CommBank Matildas were involved in the action as the A-League Women kicked off in front of record crowds over the weekend, including Cortnee Vine starring in Sydney FC’s derby victory in front of 11,000 fans.
The Newcastle Jets defeated their local rivals Central Coast Mariners 1-0 on Saturday afternoon in front of over 5,000 fans at Industree Group Stadium. Melina Ayres was the villain for the home crowd as her second-half goal was enough for the Jets to spoil the party for the return of the Mariners. It was a game full of drama, second-yellow cards to Alex Huynh and Fayer Bryson reducing the teams to ten players for the final stages of the fixture.
Kyah Simon was not deemed fit enough to make the matchday squad for the Mariners but was there to receive a guard of honour after being a part of the CommBank Matildas squad at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™.
Sydney FC walked away with the spoils as they defeated the Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 in front of over 11,000 at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night. Cortnee Vine started and played the full 90 minutes for the Sky Blues but it was youngster Kirsty Fenton, as well as new signing Fiona Worts, who found their way onto the scoresheet. Vine was nonetheless a constant threat down the right-hand side, her presence felt by the roar of the crowd whenever she was near the ball.
Chloe Logarzo’s Western United fell to Perth Glory 2-0 at Macedonia Park on Saturday evening. Western dominated the first half but goals to Susan Phonsongkham and Kiwi international Grace Jale turned the tide in the home side’s favour. Logarzo was unavailable for selection due to personal reasons and is expected to be back in round two.
Melbourne City were forced to battle to overcome the less-fancied Wellington Phoenix 1-0 in a very windy Wellington on Sunday. A second-half goal to Hannah Wilkinson, New Zealand’s World Cup hero, was enough to get them over the line. However, there were promising signs for the Phoenix that they would be no easy beats this season.
Adelaide and Canberra United played out a thriller on Sunday afternoon, a 4-4 draw full of twists and turns on both sides. Michelle Heyman edged ever closer to a huge milestone as she scored her 95th competition goal, while Serbian international Vesna Milivojevic scored a brace for Canberra. However, it was a 94th-minute equaliser to Young Matilda Emilia Murray that was the eventual decisive goal in the contest.
Finally, the Home of the Matildas in Bundoora featured its first A-League Women’s action of the season as the Brisbane Roar defeated home side Melbourne Victory 2-1. A late consolation from Young Matilda Ella O’Grady was the only bright spot for Victory.
Lydia Williams was unable to keep out a rocket from 16-year-old Junior Matilda Grace Kuilamu and a headed goal from Jenna McCormick that put Brisbane two goals in the lead in the second half. Emily Gielnik and Elise Kellond-Knight were unavailable for Victory through injury, while Tameka Yallop was unavailable for the Roar as she continues her recovery post-World Cup.