Young Matildas and beloved Goalkeepers – Kick360’s A-League Women Wrap: Round Eight | OneFootball

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·2 January 2023

Young Matildas and beloved Goalkeepers – Kick360’s A-League Women Wrap: Round Eight

Article image:Young Matildas and beloved Goalkeepers – Kick360’s A-League Women Wrap: Round Eight

There were some shock results and narrow escapes in Round Eight of the A-League Women. Kick360 reviews the week’s talking points and results.

On Saturday afternoon, three games were played simultaneously. Sydney FC travelled to face Brisbane Roar, and were able to celebreate New Year’s Eve with three points and a stack of highlights in a 4-1 win over the hosts.

Princess Ibini opened the scoring, and was joined by Sarah Hunter, Nat Tobin and Madison Haley. Aesha Norrie pulled on back for the Roar.

Newcastle Jets weathered an Adelaide attacking onslaught to win 2-0 through a Lauren Allan brace. The Reds had 15 shots on goal, including 10 from inside the box. Georgina Worth was in unbeatable form between the sticks.

Melbourne Victory defeated Canberra United 1-0 in a close encounter. Alex Chidiac’s goal from Paige Zois’s assist was the difference in the end.

For the first game of 2023, Perth Glory lost in an epic and chaotic battle to Western United who maintained their perfect record.

The leagues two bottom sides faced off on Monday morning Australian time. A 1-1 draw between Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers would have felt like a missed opportunity for both teams.

Round Eight talking points

Princess Ibini has levelled up

Princess Ibini has been a regular starter for Sydney FC in the last two seasons. The former prodigy has been entrusted with a different role in the back-to-back premierships years. Once upon a time, she was best known for her highlights reel. Ante Juric has depended on her positional discipline and ability to win the ball back.

In 2022/23 she has combined both. Her experience in the league combined with two senior Matildas camps has helped shape her into a more complete forward. Against Brisbane Roar she opened the scoring with an individual goal that took the commentators by surprise. She followed that up with an assist for Sarah Hunter.

The 22-year-old can create, score and defend from the front. She is performing consistently in a top team, and is steadily developing into one of the leagues best players.

Dumont is in terrific form

Melbourne Victory were missing players from midfield, attack and defence. They were up against a Canberra United attack that has no trouble creating chances, the A-League Women’s all time leading scorer and a side that simply would not tire in the harsh summer heat.

Casey Dumont made nine crucial saves to defend her side’s 1-0 lead, including two one-on-ones.

In terms of pure shot stopping ability she must be considered one of the best Australian goalkeepers in the league. Hillary Beall and Annalee Grove have both been vital this season, and Jada Whyman’s record speaks for itself. But Dumont has been consistently spectacular.

The drums are banging louder for a Matildas call up. On form she deserves it.

The best teenager in the league?

It could be Alana Murphy. She maturely controlled Melbourne Victory’s midfield against Canberra United and almost scored with a long range effort that had the crowd gasping. At just 17 she is confident on the ball and not overawed by the opposition or overly deferential to be big name teammates. Murphy is a dependable, and dangerous midfielder.

It could also be Hana Lowry. Although Perth Glory finished Week Eight empty handed, Lowry played one of her best games in some time. She was bold in possession and her goal was well taken. She looks to be a long term heir to Emily van Egmond and is already a multi positional footballer and a key cog in her team.

Sarah Hunter was one of Australia’s best performers with the Under 23 and Under 20 sides this off season. She has carried that form into Sydney FC’s season with two goals so far from a deep midfield role. Sydney also boast Kirsty Fenton and Charli Rule who could also lay claim to being among the best in their positions.

Most would say it is Daniela Galic. The Melbourne City maestro was highlighted in this column last week, and plays beyond her years. She is joined by Bryleeh Henry and Naomi Chinnama as those who could lay claim to the best young player in the league.

Canberra United has Sasha Grove who has shifted to fullback but is trusted to drift forward by her manager and teammates. She is a mercurial talent that has become a consistent performer at senior level.

We are a long way from awarding the Young Player of the Year at the Warren/Dolan Awards. But even before the halfway point, there are a number of players who could win it.Right now, who the best teenager in the A-League Women is not so important, but it is exciting that there are so many options for the crown.

The future of Australian football is forming in front of us every week.

Game to watch for Round Nine

Adelaide United vs Canberra United

Both of these teams are coming off a loss. Both would feel like they were in a position to win in Round Eight. Although Canberra sit in eight place, few teams have had an easy experience against them, and Adelaide will need to be at their best to get back into the top four.

It is a tough league. The Reds have only lost twice and only conceded four goals, yet they find themselves in fifth place. Canberra has the players to test a new look Adelaide defence still finding form and best personnel after injuries in the opening few weeks.

Neither side can afford to lose in Round nine. Each are playing better than their record indicates. This is an impossible game to predict. It will be engaging for neutrals and nail biting for fans.

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