Sunday, December 13, 2009

Westfield W-League semi-final 1 - SYDNEY FC 3 bt CANBERRA 0

So at the end of the day, the score looks a little lopsided. But the game was, despite going a player down 13minutes in when Alesha Clifford was handed a red for her tackle on Ashleigh Sykes, Sydney completely dominated and as Canberra captain on the day Lydia Williams said, it even appeared like some times they were the team with the extra player. All Sydney's stars, Garriock, Walsh, Khamis, Simon, Paaske and Rydahl, played brilliantly and in the end that was the difference. They just didn't let Canberra have any time or space on the ball, just kept hurrying them into doing things that ultimately didn't come off.
But it's enough from me, here's what the players and coaches thought of the first W-League semi-final of 2009.

To coach Alen Stajcic, what did you think after the red-card? "Just a little bit worried, especially so early in the game when it could go to extra time, so yes, really worried but we re-organised well.
 "We had Kylie Ledbrook there and just lost a bit in midfield and young Linda was sick as well so I knew she couldn’t last long, so just that whole reshuffle, we had to play with 10 players that was always going to make it difficult.

"But in terms of the context of the game and then what happened on the field, the way we finished, I thought the last 20minutes of the first half we really started to get on top and carried it through most of the second half, so it was good discpline, good composure, good finishing and we probably could have got another one there at the end.
 "It’s one of the best performances I’ve ever seen, 10 players for 75minutes on a fairly hottish day against a good team, who haven’t lost that amount since Round 1, against a great goal-keeper, I’m really proud and it’s probably the best performance I’ve seen.
 "But the way we finished the game and knocked the ball around at times it looked like we had the extra player, especially switching to Kyah there on the side, the midfielders, Paaske, Heather and Julie, just ran their butts off, that whole midfield they were just dominating that midfield against a good player like Emily van Egmond, so really proud." Who would you like to play in the final? I’d like Central Coast as I’ve coached most of them over the last 4 or 5 years at NSWIS, I know Heather will probably say Brisbane, but just to get two Sydney teams up would be my preference.
And to captain Heather Garriock, did it feel like you were a player down on the field?
"Absoutely, it felt like a player down, I don’t think all three midfielders had ever done so much running, especially for me to say that, I’m one of the fitter ones.
 "It probably didn’t look it from the sidelines because we were knocking the ball around really well in patches, it broke down so time, because we are a pretty tricky team and sometimes we overplay it, in saying that, some of the football out there was magnificent.
 Having the final back at Shark Park next week? It can’t be better, myself and Walshy, Servet, we all live here and we are estatic it’s here, of course I'm from Campbelltown but I've been here for the last three or four years and it’s brilliant to be able to play in the shire, I coach here as well. The support in general is fantastic.
 A message to supporters? It was great to see some of the Cove there today, but hopefully we can get even more next week. But it helped so much, when we scored we could here them. The supporters were the extra player out there for us today."

United's captain yesterday, Lydia Williams on what happened. On the day, while they player sent off, they wanted it more. That’s just the way football is. I think even though they had 10-players, it still felt like they had 11 or 12 on the park and at the end of the day you have to finish chances and at the end of the day they did and we didn’t.
To coach Ray Junna, on how Sydney FC just didn't allow Canberra any time at all on the ball. "It's just that, coming up against international players they just did the little things really well, we couldn’t dwell on the ball or take that extra look, because things were happening at a different pace.
"So hopefully the girls learn that from the game, we had a lot of 17 and 18-year-olds out there so hopefully they can put that in the memory bank and hopefully they will learn from it.
"They just didn’t get a chance on the ball, the one-twos, those little things, they didn’t allow us to do that. They overpowered us today, the first two goals were just a little bit sloppy too, just those little things again we spoke about letting people run across in front of you and those first two goals...then once they went two-up, they had it.
"But it was good to make it to the four and we’ll be back again next year."
On whether Canberra can keep the same squad, answered with much laughter from both Ray and Lydia, as with eight teenagers in the starting line-up today, most from Canberra, most of them are there to stay.
"They are all from Canberra, I don’t know where they are going to go, so they’ll definitely stay together," Junna said. "They are young, they can’t move out of home, so we will be staying together, you never know what will happen but hopefully we do stay together," Williams said.
Williams on if it was a bad way to end the season, "I think it was a bit disappointing, but at the end of the day it’s just a game and we’ll learn from it.
 "It’s the end of the season for us but we made it to the top-four which is what we wanted too, and we met all expectations that we set out for ourselves, so that’s a positive."
And does Junna think now that Sydney will win the league championship and premiership?
"Well they haven’t got a defence now, so I will be surprised if they win it. So they will give it a shake whoever they come up against. But anything can happen."

SYDNEY FC 3 9(Sarah WALSH 44', Leena KHAMIS 61’, Heather GARRIOCK 84’) bt CANBERRA UNITED 0 at Shark Park, Cronulla.
Referee: Casey REIBELT
Sydney FC Line-up: 1. Nikola DEITER (gk), 4. Alesha Clifford, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 7. Heather GARRIOCK (c), 8. Julie RYDAHL, 9. Sarah WALSH (12. Michelle CARNEY 87’), 10. Kylie LEDBROOK, 11. Cathrine PAASKE, 15. Kyah SIMON, 16. Linda O’Neill (2. Teigan ALLEN 38’), 19. Leena KHAMIS (13. Catherine CANNULLI 85’)
Substitutes Not Used: 18. Brittany WHITFIELD, 20. CARLA Monforte (gk)
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: 4. Alesha Clifford 13’
Canberra United Line-up: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (gk)(c), 2. Rebecca KTING, 3. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 5. Kahlia HOGG (6. Eleanor RAYMOND 86’), 7. Ellie BRUSH (c), 8. Emily VAN EGMOND, 10. Shu O TSENG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Nicole SYKES, 16. Elyse PERRY, 19. Jennifer BISSET (11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI 61’)
Substitutes Not Used: 9. Grace GILL, 13. Thea SLATYER, 20. Jocelyn MARA (gk).
Yellow Cards: 11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI 61’, 3. Bronwyn STUDMAN 77’, 8. Emily VAN EGMOND 60’
Red cards: Nil

So one semi-final down and it's been confirmed that next week's final will be at Shark Park at 3pm on Saturday. So who will be turning-up to try and wrestle the premiership from Sydney FC? It will all unfold from 3pm today at Bluetongue Stadium. If you can't be there, watch it live on ABC TV.

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