Sanjaxx Lions women took their first three points of the season after a strong 3-2 victory over Darby FC.
Sanjaxx's N'neka Harrison (12') got the Lions off to a great start, before Sona Makulova (52') and Perri Termine (65') made sure the away side would go home with all the points.
"I think it was our persistence throughout the game," said Sanjaxx assistant coach, Jalen Simms. "We kept possession through the majority of the game, we had more possession than they had. We did well defensively also. We had a lot of opportunities but didn't finish all of them. The game was close all the way through."
Amanda Kwan (Photo: Martin Bazyl)
Sona Makulova (Photo: Martin Bazyl)
Darby pulled themselves together at half-time and mounted a second half comeback via Rachel Armstrong (50') and Candace Francis (76') that just didn't have the legs to get the scoreline back to equal terms.
"I thought we had a good talk at half, made three subs at the interval, and I thought it had a positive effect as the overall intensity picked up," said Darby head coach, Mirco Schroff.
"After that we scored one each early on and then we got scored on minutes later, which is not good for the morale of the team."
Rachel Armstrong (Photo: Martin Bazyl)
Kaylea Jamieson (Photo: Martin Bazyl)
The match was a feisty one, however, with three penalties and three dismissals. A scrum in the eighty-fourth minute led to Darby's Kaylea Jamieson and Armstrong being dismissed, as well as Sanjaxx's Makulova.
"I think the girls played with a lot of heat," said Simms. "There was a bit of aggression between both teams but you give it and you take it, that's how the game goes, and both teams did that."
"I thought they both fought well, but perhaps the team with the bigger heart won the day. I think if Darby had scored their first penalty it would have been a completely different game. They would have come harder knowing they had that one goal under their belts. It could have been a different game for sure."
With the points, Sanjaxx moves into a mid-table fifth position, while Darby is still in the hunt for a first win.
"The disappointing part for me as a coach is that we are moving the ball well in training, but can't translate that to the match," said Schroff. "We seem nervous and too inconsistent with connecting with each other. We can move the ball in a better and more confident way than we are displaying right now."
Darby is back at home in matchweek six versus the high-flying FC London on June 3 (8 p.m. k.o.), while Sanjaxx will also play hosts to Aurora United FC at Monarch Stadium on June 4 (6 p.m. k.o.).