Kerr v Foord: Breaking down the battle between the two Westfield Matildas stars
It’s the head-to-head battle involving two Westfield Matildas stars that’s set to light up Saturday’s Westfield W-League 20181/19 Grand Final.
Perth Glory superstar Sam Kerr and Sydney FC attacker Caitlin Foord have been the two highest scorers in the Westfield W-League this campaign.
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And it could well be their goals at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium this weekend that drives their side to Westfield W-League glory.
We look at how the incredible duo compares this season, over the last five years, as well as their record with the Westfield Matildas.
Leading the way in 2018/19
While it’s taken a team effort for both clubs to make this season’s decider, there’s no doubt the goals of Kerr and Foord are a major reason why their sides are still alive on the final day of the campaign.
Kerr made it back-to-back Westfield W-League Golden Boot awards, finishing with 13 goals from 11 games in the regular season before bagging her incredible hat-trick to defeat Premiers Melbourne Victory in the semi-final.
The Westfield Matildas forward scored a goal every 69.4 minutes on the pitch this season, meaning it will take something special for the Sky Blues to keep her quiet on Saturday.
It’s something they were unable to do when the sides played in their only meeting this season, with Kerr’s brace inspiring Glory to a come-from-behind 2-1 win.
But Foord also enjoyed a prolific campaign with nine goals in the regular season and one in the semi-final win over Brisbane Roar, with her goals coming every 116.7 minutes.
Interestingly, Foord found the back of the net 10 times from her 18 shots on target giving her a shooting accuracy of 69.2%, compared to Kerr’s 61.3% from her 38 shots on target.
At this point in the campaign, both Kerr and Foord have four assists apiece, while the former had more successful dribbles with 24 to Foord’s 18.
While the pair both do their best work inside the opposition’s penalty area, there are plenty of other attributes to their overall game.
Kerr, in particular, has made a concerted effort to get involved in the defensive side of the game for Glory.
She is unbelievably strong in the tackle, winning 87.5% of her tackles contested throughout the campaign, compared to 22.2% for Foord.
And the Glory striker also dominates her Sydney FC rival when it comes to clearances and interceptions.
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Kerr made a staggering 26 clearances and seven interceptions throughout this season, while Foord only registered two clearances and three interceptions.
But there’s one area where the Sky Blues star edges past Kerr and that’s when it comes to passing.
Foord completed 307 passes at 75.6% success rate, compared to Kerr’s 59.2% success rate for her 274 successful passes.
Westfield W-League since 2014/15
Kerr’s strike-rate in the competition over the last five years is simply astonishing.
The 25-year-old has played 48 games in that time, scoring a whopping 51 goals at more than one per match.
Throw in another 12 assists and Kerr has been directly involved in 63 goals in total from 48 appearances.
Foord has racked-up a half-century of games in the same period, scoring 21 goals and contributing eight assists.
It should be pointed out though that Foord hasn’t always played in attack, with her versatility meaning she has played at fullback, in midfield and on the wing at various points in her career.
It’s a major reason why Kerr dominates most of the attacking stats in the last five years.
Kerr has taken 236 shots, with 124 on target, compared to Foord’s 84, with 39 forcing the keeper into a save.
The Glory striker has a shade over double the chances created to Foord (111 to 55), but the Sky Blues star has a superior pass accuracy of 75% from 872 passes, to 62% for Kerr from her 1187 pass attempts.
Delivering for the Westfield Matildas
The Westfield Matildas have enjoyed remarkable success over the last few years, with Kerr and Foord heavily involved in the team’s excellent results.
While the pair have been in the national team for a number of years, their record since July 2016 has been their best period in the Green and Gold.
In that time, Kerr has played 29 games for the Westfield Matildas and scored 20 goals, while Foord has played 31 times for 11 goals.
Foord has been more of a provider in that time, making nine assists to Kerr’s five, but the Glory attacker has created more chances, 51 to Foord's 36.
Kerr’s shooting accuracy is also slighter higher than her teammate's, with 50 of her 107 shots on target, compared to 18 of 47 by Foord.
But there’s very little when it comes to the passing for the Westfield Matildas, who have built their success on their free-flowing, possession-based attacking game.
Since July 2016, Kerr has made five more passes than Foord (654-649), but the latter has more successful passes with 433, compared to 422 by Kerr.