A Sky Blue prodigy was back with a vengeance as Sydney FC swept aside Melbourne Victory 3-0 in a cracking Big Blue W-League opener for both teams.
THE BIG V NEED WORK...FAST
Jeff Hopkins relied heavily on their high-line to start the match, as we all know at Jubilee Stadium the 12th woman definitely becomes the wind and the Victory coach was hoping to capitalise on that advantage quickly.
But when that backfired dramatically, Sydney were just far too calm under pressure to ever look like shipping three goals.
Victory look to rely heavily on Natasha Dowie's strikes this season, which, while it may be a safe bet, makes the striker a very clear target for opposition defences.
In truth, Dowie looked very isolated at times this afternoon. Melina Ayres burst through at the beginning of the match but faded notably in the second half, while Annalie Longo - despite a solid overall contribution - couldn't provide a consistent enough threat.
The pace of their play was slightly too slow to cause problems for Sydney's defensive line, and although in the second half Victory began to work their combinations, it began to seem a case of too little, too late.
They did create a reasonably steady stream of chances, however nothing that troubled Aubrey Bledsoe. The USA international seemed farly untroubled throughout the game, with the pace of Victory's efforts working clearly in her favour.
The real problem for Victory is now they face an upcoming three match spell at the newly redesigned AFC Women's Club Championship from November 26 onwards.
They have some depth ready to come back into the side over the next few weeks, with Laura Brock (nee Alleway) the highlight. But after a less than impressive opening display, it's not going to get any easier for Victory from here on in.