American and Western Sydney signings key to Sky Blue’s victory
By Stephen Webb
Westfield W-League Season 7, 2014-15
Lambert Park, Leichhardt
September 14, 2014, 4 pm
Sydney FC 2 (Spencer 38’, 69’)
Adelaide United 0
Sydney dominated their opening game of the W-League’s seventh season even though Adelaide had the opportunities to make all of Sydney’s possession count for naught.
The key difference was that Sydney’s failures were occasional lapses, while Adelaide struggled for long periods.
Apart from the opening minutes of both halves and a brief period in the middle of the first half, Adelaide couldn’t handle Sydney’s fast movement of the ball.
Jasmyne Spencer, on loan from Western New York Flash, proved a handful, scoring two goals on debut. Adelaide were frequently troubled by her acceleration and willingness to take on defenders.
Servet Uzunlar, from cross town Western Sydney Wanderers, hit some long passes that Steven Gerrard would be proud of.
Sydney’s goalkeeper, Casey Dumont, saw lots of action in the opening minutes, having to come out of her box twice to stop Adelaide captain Kristy Moore and striker Lisa-Marie Woods.
Sydney won the first two corners but Adelaide had the best early chance, a cross from the right by Moore finding Tiam Powell at the left post only for Powell to put the ball over the bar from close range.
Sydney’s Amy Harrison ran the ball from 40 metres out before shooting wide.
Katie Holtham got a good ball to Woods in the left corner. Woods’ cross was cleared at the far post.
Uzunlar, who has taken over captain Teresa Polias’ distribution duties, played a fabulous long ball for Teigen Allen down the right. Allen hit a dangerous cross that was intercepted by a sprawling Melissa Barbieri.
Adelaide began to press well and for ten minutes largely succeeded in confining Sydney to their own half. That led to more problems for Adelaide, however, with Sydney briefly giving up on playing out from the back and resorting to more long balls over the top.
Uzunlar found Jasmyne Spencer, who was stopped by a good tackle from Lauren Steer.
Barbieri, always loud and clear about how her defence should protect her, hurt herself on the edge of her goal box, leaping to collect a Sydney free kick.
Harrison missed an opportunity to score, breaking away onto another long ball from Uzunlar. Barbieri came quickly off her line to block Harrison’s shot.
Isabel Hodgson spoiled an attempted shot by Spencer and Steer made another solid tackle to prevent Allen taking advantage of another through ball from Uzunlar. Steer then blocked a shot from Nicola Bolger.
Allen gave away possession cheaply and Polias won it back before Spencer dashed through three Adelaide players and cracked a shot just over the top right corner of Adelaide’s goal.
Quick down the left, Spencer cut in and won Sydney another corner.
Adelaide were now unable to keep possession and Sydney just applied more pressure.
Spencer made a great tackle on Georgia Campagnale, who was replaced by Daila-Tais Borg.
In the 38th minute, another American loan, Chicago Red Stars defender Samantha Johnson, was strong keeping the ball down the left before crossing for Spencer to leap over Adelaide’s taller defenders and head home.
Chloe Logarzo fought well against Steer to win a corner and on a cross from Harrison on the right Spencer was denied a good chance at the left post by one her teammates.
Adelaide replaced Rachel Alonso with Emily Condon at half time.
Adelaide started the second half with more possession around Sydney’s penalty area but Moore couldn’t find the opportunity to turn and shoot. The home team’s nerves were tested when Woods drifted in a long shot from the right sideline. Dumont just touched it onto the far post and scrabbled to gather the ball as it bounced out in front of goal.
Woods then had an even better chance with time on the ball in the centre of the box but didn’t even hit target.
At the other end Polias shot high after Adelaide cleared a corner from the left.
When Moore finally had a run at goal Dumont dived to take the ball from her feet.
Polias was determined chasing back to dispossess Woods and Spencer turned quickly to snap a shot at goal but did not trouble Barbieri.
Natalie Tobin was stopped by Barbieri coming off her line and Allen made a fine, solid tackle on Hodgson.
Barbieri made a tremendous diving save to deny Harrison shooting from just outside the left post.
The corner was played short and when the ball was fired in low across the face of goal it cannoned between Borg and Jenna McCormick before falling to Spencer who added to her tally.
Woods hit a dipping shot from outside the top right corner of Sydney’s penalty area but it was comfortable for Dumont.
A one-two between Spencer and Harrison led to a good chance from close range but Barbieri saw them off.
Bolger hit the Adelaide crossbar and Dumont come out to collect a lobbed cross from Woods.
Tobin came off for Olivia Price and Harrison was replaced by Heidi Makrillos.
A shot from Price was cleared off the line and as the game wound down Adelaide replaced Steer with Dylan Holmes and Sydney put on Elizabeth Ralston for Johnson.
Casey Dumont (gk), Teresa Polias, Jasmyne Spencer, Servet Uzunlar, Nicola Bolger, Amy Harrison (Heidi Makrillos 81’), Renee Rollason, Natalie Tobin (Olivia Price 81’), Chloe Logarzo, Teigen Allen, Samantha Johnson (Elizabeth Ralston 91’)
Substitutes not used: Alyssa Harris (gk)
Melissa Barbieri (gk), Lauren Steer (Dylan Homes 86’), Katrine Pedersen, Lisa-Marie Woods, Isabel Hodgson, Rachel Alonso (Emily Condon 46’), Jenna McCormick, Katie Holtham, Tiarn Powell, Georgia Campagnale (Daila-Tais Borg 37’), Kristy Moore
Substitutes not used: Sarah Willacy (gk)
Referee: Kirralee Andruschak
Assistants: Lily David and Daniel Stack
Fourth Official: Liz Shorter
BOTN Player Points:
3. Servet Uzunlar (Sydney)
2. Jasmyne Spencer (Sydney)
1. Teresa Polias (Sydney)
Report and photo gallery by Stephen Webb