Lions FC will take on Gold Coast United this Saturday in the first of two National Premier League Women’s (NPLW) Queensland Semi Finals matches.
SEASON SO FAR
After winning the Premiership for the 2019 season, Lions FC now look to secure the Premiership-Championship double for the season.
Much like their NPL Queensland counterparts, Lions have showcased incredible form throughout the season. Recording 19 wins, four draws and just one loss, the team comes into the Finals Series with the odds on their side.
However, while their form was consistent for most of the season, their last few matches have been patchy. In fact, over their last five matches, Lions secured one win but also recorded their first loss of the season against The Gap. They also recorded draws against both Capalaba FC and their Semi Final opponents Gold Coast United.
Meanwhile Gold Coast United had a resurgence since the halfway point of the season and finished strongly in fourth place.
Over the regular season the team recorded 14 wins, five draws and five losses. But similarly to their upcoming opponents, their recent form has been inconsistent.
While they recorded three wins over their last five matches, they also recorded a loss against Western Pride and drew with Lions FC. Going into the Semi Final this weekend, the team will give it all they’ve got to secure their place in the Grand Final.
Neither Lions nor Gold Coast United have shown dominance in their previous meetings with both matches ending in draws.
Their first clash was in Round 13 which ended in a 2-2 draw after Lions’ Sofie Persson scored the equaliser in the 73rd minute.
Their second meeting was just as intense and ended in a similar fashion. Gold Coast United had the upper hand in possession and chances but couldn’t break the deadlock which left the match in a 0-0 draw.
With their history at level playing ground, both teams will look to showcase their dominance in the Semi Final.
Tegan Riding has been one of the most consistent players of the NPLW this season. Scoring the most goals for Lions, she finished second in the Golden Boot race with 30 goals. Her consistency up front did not go unnoticed as she was one of two players to earn an incredible 10 appearances in Team of the Week.
Similarly, Mariel Hecher has been a great strength for Lions. Finishing in fifth place for the Golden Boot race on 21 goals, Hecher also earned herself six appearances in the NPLW Team of the Week across the season. While she proved to be a key goal scorer, it was her leadership skills as captain that was instrumental for Lions.
Sofie Persson has also been a formidable force for Lions. Across all her games in the NPLW, she has scored 19 goals and finished in eighth place for the Golden Boot. Her efforts in the front line earned her four nominations in the Team of the Week across the season.
A key goal scorer for Gold Coast United, Deeanna Thompson has been an active force in the team’s 2019 season. Scoring 18 goals across the season, Thompson finished in ninth place in the Golden Boot race and earned three appearances in Team of the Week. Her pace and ability to break the back line will be key in this weekend’s Semi Final.
Another key player for Gold Coast United is captain Eloise Fryer. The defender has been one of the most influential players in the team’s resurgence, showcasing her composure and leadership in every single match. Her efforts earned herself a remarkable eight appearances in Team of the Week across the NPLW season.
Another key goal scorer for Gold Coast United is Mackenzie Akins. Across the NPLW season she scored 14 goals and usually showcased her goal-scoring ability in spectacular fashion. She’s earned herself four Team of the Week appearances across the season and will be instrumental in this weekend’s Semi Final.
Lions FC v Gold Coast United
Saturday, 14 September, 6:00pm
Words: Vivien Topalovic