W-League | Sydney and City share spoils in tough encounter

Melbourne City’s impressive record against league leaders Sydney FC has continued following a 1-1 draw at Allianz Stadium.

A fine defensive display from both teams meant chances were few and far between, but Caitlin Foord’s incredible solo run and Jess Fitlock’s headed equaliser ensured the scores stayed level.

Despite their best efforts, neither side could craft out many clear-cut chances in the opening half, as the scorching sun seemed to zap the player’s energy.

Melbourne City looked the slightly sharper side, making better use of their possession in the final third – Beverly Yilmaz coming closet with an early shot straight into Shamiran Khamis’ hands.

Jessica Yeoman-Dale surprised everyone, including herself, after just five minutes when her cross-turned-shot smashed into the crossbar for Sydney’s first chance.

A lovely sequence of build-up play and passing by the Sky Blues was almost finished off by Nicola Bolger, but her well-struck 20th minute effort proved too close to a diving Williams.

The home side looked to have taken the lead after 34 minutes when Teresa Polias found the back of the net, but the midfielder’s long-range effort was ruled out for an obstruction in the box.

City responded just minutes later, with Sydney’s defense switching off for a Lauren Barnes free-kick. The perfectly whipped-in cross came tantalisingly close to several stretching City legs, but none of the visitors could get a touch ensuring that both teams went into the sheds scoreless at half time.

The heat continued to sap the players after half time, with Remy Siesmen’s blocked effort the only chance in a lethargic start to the second half

A moment of absolute brilliance from Caitlin Foord after 67 minutes finally broke the deadlock and inserted some excitement into what had been a gruelling game. Starting in her own half, the Asian player of the year eased through a handful of City players with some Messi-like control before slotting home to make the score 1-0.

But it didn’t take long for the visitors to equalise, City levelling through newly appointed head coach Jess Fishlock just seven minutes later. A lovely ball from captain Steph Catley was well met by Fishlock, who headed in after out-muscling her two defenders.

Sydney thought they’d grabbed a winner with ten minutes left on the clock, but for the second time in the game the hosts celebrations were cut short despite the ball finding the net – the goal correctly called back for offside.

City pushed hard for a winner in the final minutes, but Fishlock couldn’t grab a second – her shanked effort falling wide of goal and ensuring a point a piece.

Sydney FC 1 (Foord 67’)
Melbourne City 1 (Fishlock 74’)

Stadium: Allianz Stadium

Referee: Rebecca Durcau
Assistant Referees: Laura Moya and Delfina Dimoski

Sydney FC: 1. KHAMIS Shamiran (gk), 2. POLIAS Teresa (c), 3. SIEMSEN Remy, 4. RALSTON Elizabeth, 6. UZUNLAR Servet, 7. BOLGER Nicola (12. PRICE Olivia 79’), 9. FOORD Caitlin, 10. ORDEGA Francisca (20. IBINI Princess 73’), 13. YEOMAN-DALE Georgia, 17. SIMON Kyah, 19. KHAMIS Leena
Substitutes: 15. EASTHOPE Sarah (gk), 11. TOBIN Natalie

Melbourne City: 1. WILLIAMS Lydia (gk), 3. BARNES Lauren, 5. ALLEWAY Laura, 6. LUIK Aivi, 7. CATLEY Stephanie (c), 9. CRUMMER Larissa (17. TABAIN Marianna 79’), 10. FISHLOCK Jessica, 13. STOTT Rebekah, 15. JACKSON Amy, 16. YANEZ Beverly (14. AYRES Melina 89’), 19. VLAJNIC Tyla (11. TYMRAK Erika 46’).
Substitutes: 20. SHIELDS Emily (gk)

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