Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City delivered big wins with Premiership implications, but which side had the most players in the Team of the Week?
News Release, Westfield W-League
Three-time champions City showed their Premiership credentials and made a statement of intent in a 4-0 win against Canberra United on Thursday.
Western Sydney Wanderers slipped further behind the Westfield W-League leaders as Brisbane Roar’s second-half rally showed flashes of their quality in a 4-0 win of their own on Sunday.
The scheduled match between Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC was postponed due to the poor air quality in the Hunter Valley, while three teams sat out on a bye.
But Team of the Week is still here to bring you the best performers from those two titanic performances. Read on to find out Round 9’s finest, who this week line up in a 4-3-3.
Mackenzie Arnold (Brisbane Roar)
Western Sydney Wanderers keeper Abby Smith was inspired, making 10 saves to keep the score down against Brisbane, but at the other end, it was quality over quantity that tipped the selection in Arnold’s favor.
The Roar custodian clung on to a clean sheet with four excellent saves: an early fingertip to turn Ella Mastrantonio’s effort around the post, a parry to push Kyra Cooney-Cross’ shot on to the crossbar and two late reaction blocks to deny US hotshot Kristen Hamilton.
Ellie Carpenter (Melbourne City)
Carpenter and Steph Catley operated as wing-backs for City and the Westfield Matildas pair did the damage going forward, with the right-sider showcasing her quality on the ball and her endless energy to get up and down the field in Broadmeadows.
The 19-year-old played four key passes in the attack, completing more than 75% of her passes in Canberra territory, and came close to scoring with a rasping drive at goal.
Rebekah Stott (Melbourne City)
Stott showed once again why she is one of the dominant figures in the Westfield W-League, and a key reason why Melbourne City have conceded only three goals in eight matches and have gone more than 400 minutes without leaking a goal.
The Kiwi stopper tied a team-high six winning duels from the eight she contested and racked up three clearances as the Green Machine looked to catch the league leaders on the counter-attack on Thursday night.
Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar)
The Roar defense were put under pressure by a quality Western Sydney attack but Polkinghorne had the answers to all of the Wanderers’ questions. She won six duels, made two interceptions and racked up a match-high seven clearances.
Brisbane’s captain was also involved at the other end. With the scores locked at 0-0, her header forced a superb save from Smith in one of her two attempts on the Red and Black goal.
Carson Pickett (Brisbane Roar)
Pickett has been one of Jake Goodship’s most consistent performers in 2019/20 and the American left-back posted a performance of the highest quality in attack and defense in Western Sydney.
Her teammates looked for her often, as she got the second-most touches on the team (67). She showed her class on the ball and her dead-ball prowess, dropping in seven crosses and creating four chances in the resounding win.
Aivi Luik (Melbourne City)
While Luik delivered attacking returns last week against Brisbane Roar, the 34-year-old provided the solid platform which allowed City’s forward players to punish Canberra.
She won six of her 10 duels in the engine room to nip in the bud Canberra’s breakaway attempts, and completed 87% of her passes, including 79% of them in Canberra’s half, as City controlled the flow of possession.
Emily van Egmond (Melbourne City)
Often the force which drove the three-time Westfield W-League champions forward against Canberra, van Egmond signed off on a dominant display with a 30-yard cracker which floated and dipped under Sham Khamis’ crossbar to make it 4-0.
The 92-cap Westfield Matilda ran the show from the City midfield and inspired many of the home side’s bright moments as she took three shots, delivered three crosses and created two chances.
Hayley Raso (Brisbane Roar)
Roar’s dangerous women were everywhere on the Marconi Stadium pitch and it was eye-opening that Raso could only celebrate one goal from her nine shots, five of which hit the target while four were from outside the box.
In addition to scoring with a terrific finish and hitting the post before Allira Toby netted the rebound, ‘Ribbons’ was a constant threat. She logged the most touches for the visitors (73) and won the most duels to regain possession for her side (seven) in the latest masterclass of her stellar season.
Kyah Simon (Melbourne City)
A day after returning to the Westfield Matildas fold after missing every international squad in 2019 following an ankle injury, Simon turned on the style with a spin and crisp left-footed finish only five minutes into the Canberra game.
The former Westfield W-League Golden Boot winner rained in six shots and combined well with Emslie throughout. She also pulled rank to grab the ball out of Scot’s hands to double her tally from the penalty spot.
Claire Emslie (Melbourne City)
Emslie notched her first Westfield W-League goal from the penalty spot, breaking City’s hoodoo after Catley and van Egmond had previously missed, and delivered her breakout Westfield W-League performance.
The 25-year-old earned both penalties, drawing Canberra keeper Sham Khamis into fouls on each, and caused chaos for Heather Garriock’s backline, deservedly earning player of the match recognition at ABD Stadium.
Allira Toby (Brisbane Roar)
With Wanderers missing Lynn Williams and Roar playing without Tameka Yallop, this match looked set to come down to which team’s squad players could step up. Toby did just that with flying colors.
In the 25-year-old’s second start of the season, she slipped straight into Brisbane’s rhythm. Toby created two chances and took four shots on goal. Her two on target both hit the back of the net: one was an instinctive rebound the other an ice-cool one-on-one finish.