Sydney FC sets standard in opening round of W-League
Champions Sydney FC set the bar high in the opening week of the W-League season, overpowering Melbourne Victory 5-1 in a clash of last season’s grand finalists.
Sydney fell behind in the opening minutes of Sunday’s match but it was one-way traffic thereafter against a Victory team which recruited strongly during the off-season.
One of those recruits, Emma Checker, opened the scoring for hosts Victory, but Sydney hit the front by the midway point of the first half and never looked back.
Nicola Bolger led the way for the Sky Blues with two goals while the others came from Jodie Taylor, Emma Kete and former Matildas striker Leena Khamis, returning after a year’s absence from injury.
It could have been even worse for Melbourne as Taylor had a goal ruled out for offside and Amy Harrison was only denied by the frame of the goal.
Canberra United also shone in the opening round with an eye-catching 3-0 away win against a star-studded Brisbane Roar.
The Roar’s marquee recruit, Germany captain and goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, was powerless to halt the visitors who were three goals to the good by the 50-minute mark.
American international Lori Lindsey put Canberra ahead early, and former golden boot winner Michelle Heyman rediscovered her goalscoring form with a double against the two-time champions.
Outsiders Adelaide United were denied a famous win as Catherine Cannuli equalised during injury time for Western Sydney Wanderers in a 1-1 draw in Sydney.
Adelaide, who have collected the wooden spoon in each of the past three seasons, went ahead through debutant Alexandra Gummer and their robust approach only narrowly failed to pay full dividends.
Perth Glory took all three points from Newcastle Jets with a 5-2 win, though they were pushed hard by a team expected to struggle this season.
The Jets twice fought back to be 2-2 at the interval before late goals blew out the scoreline in a physical contest.