Melbourne City FC were unable to return to winning ways in the Westfield W-League after falling to a shock 2-1 defeat against Western Sydney Wanderers at Popondetta Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Wanderers fought back after Marianna Tabain opened the scoring for City after three minutes, with American defender Kendall Fletcher netting a double to secure a memorable come-from-behind win for the hosts.
It was just one of those days for City, who will return home disappointed to have not taken something away from the contest. Despite battering on the door of Wanderers goalkeeper Jada Whyman – who was immense in goal for the hosts – the equaliser just never materialised.
Determined to bounce back after tasting defeat for the first time last weekend, City made a blistering start to the contest, opening the scoring after just three minutes.
Tabain found herself in-behind the Wanderers defence after a perfectly weighted chipped ball from Jess Fishlock, who calmly volleyed home past Whyman to give City an early lead.
The Wanderers settled into the contest and began to enjoy some strong spells of possession, but rarely tested Lydia Williams in the City goal.
Frustrating it was that the equaliser arrived from a set-piece as City were punished for a lapse in concentration in the 18th minute, with Fletcher rising highest to powerfully head home a free-kick from Paige Nielsen.
The game began to open up, with City having the best of the goalscoring opportunities to retake the lead, but couldn’t find a way past an inspired Whyman in the Wanderers goal.
The goalkeeper showed brilliant reactions to palm away a deflected effort from Steph Catley, before preventing Beverly Yanez’s powerful header from finding the back of the net, as both sides entered the break level.
Those saves proved to be ever so valuable for the Wanderers, who took the lead shortly after the restart. Sarah Yatim was adjudged to have been fouled in the penalty area by Amy Jackson, with Fletcher stepping up to bury her second goal of the afternoon.
With the contest coming to life, City went in search of an immediate response but were denied time and time again by Whyman.
Fishlock had legitimate claims for a penalty waved when she was seemingly clipped inside the penalty area, but it just wasn’t to be for City as the Wanderers held on for a famous win.
City will now begin preparations for a massive A-League and W-League double header against Perth Glory on Tuesday 27 December. Click here to secure your tickets to a massive day of football at AAMI Park, kick-off at 5pm for the women's and 7.50pm for the men's. Remember, kids go free!
Westfield W-League – Round 7
Sunday 18 December 2016
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Kendall FLETCHER 18’, 48’ [pen])
Melbourne City FC 1 (Marianna TABAIN 3’)
Venue: Popondetta Park, Western Sydney
Melbourne City FC: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (GK), 3. Lauren BARNES, 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Aivi LUIK, 7. Steph CATLEY (C), 10. Jess FISHLOCK, 11. Erika TYMRAK (19. Tyla-Jay VLAJNIC 82’), 13. Rebekah STOTT, 15. Amy JACKSON (2. Teigen ALLEN 68’), 17. Marianna TABAIN (14. Melina AYRES 68’)
Substitutes not used: 23. Erin HUDSON (GK).
Yellow cards: nil
Red cards: nil
Western Sydney Wanderers: 1. Jada WHYMAN (GK), 2. Caitlin COOPER, 5. Helen PETINOS, 6. Kendall FLETCHER, 7. Sarah YATIM (16.Alix ROBERTS 74’), 8. Erica HALLOWAY, 9. Katherine STENGEL, 10. Paige NIELSEN, 13. Eliza AMMENDOLIA (4.Chloe O’BRIEN 90’), 15. Ellie CARPENTER, 18. Angelique HRISTODOULOU
Substitutes not used: 22. Casey DUMONT (GK), 3. Nikola ORGILL
Yellow cards: Petinos 58’
Red cardsL: nil