Dean Heffernan’s Wanderers came out on top in the season opener of the Westfield W-League.
Adelaide teenager Mary Fowler found herself brought down by Alex Huynh after her charging run into the box, and earned a penalty six minutes before the break. From the spot, a slight stutter in her run-up was enough to deceive keeper Smith into diving the wrong way, and Fowler calmly tucked the ball into the bottom right corner.
However, Western Sydney pulled the scores level on the 44th minute. On her first start in Australia since joining this summer off the back of an NWSL-winning season with the North Carolina Courage, the unmarked Kristen Hamilton headed in Roberts’ looping cross inside of the six-yard box.
It was another debutant in Kyra Cooney-Cross who provided the second and sealed the win for Western Sydney in injury time. Her free-kick from around thirty-five yards out flew over both sides in the box, and an awkward bounce at the goalmouth took the ball past the outstretched hands of Sarah Willacy.
Sydney FC 3 - 0 Melbourne Victory
Last season's champions started the 2019/20 campaign in strong form, setting aside the Victory at the Jubilee Oval.
Moving from their city rivals Western Sydney Wanderers in the offseason, Remy Siemsen netted the first of the game within only four minutes. Fed through in the box by Ford, she swept the ball across from her left foot to her stronger right, before firing a low rifled shot into the bottom corner to put the Big Blue ahead early on.
A perfect debut, she bagged herself a brace 22 minutes in. Ford's curling ball from just outside of the 18-yard box with her left foot flew over the top of the defence found the on-running head of Siemsen who converted through Durmont's hands and into the back of the net.
Despite not being able to register a goal throughout the match, Melbourne still created some opportunities for themselves. Dowie and Hanson both had attempts that came close, the latter with an incredible chance to pull one back in the 85th minute but not being able to connect with the ball.
Shadeene Evans added a final nail to the coffin just before the final whistle. A nice first-time cross in from the right was flicked on by the head of Evans towards goal, her quick reactions allowing her to get to the ball before anybody else and register her name onto the scoresheet.
Canberra United 2 - 0 Perth Glory
A brace from Simone Charley picked up all three points in the Australian capital against a Perth side who have been weekend by the departure of star striker Sam Kerr to Chelsea in the Women's Super League.
As Canberra worked the ball up the pitch - Charley, who had started the move, sprinted from the right flank towards the Perth box. A pinpoint ball from Camila on the left dissected the back-line, meeting perfectly with the slid foot of Charley in the box who only needed the slightest touch to send it into the back of the net.
If the first had been an impressive team play, the second showed the individual class contained in the forward who signed from Portland Thorns after the NWSL ended its latest campaign. Roestbakken charged through the center of the pitch and fed a through ball to the American in the corner. Picking it up, she danced past her marker with the pace, and once reaching the box she unleased a curling shot which flew above the defenders and into the top-left of Campbell's net.
Perth struggled to find their foothold on the game, and Canberra's passing prowess through the middle of the pitch earned them many more chances throughout the day. A late push from the side in purple did create some opportunities going forward, but none were able to stop them from finishing their first game of the season without registering a goal.
Newcastle Jets 1 - 1 Melbourne City
The final game of matchday one ended in a 1-1 stalemate, with neither side able to break the deadlock.
Twenty minutes in, Claire Emslie was fed through inside of the 18-yard box, and her shot from a tight angle came close to earning her first-ever W-League goal. It only took two more minutes however for the blues to make it one-nil. Emslie teed off Emily van Egmond who was around 25 yards out from goal, and a moment of brilliance saw her let fly with her first touch and take the ball past the defence, and be neatly tucked into the bottom-left corner of the goal after the beautifully hit shot against her former club.
The Jets had a number of opportunities throughout the rest of the half to pull one back, but were not clinical enough and they entered the break one down. Twenty minutes into the second half, Melbourne nearly doubled their lead for the day with an equally brilliant chance. Steph Catley had the ball laid off to her from a similar distance, but her curling shot across the face of goal was denied by the post.
It was Tiegan Collister however who levelled the scores somewhat against the run of play. A long ball from the defence found a Melbourne winger on the left of the pitch who ran at goal with only one defender there. Her ball across to the edge of the 'D' was intercepted by Blisset, but it only reached as far as Collister who unleashed a deadly ball on the half-volley and into the back of the net underneath the floodlights.
The Jets had an effort cleared off the line after pinball at the goalmouth, whilst Claire Emslie saw her header hit the post, but neither side were able to alter the even scoreline.