W-League: Wanderers face reality check against Canberra

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Despite glimpses of magic, the opening round of the W-League for the Western Sydney Wanderers was a distressing sign of what was perhaps to come for them this W-League season after falling short of a victory against reigning Champions Canberra United with the final score of 4-1.

It is clear that the Western Sydney Wanderers need to step up to the challenge of the 2014/15 Westfield W-League season.

A strong and energetic start was led by the Wanderers who failed to convert many chances into goals. Within the opening two minutes, United Striker Michelle Heyman managed to score a brilliant goal which unquestionably set the scene for the remainder of the game.

The strength of Canberra United’s defence continuously rejected the Wanderers from transforming opportunities into goals, with Heyman once again taking the initiative for the Canberra side to increase its lead to 2-0 in the 40th minute.

The first half saw a dominance in the game led by Canberra United that the Wanderers were unable to contest, despite their calls for United players being guilty of a handball twice in the half alone.

The second half saw improvements, with the Wanderers finally settling into the game.

A corner by United’s Stephanie Ochs in combination with Ellie Brush’s header pushes Canberra United’s lead to 3-0 at the 56th minute. Attempts were followed by both Helen Petinos and Michelle Carney but neither of them had the ability to change the score of the match.

Both teams made a variety of changes in the second half, with the Wanderers’ clear intention being that of changing the scoreboard. Canberra continued their lead in the 75th minute with Caitlin Munoz scoring a goal increasing the score to 4-0, definitely exploiting the weaknesses in this seasons Wanderers squad.

In the final seconds of the game, Demi Kouzilakis manages to break the Wanderers goal scoring drought in her debut for the red and black. From what was a massive deflection, the Wanderers managed to score a goal that brought the final score of their first game in the 2014/15 season to 4-1.

Certainly, this brings forth the challenges that the Wanderers W-League side will face in the upcoming season, with their inability to convert chances into goals certainly being their main problem from the game.

Hopefully their next game against Melbourne Victory will spawn a sense of confidence for the new side with Canberra United’s Michelle Heyman taking out the title of player of the match.

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: Caitlin COOPER (C), Jessica SEAMAN, Helen PETINOS, Rachael SOUTAR, Grace HENRY, Keelin WINTERS, Michelle CARNEY, Jordan BAKER, Tia GAVIN, Chloe O’BRIEN and Trudy BURKE (GK)

Substitutes: Lorena BUDGEN, Demi KOUZILAKIS (“90), Rhianna POLLICINA and Shamiran KHAMIS (GK).

Canberra United squad: Nicole BEGG (c), Catherine BROWN, Grace FIELD, Caitlin MUNOZ, Ellie BRUSH, Michelle HEYMAN, Ashleigh SYKES, Lori LINDSEY, Rebecca KITING, Stephanie OCHS and Chantel JONES (GK).

Substitutes: Julia DE ANGELIS, Grace GILL, Holly HOUSTON and Melissa MAIZELS (GK).

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Jessica Csaszar
Jessica joined the team for 2014 covering Western Sydney Wanderers in the Westfield W-League and Hyundai A-League.

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