Brisbane’s Roar Sees Sydney Hit For Four

Sydney FC 1–4 Brisbane Roar

Report and EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS from Kris Goman.

Sydney FC’s one hundred percent winning start to the season came to a stunning halt after they were swept aside by Brisbane Roar in the battle of the only unbeaten sides in the W-League.

Above: Brisbane Roar celebrate their stunning win over a Sydney FC side who previously had a one hundred per-cent winning rate this season. Photo: Kris Goman.

After their recent win over Canberra United, yesterday saw another top of the table clash for Sydney, as their defeats of other teams change who is in second place on the table. Sydney had been looking unstoppable but if anyone was going to stop them, it was be Brisbane and this match was very telling.

Brisbane outplayed them on the day. They clearly wanted it more. They were faster, they were getting in front, their attack was more focussed and their defence almost impenetrable. I felt that the Roar didn’t deserve to win against the Wanderers last time out but they had Sydney’s mark yesterday. Sydney tried to win on reputation alone and it wasn’t enough. I’d also question the nature and timing of the substitutions.

Sydney started strong with a hard press for the first ten minutes with their 4-1-2-3 formation providing the necessary firepower up front.

Brisbane kicked off with their 4-3-3 formation but the ball stayed deep in their territory. Initially anyway. Princess Ibini gets an early shot on goal from the left that wakes Morgan Aquino up and causes a good save. Not that she was asleep but she knows she’s living now. There’s a couple of corners and the goal area is busy.
First transition is at five minutes and results in a goal kick.

Second transition is at seven minutes and results in a goal. Olivia Chance brings it down the left and passes to Emily Gielnik in front of her. Gielnik puts a perfect one touch cross direct to Tameka Yallop’s head in front of goal, a quick nod by Yallop and it’s in the back of the net for Yallop’s second goal of the season.

The pressure is on Sydney to reply now and they retaliate by attacking on the right through Cortnee Vine and Angelique Hristodoulou. They get a corner which gets headed around but then captured by Aquino.

Sydney continues to push and the ball goes back to Aquino for safety. She controls it but Clare Wheeler is approaching quickly. As Aquino clears it, Wheeler is on top of her and the ball rebounds off of the Roar player into goal for the equaliser. It’s a bad mistake by Aquino. It’s Wheeler’s first W-league goal after 72 games and the excitement is obvious as she celebrates with her teammates.

We’re twelve minutes in now and this is where things start to fall apart for Sydney. Brisbane ramp it up and Sydney rest on their laurels.

Above: Brisbane Roar teenager Jamilla Rankin, named player of the match for scoring two goals and, as shown here, keeping the threat of Sydney FC’s Cortnee Vine well under wraps. Photo: Kris Goman.

Three minutes later, Yallop makes inroads on the right for Brisbane. She releases Mariel Hecher down the right of the box. Her cross is punched to the left by Jada Mathyssen-Whyman directly to Jamilla Rankin who just taps the volley past the keeper. Two goalkeeper mistakes leading to two goals in quick succession. It’s also Rankin’s first W-League goal at only seventeen years of age. There’s been a lot of that this season.

Brisbane are invigorated now. Sydney get a couple of corners but the Queenslanders defence is solid. On the counter attack, Gielnik gets away down the left and sends a pass forward to Leticia McKenna. She tries to cross to Hecher but Ally Green intercepts with a sliding tackle and stops a certain goal. The resulting corner is eventually cleared after two waves of attacks.

Brisbane embark on a number of penetrating attacks resulting in a couple of corners. Sydney’s defence holds strong but they are very much on the back foot now and looking unstable. Brisbane are controlling the game and it’s being played in their attacking half. Sydney are looking disorganised as Yallop brings a ball down the centre and drives for goal. Her shot from outside the box is deflected by Mathyssen-Whyman for a corner. It’s cleared but the Roar are straight back on the attack. Sydney get some possession but it’s nullified quickly and effectively by the Brisbane defence.

Above: Brisbane Roar mounting another attack. Photo: Kris Goman.

There’s a nice Brisbane play started by Hecher who cuts back a pass to Gielnik. Her cross is glanced away by Hristodoulou right in front of goal. Yallop and Hristodoulou chase the ball to the left and Hristodoulou wins the battle to eventually clear the ball. It comes straight back into Yallop though but her shot is blocked out for a corner. Clare Polkinghorne heads the corner on top of the net which relieves the pressure.

Another Brisbane attack is saved by Green in the box. Late in the half, Sydney get a couple of corners but can’t make anything happen. After a minute of stoppage time, half time is called.

