Mary Fowler suffers heartbreak despite brilliant bounceback from Matildas superstar

The Aussie star finally got a start for Manchester City, but it ended in tears.

Mary Fowler finally got her chance to play a full game for Manchester City on Sunday (Monday morning Aussie time), but a goal in normal time and another in the penalty shootout couldn't prevent her side from bowing out of the FA Cup. The Matildas star, who has been relegated at her UK club to the bench in recent times, was handed a start against Tottenham and found the back of the net.

The 21-year-old Aussie produced a landmark goal for City in the sixth minute, scoring the 800th in their short history as one of England's powerhouse women's clubs. But her ecstasy turned to agony as Spurs found an equaliser in the 96th minute before winning in a shootout.

Mary Fowler, pictured here in action for Manchester City in the FA Cup against Tottenham.
Mary Fowler scored for Manchester City in the FA Cup, but they were knocked out by Tottenham. Image: Getty

Fowler nailed her spot-kick to made it 3-2 to Spurs, but Amy James-Turner scored the winning penalty as Tottenham won the shootout 4-3 to reach the semi-finals for the first time. Fowler's rare start came after a frustrating few weeks in which she was only been used sparingly by her City manager.

Sunday's promotion into the starting XI came about because City had played just 72 hours earlier in their League Cup semi-final defeat against Chelsea. The Aussie superstar was on fire early, linking up in a neat one-two with star striker Khadija Shaw before firing home via a big deflection.

Concerns for Matildas about Mary Fowler's playing time

But despite her good performance overall, the young Aussie will be kicking herself that she wasted another volleyed chance in the first half. Her lack of playing time in England hasn't gone down well with Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson, who will need Fowler at her best if his side are to produce a deep run at the Olympics in July and August.

“As a national team coach, you are obviously not in control of that," Gustavsson said after the Matildas thrashed Uzbekistan to qualify for the Paris Games. "But what I am very, very impressed with is there’s a lot of players that have lacked the minutes coming into this environment but they still perform, and that I think is credit to the player but I also think is credit to our environment.

“Because when you come in with a lack of minutes and form and maybe lack confidence, but you come into this environment where you’re valued, you trust the team...the tactics and you’re able to perform with limited minutes – that makes me a little bit less concerned."

Mary Fowler in action for Manchester City.
Mary Fowler in action for Manchester City against Tottenham Hotspur. (Getty Images)

Matildas teammate Alanna Kennedy also dismissed concerns, saying: “I think for Mary it’s an exciting time for her, for all of us to come back, just to be able to play in front of all the fans and play for Australia... we just love it.

"For her, I’m sure she’s so comfortable and just feels the freedom to be able to express herself on the pitch, regardless of whether she’s had the minutes at City or not. She’s just an unbelievable player. I think whenever she gets an opportunity, she’s always going to create something in any game that she plays."


Fowler made herself a household name in Australia during the Women's World Cup last year on Aussie soil. Despite dismissing concerns, the Matildas heirarchy will undoubtedly hope her game time picks up at Manchester City ahead of the Olympics.

with AAP

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