Carpenter scores double as City thrash Wanderers and clinch Premiership
Melbourne City have been crowned Westfield W-League Premiers after a convincing 4-0 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers on Thursday evening.
Claire Emslie set City on their way with an early penalty, Westfield Matildas star Ellie Carpenter netted an impressive double, and Ally Watt scored on debut as Rado Vidosic's all-conquering City side wrapped up the 2019/20 Premiership with the most dominant of performances.
The win is City's tenth in a row, and the club's seventh consecutive clean sheet, an incredible defensive record that will see Vidosic's team post the best-ever defensive record in competition history should they keep a shutout against Brisbane Roar on Sunday, March 1.
City have not conceded a goal since Sydney FC midfielder Sofia Huerta notched one December 8, 2019, over 11 hours of football.
And, as they demonstrated again in Sydney's west, the star-studded line up are firing on all cylinders in attack too. Western Sydney shot stopper Courtney Newbon turned in a valiant display at Marconi Stadium and made seven saves, but there was simply no way to halt the City juggernaut.
After concluding the regular season against Roar on Sunday, City will commence their hunt for a fourth Westfield W-League Championship with a home Semi Final in the Finals Series.
The Finals Series will be broadcast live on FOX Sports, ABC TV and iView, Kayo Sports and the MyFootball Live App.
Western Sydney remain in third position following their third loss in four matches. Dean Heffernan's side will pick themselves up for a trip to WA to face Perth Glory on Saturday, 29 February, a contest the Red and Black may have to win in order to guarantee Finals Football depending on other results.
City had one hand and four fingers on silverware within 12 minutes, when Alex Huynh was penalised for a foul on Claire Emslie.
The Scotland international dispatched the resulting spot-kick past Courtney Newbon for her fourth goal of the campaign, and perhaps provided some relief for the City striker, who only seconds before winning the penalty had seemingly spurned a glorious chance by opting to pass to Emily van Egmond rather than taking on a shot with just Newbon to beat.
Emma Checker hit the crossbar, before central defensive compatriot Rebekah Stott had a try - with Newbown tipping her rasping drive over the bar - as Vidosic's side hammered in the shots in an attempt to double their lead.
They did not have to wait long. Carpenter bombed down the right, played a neat one-two with Aivi Luik and stepped inside two Wanderers defenders before curling an unstoppable strike past Newbon with her weaker left foot.
Kyra Cooney-Cross nearly pulled a goal back for the Wanderers before half time after a stunning solo run but the teenager dragged her shot past Lydia Williams' goal.
But the onslaught continued. Newbon came up with a stellar stop to deny Steph Catley from finishing off a delightful move, and Carpenter smacked the frame of the goal as the Wanderers headed into the sheds battered and bruised.
The Red and Black put on a brave front in the second half but there was simply no way to stop the visitors. The third came when Carpenter made another trademark burst in field, and curled an unerring finish past Newbon, before substitute Ally Watt scored her maiden Westfield W-League goal and first in professional football by tucking Luik's cross home late on.
Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday, 29 February 2020
Kick off: 10.15pm AEDT
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar
Sunday, 1 March 2020
Kick off: 4.00pm AEDT