First few minutes of the second half see Sydney re-energised. Mackenzie Hawkesby kicks the ball straight into the referees bum and the resulting restart sees a long ball to the right corner chased by Wheeler. She evades Carroll and crosses to Ibini. She holds it up and draws the defenders and taps it across to Remy Siemsen but she mis-hits the ball and it goes out to the right of goal, in what was a very good chance.

The game swings again and Brisbane are back on the attack. Gielnik takes a long shot into the arms of Mathessen-Whyman. Another long ball in lands on Gielnik’s chest to bounce to the feet of McKenna. Her shot is deflected out by Natalie Tobin for a corner. The resulting ball in glances Polkinghorne’s head to go straight into goal for 3-1 at 54 minutes.

It constantly feels like Brisbane have more players on the field than Sydney, all there in defence and there in attack while Sydney are usually recovering or don’t have the numbers up front.

Charlotte Mclean gets a yellow card for a late tackle on Gielnik. The free kick is knocked out by Sydney so Brisbane get another corner. It goes to the far post and is eventually kicked out by Wheeler. Next corner is taken short and Hecher gets a shot that goes wide to the left. Not long after Yallop finds herself in the clear and takes a shot from outside the box that goes wide. The Brisbane attack is unrelenting.

Above: Sydney FC’s Princess Ibini (20) looks on as a physical battle at a corner develops. Photo: Kris Goman.

At 63 minutes, Ibini is off and Charlize Rule, two days short of her eighteenth birthday comes on. It feels a bit of a risk to bring on a younger, less experienced player at this stage but Ibini wasn’t particularly effective anyway, however Sydney’s two main strikers, in Ibini and Siemsen, are now on the bench when Sydney need goals.

Wheeler gets a good run down the right but her cross is wasted by no one being there to capitalise on it.

Shortly after, Yallop directs a missile to Gielnik just by the goal mouth. It bounces off her chest but Whyman is able to clear it. Sydney are getting some attacking runs but they feel desperate and passes are going into empty spaces with no one to run onto them. Opportunities are being wasted and possession lost. At 73 minutes, there’s another strange substitution for Sydney when Cortnee Vine is off and Taylor Ray is on. At this point, I’m not convinced that taking the last experienced forward off is the right move. Although I’m not sure what could save this side right now.

At 78 minutes, a push by Chance is rewarded with a corner. It’s taken short and the cross by Rankin floats to the top near post and Whyman jumps up to grab it but instead pushes it back into the goal. Gielnik almost looks sorry for her but Rankin claims her second goal with eight minutes left.

Three minutes of stoppage time is announced as Brisbane continue their attack. Sydney manage to clear it each time but can’t keep possession. They aren’t passing it or playing out from the back, just doing big largely undirected clearances.

Above: Brisbane Roar’s Tameka Yallop put in another fine display. Photo: Kris Goman.

Full time is called and Sydney register their first loss of the season. Brisbane remain undefeated but still second on the table but narrowing the gap to Sydney although the Harbour City side have a game in hand.

Brisbane looked very strong today in producing probably their most convincing performance of the season and probably what we all expected based on what the team looks like on paper.

Jamilla Rankin got player of the match and it’s very well deserved. Two goals, incredible defending and kept Cortnee Vine under wraps. So many tackles. Well done.

Teams: Teams: SYDNEY FC: Mathyssen-Whyman, Hristodoulou, Green, Mclean, Tobin, Polias, Vine, Hawkesby, Wheeler, Ibini, Siemsen. Substitutes: Campbell (GK), Lowe, Ray, Rule, Toby.

Scorers: Wheeler 18.

BRISBANE ROAR: Aquino, Heatley, Rankin, Polkinghorne, Carroll, Yallop, Chance, Dalton, McKenna, Hecher, Gielnik. Substitutes: Zaffina (GK), Torpey, Horsey, Margraf, Freier.

Scorers: Yallop 8. Rankin 16, 82. Polkinghorne 54.

Referee: Lara Lee.

Attendance: 1,126.

Sydney FC760116518+11
Brisbane Roar844016616+10
Adelaide United7412121013+ 2
Canberra United7322121211=
Melbourne Victory6312131110+ 2
Newcastle Jets61149124– 3
Melbourne City71157174– 10
Western Sydney Wanderers71156174– 11
Perth Glory3012241– 2

Top four sides qualify for the finals at the end of the regular season.

Impetus’ coverage of Australian Women’s Football is supported by The Chicken Salt Co. They are offering every Impetus reader 5% off all orders of Chicken Salt from their website. Go to and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW

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