ALW Report: City 4-3 Western Sydney

Led by a Holly McNamara hattrick, Melbourne City has continued its unbeaten start to the A-League Women’s season with a 4-3 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.

McNamara was on the scoresheet before half-time after winning the penalty for Rhianna Pollicina’s opener, before scoring twice in six minutes in the second half.

Team News

Head Coach Dario Vidosic stuck with an unchanged XI following last weekend’s draw to Western United.

The big news came among the substitutes, where Emina Ekic was named just days after her return to the Club was announced.

Starting XI: 44. Lysianne PROULX (GK), 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 13. Rebekah STOTT (C), 5. Taylor OTTO, 7. Julia GROSSO, 14. Laura HUGHES, 6. Leticia MCKENNA, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 24. Daniela GALIC, 9. Holly MCNAMARA, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.

Substitutes: 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 3. Naomi CHINNAMA, 11. Emina EKIC, 15. Kiera MEYERS, 21. Isabella ACCARDO.

What happened?

Although City did dominate the possession virtually from the outset, it was the Wanderers firing the first shot on target for the evening, although Lysianne Proulx was comfortably up to the task.

Leticia McKenna and Kaitlyn Torpey were right in the thick of things for City and were causing plenty of troubles for the Wanderers, but as it has been so often in the early stages of the season, Holly McNamara was the catalyst for everything going forward.

She drove into the box and won a penalty just before the half-hour mark, which Rhianna Pollicina despatched into the roof of the net to make it 1-0.

It was a brief period of chaos that led to our second of the night, with the ball finally making it over the line after we could’ve scored twice in the previous 5 seconds.

Torpey first unleashed a powerful strike that slammed into the underside of the crossbar but landed just the wrong side of the goal line, before Pollicina then forced a great reflex save on the follow-up, but finally, McNamara curled it home to make it 2-0.

The visiting Wanderers were able to bounce back and find their first just before half time, ensuring it would be no walk in the park for City.

Proulx made a strong save in the 53rd minute to keep us on the right side of the score line, before the McNamara show really turned up a notch.

It was a lovely piece of build-up play from Pollicina and Hannah Wilkinson before the later spotted McNamara’s perfect run down the middle and played her in on goal, the City starlet then rounding the keeper before tucking home a composed finish.

She was at it again just four minutes later when she completed her hattrick.

Pollicina’s corner was perfectly placed to meet the run of McNamara, who rose the highest in the box to head home City’s fourth of the evening.

Trailing by three goals the Wanderers still didn’t lie down, scoring twice in the five minutes to make it 4-3 with 15 minutes still to play.

Despite seeing the lead cut to just one goal, City was resolute in the final stages and saw out the three points professionally.

What’s next?

A trip to the Hunter awaits for City next weekend, set to face Newcastle Jets at No.2 Sportsground next Sunday afternoon.