Melbourne City FC will aim to maintain its perfect start to the Westfield W-League season when Joe Montemurro’s side takes on Brisbane Roar at AJ Kelly Field on Sunday afternoon.
The last time Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar squared off in the Westfield W-League, it produced one of the most nail-biting contests in the competition’s history.
City, who conquered all before them with a perfect record in the Club’s inaugural regular season, were almost tripped up in the Semi Final by a heroic Roar outfit, who pushed Joe Montemurro’s side to a nerve-wracking penalty shootout after 120 minutes of captivating football.
All five of City’s spot-kick takers kept their nerve. The rest, as they say, is history.
For the first time since that epic battle, City and Brisbane will rekindle their burgeoning W-League rivalry after making positive starts to the new season.
Building momentum was always going to take time for a relatively new look City side, but the signs were ominous last weekend during an impressive 3-0 win in the Melbourne Derby at AAMI Park.
It may have taken the best part of an hour to break down a stubborn Victory defence, but City’s attacking class ultimately shone through as Jess Fishlock’s double and a neat finish from Steph Catley secured all three points.
Firepower certainly won’t be an issue for City following the recent arrival of American forward Beverly Yanez, who will add another dimension in attack after joining on loan from Seattle Reign FC.
Standing in City’s way of another three points is a Brisbane Roar side who sit only two points adrift of City on the league table after an impressive 2-0 away win over Western Sydney Wanderers last weekend.
Goals from captain Claire Polkinghorne and Tameka Butt proved to be the difference in an entertaining contest at Marconi Stadium, as Melissa Andreatta’s squad registered its second win of the season.
With both sides entrenched in the top four and that classic Semi Final encounter still fresh in the memory, the scene is set for another hard-fought contest on Sunday.
Defender Lauren Barnes has recovered from a wrist injury and returns to the squad in place of Olivia Ellis. New signing Beverly Yanez – a teammate of Barnes and Jess Fishlock at Seattle Reign FC – is in line to make her City debut after replacing Jacynta Galabadaarachchi in the match day squad.
Goalkeeper Erin Hudson has been signed on a short term replacement contract following the departure of Kelsey Quinn, and is also eligible for selection against the Roar.
Westfield W-League – Round 5
Sunday, 4 December 2016
Brisbane Roar FC v Melbourne City FC
Venue: A.J. Kelly Field
Kick-Off: 4:00PM (Local) (5:00PM (AEDT))
Referee: Kate Jacewicz
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Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Lydia WILLIAMS (GK), 2.Teigen ALLEN, 3.Lauren BARNES, 5.Laura ALLEWAY, 6.Aivi LUIK, 7.Steph CATLEY (c), 10.Jessica FISHLOCK, 11.Erika TYMRAK, 13.Rebekah STOTT, 14.Melina AYRES, 15.Amy JACKSON, 16. Beverly YANEZ, 17.Marianna TABAIN, 19.Tyla-Jay VLAJNIC, 26. Erin HUDSON (GK)
Ins: 3. Lauren BARNES (return from injury), 16. Beverly YANEZ (new signing), 26. Erin HUDSON (new signing)
Outs: 12.Olivia ELLIS (omitted), 18.Jacynta GALABADAARACHCHI (omitted), 30. Kelsey QUINN (released)
Unavailable: 9.Larissa CRUMMER (ankle – four weeks)