Melbourne City FC has been forced to settle for a share of the spoils, playing out a 1-1 draw with a resilient Newcastle Jets outfit at No.2 Sportsground in Newcastle on Sunday.
Emily van Egmond blasted Rado Vidosic’s side ahead in their Round 1 encounter, burying a low drive in the 22nd minute to net a goal on debut against her former side.
Despite City’s dominance of possession, the Jets hit back in the second half as Teigan Collister’s well-placed finish sent the home fans into raptures.
Vidosic’s side continued to press in search of a late winner but were unable to breakdown the Jets defence. City will be searching for their first win of the season when they take on Canberra United at McKellar Park next Sunday 24 November.
Emily van Egmond, Emma Checker, Ellie Carpenter, Claire Emslie and Milica Mijatovic are all named in the starting XI for the first time in City colours. Skipper Steph Catley starts in the midfield.
Our team is in for our @WLeague season opener in Newcastle!
— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) November 17, 2019
In front of a vocal home crowd in Newcastle, City looked to open their 2019/20 campaign with three points on the road.
After a relatively subdued start to proceedings, with no real threat at either end in the opening 10 minutes, Rado Vidosic’s side looked to lift a gear on the 15 minute mark. Serbian international Milica Mijatovic was a livewire from the get go in her first competitive fixture on Australian soil. Looking to drop in deep then turn and go, she created a number of openings for her teammates to utilise.
In the 22nd minute, City would find the breakthrough as Emily van Egmond fizzed her effort from 20 yards straight into the bottom corner with a perfectly timed finish.
With one minute of the first half remaining, Gema Simon had a golden opportunity to equalise for the hosts, although the fullback flashed her effort wide.
Looking to double their advantage, Vidosic’s side came out of the blocks strongly in the second period. Scottish international Claire Emslie looked threatening up top, forcing a number of good saves from Coelho in the Jets goal.
On the 64th minute mark, captain Steph Catley went inches away from firing home a second for the visitors. Playing in the heart of midfield, the left footer picked up the ball on the edge of the area before firing a low drive past the keeper and into the woodwork.
City were forced to rue their missed opportunities, as Teigan Collister beat Lydia Williams with a top corner finish to equalise for the Jets in the 67th minute.
Working tirelessly down the right wing all day, Ellie Carpenter looked to spark her team into restoring the lead. On debut, the fullback beat three of her opponents before finding Mijatovic at the back post, who scuffed her effort wide. Van Egmond and Catley then combined, before finding Emslie, whose effort was also put into the side netting.
In the second minute of additional time City had one last chance to snatch the three points as Emma Checker picked out Emslie with a perfectly weighted long cross. The attacker met Checker’s cross with a glancing header which beat the keeper before striking the upright and falling to safety.
City will look to respond when they head to the capital next weekend to take on Canberra United at McKellar Park on Sunday 24 November, kick-off 4:00pm.