Rhoda Mulaudzi returned to her clinical best as she grabbed the opener in Canberra United’s 2-0 victory over Sydney FC on Sunday afternoon.
The diminutive South African grabbed her second goal of the Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season in perhaps her best performance yet.
Malaudzi was a constant threat to Sydney FC’s defence, showcasing her combination of determination and skill.
She showed just those qualities on 34 minutes when the 29-year-old made an intelligent run behind Sydney FC’s defence. Mulaudzi’s first two touches put her body between the ball and her defender, creating an opportunity to break the deadlock as she went in on goal.
While that chance was expertly saved by Aubrey Bledsloe, it was a warning sign of what was to come just over 10 minutes later.
Ellie Carpenter whipped in a delightful free-kick, which Sydney FC’s defence failed to deal with. Mulaudzi was quickest to react, latching onto the spilt ball with her back to goal.
In what appeared to be an impossible angle and body orientation, Mulaudzi whipped the ball over her shoulder and into the top left corner to give Canberra United the lead.
In isolation, the goal was important as it revived Mulaudzi’s goal-scoring form. However, in the context of the fixture, it blew wind in Canberra’s sails and gave them a deserved 1-0 lead heading into the break.
Heather Garriock must be credited for her expert recruitment in finding Mulaudzi and compatriot Refiloe Jane.
The South African women have been standouts in this year’s Westfield W-League and have taken the competition to a whole other level.