Sydney FC 3-1 Newcastle Jets
By Ben Gilby (5/12/21)
Above: Sydney FC celebrate Remy Siemsen’s opening goal. Photo @SydneyFC
Two goals in six second half minutes, plus an immediate reply to a goal from the Jets, sealed a deserved win for a Sydney FC side who are determined to go one better than last season.
In a game played in grey and windy conditions at Kogarah, the Jets were positive in the earliest of stages with Sunny Franco dancing her way down the left hand side and US signing Elizabeth Eddy buzzing in the centre, but it was Sydney who earned the opening goal scoring opportunities.
With just five minutes played, Cortnee Vine showed she will again be one of the top stars of the competition as she turned and shot, with the effort going narrowly wide of the right hand post.
Ten minutes were gone when Vine had another chance. Hannah Brewer mishit her clearance and the former Jet got an effort away which was off target. Remy Siemsen added to the growing tally of shots for the Sky Blues when she forced a point blank save from Claire Coelho, as the momentum continued to build.
Ally Green was getting free down the left to spray some accurate deliveries around to add emphasis to her side’s creativity in the opening 20 minutes. Jets were under serious pressure and were finding it extremely difficult to break through Sydney’s banks of four and three. On the rare occasions that they did, with Tara Andrews’ weak effort on 21 minutes being a case in point, they struggled to bother Jada Whyman.
Just before the half hour mark, Sydney came close once more when Princess Ibini’s low long range effort came back off the post with Coelho expecting to see it go wide. Siemsen was beginning to profit in finding space and being able to get away too easily from Brewer and her fellow Jets defenders. On the other side of the ledger, the Sydney attacker was being caught offside far too frequently.
Just after the half hour mark, Jets’ Bethany Gordon was heartbreakingly forced from the pitch on her return from long term injury after taking a knock to her knee. It was gut wrenching to see the sheer emotion on her face as she was helped to the sidelines.
The last real chance of the half fell Newcastle’s way as Franco had a ball squared to her by Eddy. The 24-year-old hit a first time shot which was well held by Whyman.
With two minutes of the second half played, Siemsen played through Sarah Hunter, who was combative all game, but the offside flag was raised as the former Wanderers teenager put the ball in the net.
Less than sixty seconds later, Vine popped up on the left to fire in a vicious low effort which Coelho got down to. