After 901 minutes of Football, Sydney FC’s sky-blue Ladies have conceded. And the team that was finally able to break that spell was non other than the defending champions and Sydney FC’s greatest rivals, the Melbourne Victory. And since that 2-2 draw and the breaking of the dam wall, it appears the defensive brick wall that FC fans have come to enjoy, appears to be mentally broken.
While the record is something to appreciate and look back on at the end of the season and for years to come, the result against the Victory is a concerning one. After going up 2-nil the Sky Blues conceded their first goal for 901 minutes in the 68th minute before the Victory completed the comeback in the 92nd minute. As I blogged about a few weeks ago when the girls broke the record, Melbourne Victory were always going to be the team that I thought would be Sydney’s biggest test, and didn’t they prove me right.
One of the other factors that Ive been hearing people were concerned about is the fact that the Victory game was the first time the girls have had to travel out of NSW for a game and that’s going to effect how you prepare for a game, and the way match day pans out. You go from the comfort of waking up on game day in your own bed to waking up in a hotel room in a different state. Now I understand these are professional athletes and they are used to it by now, but it does have an effect on how you prepare mentally for a game.
To follow their unsurprising result against the Victory, Sydney were then beaten 2-1 down in Melbourne City just 4 days later, ending hopes for an undefeated season for the Girls in Blue. Melbourne City recording the impressive result while missing 2 of their key players currently away with the Football Ferns in Rebecca Stott and Hannah Wilkinson. The win also puts City’s chances of winning Premiers Plate well within striking distance, with a game in hand that would see them knock Sydney off the top of the ladder should they win it.
The worry for Sydney FC fans like myself is that all too familiar feeling that this is how it all went down last season. The got out to a big lead early in the season and managed hold on to It despite a late surge from Brisbane almost pulled them back and knocked them off the top. This year, they have been dominant for so long but are slipping at the finish line. The Girls have 2 more games to play against Perth in Tasmania on Sunday and then Adelaide away the following Sunday. Both teams fighting for a Finals place so will be desperate to win, especially Perth who currently sit just outside the 4. Melbourne City’s remaining games are substantially easier. They play Brisbane on Thursday before a trip to Sydney to take on the Wanderers with a postponed game against the Jets to be put in there somewhere.
So, for City its all there for them, win the games, win the Plate, and erase last years horrid season for their standards. For Sydney, its Win and hope someone like your local rivals Western Sydney can take some points away from City, but at the end of the day Sydney has had a very dominant season which has somewhat overshadowed Melbourne City’s season. They shouldn’t have let the Victory comeback; they Should’ve scored a goal against the Wanderers at Leichardt in December, and they definitely shouldn’t have let a weakened Melbourne City side beat them just this past weekend.
Hopefully, Sydney can correct the ship this weekend against Perth while still on the road and find their early season form which saw them impossible to break down defensively and deadly ever time they go forward. They are Sydney’s only chance at winning any trophies this season with the men questionable in there competition, so its time for Ante and the Girls to get back to from and bring home the Womens Championship.