Alex Chidiac scored her first goal of the season and Emily Gielnik scored a stoppage-time stunner for Melbourne Victory, while Cortnee Vine was instrumental in a dramatic late win for Sydney FC.
Read our review of all of the Matildas at Home action below.
The weekend’s action got underway on Saturday, with top-of-the-table Melbourne City holding on to a 2-1 win over Wellington Phoenix. Second-half goals to Rhianna Pollicina and Emina Ekic gave City a two-goal advantage before Venezuelan international Mariana Speckmaier’s strike gave the Phoenix hope. There was late drama after Ekic received a second yellow card in the 86th minute, meaning that City had to see the game out with ten players, but they managed to keep the Phoenix at bay. City are now seven points clear at the summit of the table.
A dramatic stoppage-time winner to Emily Gielnik saw Melbourne Victory secure their first win in five games, an enthralling 3-2 win over Canberra United. First-half goals to Rachel Lowe and Alex Chidiac – her first of the season - gave Victory a 2-1 lead at half-time after Michelle Heyman struck early for the home side. Heyman’s second in the 70th minute looked to be enough to secure a point for the team in green, but Gielnik – on as a second half substitute – had the last say, a stunner from outside the area securing the three points for her side.
Chidiac started the match and played 80 minutes, while Gielnik came on in the 61st minute as she continues to build her match fitness. Lydia Williams did not travel with the squad with an ankle injury. Elise Kellond-Knight was not named in the matchday squad.
Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar played out an eventful scoreless draw on Saturday night. The Roar dominated the game, and earned a penalty late in the first half for their endeavour. However, Ayesha Norrie’s effort was saved by Morgan Aquino – undoubtedly the form keeper of the league this season. Both sides kept attacking but ultimately could not find a way through, with Roar goalkeeper Jordan Silkowitz pulling out from impressive saves of her own.
Tameka Yallop started the game for the Roar and played the full 90 minutes but was unable to add to her tally of one goal for the season.
Western United squeezed past Adelaide United 1-0 in the first of the Sunday fixtures. Adelaide thought that they opened the scoring with a Dylan Holmes olimpico, but it was disallowed due to the referee spotting interference on the home team’s goalkeeper. Despite having less possession, Western were able to capitalise in the second half, Japanese national Keiwa Hieda’s strike proving the difference in a closely fought contest.
Chloe Logarzo started and played the full match for Western United. She played the first half as a centre-forward but, as American striker and reigning Golden Boot winner Hannah Keane continued her return to full fitness with a half-time substitution, she was moved back to her more familiar number 10 role in the second half.
Goals for two teenagers saw Sydney FC pull off a last-gasp 2-1 victory against the Newcastle Jets. Philippines international Sarina Bolden struck first, giving the Jets the lead in the first half. A first professional goal for 16-year-old Maddie Caspers equalised for the home side before 17-year-old Zara Kruger scored the winner with almost the final kick of the game.
Caspers ghosting in wait at the back post 👻
Maddie Caspers scores her first goal in the Liberty A League with a pinpoint header off a Cortnee Vine assist! ✨
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— Paramount+ Australia (@ParamountPlusAU) January 21, 2024
Cortnee Vine was a constant threat for the Sky Blues, hitting the post an astonishing three times before assisting Caspers' goal. She was able to complete her first full match since her latest injury. Jada Whyman was her usual self in goals and Bolden’s goal was merely a blip in what is the best defensive record in the league.
Finally, the Western Sydney Wanderers made it four wins in a row, defeating the Central Coast Mariners 2-1. Holly Caspers made it two goals in one day for the Caspers family, opening the scoring just before half-time for the Wanderers. The home side hit back after the break, a stunning volley from Isabel Gomez levelling the scoring. However, a Maliah Morris shot that took an unfortunate deflection off Mariners defender Jazmin Wardlow was enough for the Wanderers to seal the victory.
Kyah Simon did not appear in the matchday squad for the Mariners.