The W-League side have made it four consecutive clean sheets following our 4-0 demolition of Canberra United last night, sending us six points clear at the top of the table (though WSW have two games in-hand and could potentially join us at the top soon).
A 5th-minute goal by Kyah Simon provided an early confidence boost and the domination only continued from there, with City converting two penalties to make it 3-0 at half time.
Whilst Canberra did well to keep us out for the majority of the second half, there was nothing that could be done about Emily van Egmond’s absolute bomb from outside the box in the 76th, which surely will stand as a strong contender for goal of the season.
Here’s what we learned after yet another pleasing performance from the City girls:
Get yourself a Luik
In an all-star lineup that boasts the likes of attacking wingbacks Catley and Carpenter, two outright strikers in Simon and Emslie and two natural attacking midfielders in van Egmond and Mijatovic, defensive midfielder Aivi Luik is the immovable object in the centre of the park that brings balance to our game.
Luik facilitates the offensive tendencies of her teammates by becoming the first-responder to defensive threats when our wingbacks and midfielders are caught out of position, often able to break down the opposing team’s transition by winning the ball back before it can reach more dangerous areas.
Luik has become an invaluable asset since joining the club in our inaugural W-League season and if we end up winning our fourth title this season then we’ll certainly be attributing much of it her contributions in midfield.
Emslie and Simon are finally hitting their straps
It’s taken a while for our striker duo to get going, but last night’s performances from Claire Emslie and Kyah Simon offered an insight into the potential of our attacking capabilities going forward into the second half of the season.
We’d typically struggled for goals in our previous fixtures, with the majority of our matches won thanks to some staunch defending and several last-minute miracles.
Throughout last night’s win, however, Emslie exhibited the same explosive quality and dynamism as we’d seen from her YouTube highlights, and whilst she had to settle for a penalty to score her first goal of the season it was a just reward for her performance overall.
Kyah Simon put in an equally impressive, and much-improved, performance in the 4-0 win, taking her early chance with aplomb as she beat the keeper with a well-placed shot from the edge of the box. Converting a penalty later on, Simon finished the match with a brace and will hopefully take confidence into our next outing against Newcastle.
We’re pretty much just waiting to face WSW
Let’s be honest, having beaten Victory, Sydney and Brisbane Roar without even getting close to our peak, we’re sort of stuck waiting for the only other major test that our City girls will face this season; fellow unbeaten side Western Sydney.
The Wanderers’ US-superstar Lynn Williams has four goals and three assists in just five matches, Kristen Hamilton was selected as the December Player of the Month, whilst 16-year-old striker Kyra Cooney-Cross has four goals and two assists from six appearances.
Our highly-anticipated fixture against the Wanderers in this season’s penultimate round (R13) will truly be a clash of titans where our league-best defence will be put under the pump by their league-best attack. An intriguing encounter indeed.