Matildas Abroad Review: Debuts, Cup final heartbreak, Toppserien title battle

It was a difficult weekend overall for our Westfield Matildas, with leagues and cups lost, however history was made nonetheless.

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England

Despite not getting the result Australian and Everton FC fans were hoping for, an historic achievement was made on Monday morning during the FA Women’s Cup Final. Hayley Raso became the first Westfield Matilda to start in a Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, however Manchester City ran out eventual 3-1 winners.

In the 75 minutes Raso was on the pitch she caused havoc on the flanks for the Toffees, coming off while the game was delicately poised at 1-1 with City eventually regaining control. Many believe this is just the start of regular appearances by Aussies in FA Cup Finals with the growing Westfield Matilda influence in English football.

Norway

The weekend got worse for our Westfield Matildas in Scandinavia, with all three playing in the Toppserien failing to win. For some, the result meant  saying goodbye to a championship with only two games remaining.

Avaldsnes can still mathematically challenge for the title if they regain the four-point gap from top spot Valeranga.

Despite the efforts of Clare Polkinghorne, who towered above the pack to head home from a corner in the 33rd minute, Avaldsnes suffered a crushing defeat 3-1 away at Rosenborg. The goal was Polkinghorne’s first of the campaign and possibly her side’s most important at the time, levelling the scores 1-1 before the break.


Unfortunately, Karly Roestbakken and LSK Kvinner have now lost all chance of Toppserien silverware, after losing 4-2 away at top-of-the-table Valerenga. The loss now puts Roestbakken’s side seven points adrift of leaders Valerenga despite the side’s valiant comeback in the second half to reduce the deficit to two goals. Roestbakken started the match and played 84th minutes.

France

There was little argument about who rules French women’s football at the moment, with the Aussie matchup between Mary Fowler’s Montpellier and Ellie Carpenter’s Olympique Lyonnais ending in a blowout for the latter.

Lyon, the French and European champions ran out 5-0 winners with both Westfield Matildas starting the match with only Carpenter finishing after Fowler was brought off at the 75th minute.

Post match, head coach Jean-Luc Vasseur once again highlighted the performance of Ellie Carpenter  also wanted to highlight the performance of Ellie Carpenter, saying: “She has integrated very well. She feels at home. We're thrilled for her. It will still progress."


Laura Brock guided her side Guingamp to a crucial 2-1 victory at home to Le Havre. Guingamp started the weekend in the relegation places and under immense pressure to secure a result, the win jumps Brock and her team out of the drop zone and for now alleviates that pressure felt.

 

Netherlands

PSV Eindhoven have solidified second spot in the Erdeivisie with an emphatic 6-0 victory away at Excelsior. Amy Harrison started the match and was substituted at the 61st minute.

 

Spain

It was a bittersweet weekend for defender Jenna McCormick in Spain.  The Westfield Matilda made her Real Betis debut against defending champions FC Barcelona.

McCormick started from the bench and only entered the match with fifteen minutes to go with her side three goals behind. A last-ditch slide from the defender to block a Barcelona strike unfortunately deflected into the net, leading to her effort being counted as an own goal.

 

Sweden

Emily Gielnik started her Vittsjo match away at Kristianstad and lasted until the 76th minute before being brought off by coach Martensson. Vittsjo went down 4-0, ending a remarkable 10 game unbeaten run.