth, there was a feeling on inevitability. The Victory fans know what she can do.

In the 74th minute Jancevski controlled a lofted Mastrantonio pass with one touch, then held off Beattie Goad before rifling her shot into the net.

Even the in-form Casey Dumont was unable to stop the effort from the Victoria’s Young Matilda.

It would have been a bittersweet moment for many observers including Victory assistant coach Caitlin Friend. At state level she is the coach of both goal scorers at Bulleen Lions FC, and the club should be proud of supplying the two standout players of the match.

It will not be the last time both are on the scoresheet at NPLW level or at A-league level. One day, it might very well be replicated in the green and gold too.

Game to watch next round:

It is impossible to go past Sydney FC vs Western United. The reigning premiers have won six games but lost one to Adelaide United on opening day. Western have not tasted defeat but have been repeatedly challenged. Against Perth Glory and Adelaide, they have found themselves in losing positions and fought back to win. They stay composed, stick to the gameplan and have experienced players on the bench that they can bring on to make a difference.

Sydney FC have not gone into as game as underdogs for years. But on the road, at City Vista is where their winning streak ended at the hands of Melbourne Victory last season. They will have no reason to be doubtful of a win on Wednesday night, but this will be their biggest test yet.

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