Hayley Raso's second half substitute appearance during Manchester City's Saturday FA Women's Super League match was one to remember.
The Matilda made a spectacular substitute appearance in this weekend's Manchester City versus Aston Villa FA WSL game. Spectators had to wait for the second half to see goals, with Raso assisting and scoring the majority of them.
Manchester City versus Aston Villa FA WSL match
- Hayley Raso's second half City substitute appearance provided an assist and two goals.
- Fellow Australian Emily Gielnik also came on as a second half substitute but for Villa.
- The 5-0 City win will bolster the side who have underperformed this FAWSL season.
The full match can be viewed on Optus Sport in Australia.
The first half of the City-Villa clash finished with the scoreline at 0-0. Raso was substituted on in the 64th minute of the match, when her team's scoreline was 2-0. She then began a spirited and deadly twenty-six minute substitute appearance.
Her first goal came in the 77th minute. Receiving a pass wide in Villa's half, Raso was able to pick out teammate Vicky Losada. Losada's shot on goal was then deflected twice, first by a Villa defender and then their goalkeeper. Raso jumped on the second deflection and scored her first ever City goal.
The quick attacker then produced an assist just a minute later. Running up the right side of the attack Raso crossed the ball just in front of the goal area. It found an open Lauren Hemp who slotted the ball in to make it 4-0 for City.
Raso then put the cherry on top just three minutes. Her teammate Hemp took a shot on goal which deflected off the crossbar. Raso was able to once again pick up the deflection and score to make it 5-0 for her team. It was the final goal of the game.
Aussie Hayley Raso is 𝙤𝙣 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙚 for Manchester City! 🔥🇦🇺— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) November 20, 2021
The Matildas winger comes off the bench to score two goals AND create an assist! 🤯
Stream LIVE, or on demand after, here 📺 https://t.co/V55TgFlmBE#OptusSport #BarclaysFAWSL pic.twitter.com/xY2OKigBZu
This win will surely bolster the side hoping to turn their fortunes around. City have struggled this year so far, drawing one match, loosing four and winning only three matches inter first eight games, their worst start to the season ever in the FA WSL. They were sixth in the league at the conclusion of the match.
Speaking after the match, City's head coach Gareth Taylor was full of praise when describing Raso's contribution:
“She did great and not just with her goals. I was especially pleased with the pick out for Lauren at the far post," stated Taylor to City's website.
“Hayley is an exciting player, bags of pace, energy, and wins ball back quickly. We have challenged her with picking the ball out in the final third.
“That was great today, she has been a threat, and she backed up with connecting in the final third.”
When interviewed after the game Raso was likewise happy with her and her team's performance:
"It's nice for us to come out and get the win,” Raso is quoted as saying on the City website.
"We've come off the back of tough results but the fans keep turning out for us so we're glad we got the win for them.
"It was definitely about keeping the tempo going. We went in at half-time 0-0, which showed what Gareth Taylor said worked.
"We came out and banged in a few goals."
The 27-year-old joined Manchester City at the beginning of this season after a year and a half with FA WSL rivals Everton FC. Raso signed a two year contract with the Blues which will keep her in Manchester until the end of the 2022-23 season.
She has played seven times in all competitions for the club, often uses as a substitute after an early season shoulder injury has limited her game time. Fellow Australian Alanna Kennedy, who also plays for City, was not available for this game.
The match did see the return of another Australian, Emily Gielnik. The attacker came on as a substitute in the 69th minute for the opponents Aston Villa. Having signed with the club ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, Gielnik has also fought injury during the start of the season.
At the conclusion of the game Villa were equal in the FA WSL with Manchester City in points and placed in seventh in the league due to goal difference.
All three players will next feature with the Matildas, getting called to the side for the upcoming United States of America friendlies. Both Gielnik and Raso had missed the last international breaks due to injury. Should Gielnik feature, it would mark her 50th Matildas appearance.
Further information about the upcoming Matilda's games can be found using this link.