Match Report: Arsenal 1-0 Australian A-League All Star Women in Melbourne, Australia

On Friday last week Arsenal Women were in Melbourne, Australia for a pre-season tour against the A-League all star women and walked away with a 1-0 win, after a very entertaining game of football. It definitely felt like a friendly, but it was good to be able to see a lot of experience mixed in with our younger players, and there was a lot of quality on show for over 42,000 Australian football fans in the stands. Here’s a run down of everything that happened.

I was lucky enough to attend this game and being my first Arsenal Women’s game, the night was filled with excitement, and you could feel that all around the stadium. The lights went down, and the Arsenal Women stepped out onto the pitch to a massive roar and sea of red and white surrounding the stadium, and everyone got to their feet and cheered the women onto the pitch.

The game started out just how I think most would have thought and Arsenal had a lot of the possession, with the A-league all-stars finding it hard to get out of their own half. Arsenal had an early chance in the first 3 minutes, nearly catching the all-star women out, but they managed to stay composed and clear the ball.

Arsenal were using the width of the pitch to stretch the play and create spaces, primarily using both Caitlin Foord and Vivienne Lia to put balls into the box and, just before the 40th minute mark, it worked. Katherine Kuhl had the ball in the middle of the all-stars half, passing the ball off to 17-year-old Lia who took a touch, looked up to see who was in the box, and put a pin point perfect cross into the middle of the box for Alessia Russo to leap up and get her head onto. Russo guided the ball into the bottom left corner of the net, putting Arsenal 1-0 up. A huge roar went around the stadium as Arsenal fans got to their feet to celebrate.

The first half was a great half of competitive football from both sides and a great goal to put Arsenal in front. The second half started a lot like the first, and Arsenal were looking the more dangerous side and were getting most of the chances.

The All-Star Women did come close on few occasions in the second half, when Rhianna Pollicina nearly managed to get a good shot off, but Williams saw the shot before it got to her and dealt with it accordingly. New Zealand international Hannah Wilkinson had the best chance of the game, when she came 1 on 1 with Williams in goal, but Williams somehow managed to get a glove to the shot and send the ball over the crossbar.

The game ended with an Arsenal win and a great experience for both sides, in front of a big crowd on a cold night in Melbourne. Our Arsenal Women then swapped their shirts and walked around the sideline to show their appreciation for those that had come out in support. It was a great night of football to witness, not only for our Arsenal Women but also for the A-league women who stood their ground and gave us a great game of football.

What’s your thoughts Gooners? Did you watch the game?

Daisy Mae

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