ALW Preview: City v Canberra

Our City Women are home for the first time this season, set to take on Canberra United this Saturday.

It’s shaping up to be a perfect afternoon for football at AAMI Park as Dario Vidosic’s side looks to make it two wins in a row to kick off 2023/24.

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Here are a few of the key talking points heading into Saturday’s fixture against Canberra!

Backing up a strong start

For the second year in a row, we got our season off to a perfect start with an away win in Wellington.

In some tricky conditions across the Tasman, Vidosic’s side were made to fight hard across the 90 minutes but eventually were able to do enough to return home with all three points.

Goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx and defender Taylor Otto both were named in the starting XI for their City debuts, while later in the contest Laura Hughes and Tijan McKenna were introduced for their first minutes for the club.

City dominated possession for much of the day but as can often be expected early in the season, the team wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders just yet and clear-cut chances were hard to come by.

The crucial moment would come in the 73rd minute. Rhianna Pollicina’s initial shot on goal was saved but as good strikers always are, Hannah Wilkinson was in the right spot at the right time to tap home the follow-up.

A strong defensive performance required

Over the border in Adelaide, Canberra secured a point on the road to begin their season, although Head Coach Njegosh Popovich would’ve been disappointed not to walk away with all three.

In what was an entertaining affair for the neutral observers, Canberra was 3-4 ahead deep into stoppage time before conceding a 94th-minute equaliser.

They led three times through the match with Vesna Milivojevic, Michelle Heyman and Nickoletta Flannery all getting their names on the scoresheet, showing City will need to be at the top of our game defensively.

Vidosic will be hoping to see a repeat of that Round 1 clean sheet in Wellington, with Otto and Proulx impressing on their City debuts while club legend Rebekah Stott was as reliable as ever at the back.

Attacking firepower ready to click?

There was no shortage of goals in the fixture last season, City coming away with a strong 4-0 win away from home early in the campaign, before being held to a 3-3 draw back in Melbourne.

Rhianna Pollicina was on fire in both matches scoring three times, while Hannah Wilkinson, Daniela Galic and Holly McNamara were all amongst the goals too.

City will be hoping for a repeat of that clinical ability in front of goal come Saturday after struggling to create clear-cut chances in some tough conditions in Round 1.

This wasn’t a huge surprise given it was just the first match of the season and the squad missed a large number of players during key parts of pre-season through international duty, but Vidosic will still be hoping to see improvement in the final third this weekend.

Match Details

A-League Women: Round 2

Melbourne City FC v Canberra United

Saturday 21 October, 2:45pm KO