Sydney FC recorded another derby victory after defeating The Wanderers 2-0 with a brace from Remy Siemsen sending Western Sydney to their second defeat
Sydney FC named an unchanged starting 11, with new signing Paige Satchell joining the squad on the bench. Western Sydney added Teigan Collister to the lineup after impressing from the bench last week. Matilda Bryleeh Henry started again as a substitute.
An early foul on Cortnee Vine gave Sarah Hunter a chance to score from the edge of the box. The shot was on target but Sarah Langman was able to tip it over the bar.
Langman was unable to prevent Sydney FC taking the lead in the 18th minute. Remy Siemsen tapped into an open goal after the Wanderer’s goalkeeper could only parry Mackenzie Hawkesby’s shot.
Siemsen doubled her tally in the second half. The Matildas striker took possession after a turnover fell to Mackenzie Hawkesby and curled a shot inside the back post to make it 2-0.
The Sky Blues then held on to claim their second victory in as many weeks for the new campaign.
DOES SYDNEY FC HAVE THE BEST FRONT THREE IN THE LEAGUE?
The combination of Remy Siemnsen, Princess Ibini and Cortnee Vine is settled, experienced, flexible and powerful.
All three are dangerous with the ball and mobile without it. The A-League Women’s has some star studded attacks across the various clubs but few look as fluid as Sydney FC’s.
Against the Wanderer’s Vine and Ibini switched flanks throughout the game. Vine is most comfortable on the right but found space on both flanks. Ibini helped create the opening goal with a through ball after taking possession in the middle.
Remy Siemsen showed her full array of skills. Her two goals could not have been more different. Her tap-in for the first was pure strikers instinct and the second was a classy finish of vision and technique.
Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory in particular have made strong attacking signings. However, the output and consistency of these Sydney starting forwards may still make them the benchmark strike force.
WSW HAVE TOO MUCH SPACE BUT NOT ENOUGH TIME
Western Sydney are set up to pressure from the front and counter attack quickly when they win the ball. They try pass the ball quickly as soon as they gain possession and take advantage of their pace up front.
In practice, over the two matches so far, this has not worked. Instead of fast, they look rushed. The gap between the midfield and the strikers looks too large a distance. Under these circumstances the passing needs to be long, urgent and accurate. It’s a big ask.
Sheridan Gallagher looks isolated as the lone striker and the forward pressure improved when Bryleeh Henry joined her in the second half.
The second half was much more even on the balance of play. Western Sydney’s formation looked to have altered with Henry’s introduction. The recently capped Matilda appeared with her knee heavily strapped which may explain her omission from the starting lineup.
The answer may be in midfield. Libby Copus-Brown is a player who can dictate the tempo of a game if given the chance. Finding her best position where she is in space with time may be the key to unlocking the Wanderer’s potential.
SARAH HUNTER IS POISED FOR A BREAKOUT SEASON
Sarah Hunter announced herself with a brace last season. The teenager was in Western Sydney colors then and has since made the cross-town switch to The Skye Blue.
In the first two games she has been entrusted with the starting midfield role. These are big boots to fill, the departures of Clare Wheeler and Theresa Polias could have derailed Sydney’s season before it even began.
It is still early in the season but Hunter has so far stepped up and looks to be becoming a very strong A-League player. She is constantly involved in the attacks, has the pace to track back and almost opened the scoring with a well-taken free kick.
Her off-season move had double the impact in this fixture. Western Sydney were missing her drive and pace in the middle and Sydney benefitted as she helped set up the win in the first half.
Every year a young player takes their game to another level. It could well be Hunter in 2021/22.
A-League Women Round 2: Commbank Stadium
Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Sydney FC 2 (Remy Siemsen 18m, 48m)