We’ve started the W-League with seven points from our first three games following our Saturday evening victory over Adelaide United.
The game’s only goal came in the 8th minute and was preceded by some brilliant build-up play through the middle, before the ball was passed wide just outside the area to Ellie Carpenter, whose excellent low cross was finished clinically by Kyah Simon for her first of the season.
Despite the scare of an offside goal in the second half, the City girls were able to hold on to secure the clean sheet and another vital three points as look ahead to a big clash against Sydney FC next Sunday.
Here are three things we learned from last night’s win:
Shy to shoot
Ellie Carpenter was one of the best on the park yesterday. Her service from the right-wing was exceptional – she provided the assist for Kyah Simon’s goal in the 8th minute – and was constantly getting in behind the opposition fullbacks all game.
There was, however, an aspect of her game which was exposed as possibly needing a little work; her confidence to shoot from outside the box.
She may be a defender, but Carpenter’s already our most threatening route to goal and she’s even occasionally finding herself with acres of space to shoot from just outside the area. In the situations where this occurred yesterday, the shot seems the most obvious decision, but she seems to hesitate and pass up the opportunity, heading back out to the wing to look for the cross instead.
The 19-year-old is capable of contributing a handful of goals this season and we’re giving her license to start launching them if she finds herself in the appropriate situation.
She may have scored, but Simon needs more time
Kyah Simon was a regular Matilda until consecutive injury layoffs derailed her career over the past few years and the prolonged time she spent on the sidelines was evident in her performance yesterday.
Despite scoring the only goal of the game in the 8th minute, Simon seemed to lack confidence in her touch and was ultimately substituted midway through the second half.
Between Canberra last week and Adelaide yesterday she missed a handful of promising opportunities and whilst it hasn’t cost us yet – with two wins in two since she’s been back – we need her to be burying the few chances she'll get against the likes of Sydney, Victory and Wanderers this season.
van Egmond’s a class above when she’s actually played in the right position
Emily van Egmond copped a fair bit of flack for her performances in the World Cup earlier this year when she was deployed by Ante Milicic as a defensive midfielder, rather than higher up the field where she’s proven more than capable over the course of her career.
van Egmond possesses the ability to dictate the play no matter the team she’s representing or the level she’s playing at. She can score goals, execute incisive passes and win back the ball with her expert tackling and physical dominance in the heart of midfield.
For City, she’s the orchestrator of our front-half press and it’s paying off in spades, with the players forcing turnovers in dangerous areas for the opposition where scoring opportunities are almost a given result every time.
We’re getting the most out of van Egmond as our advanced midfielder, playing in front of Kinga and Luik, and one can only hope that her form continues to improve as the season progresses.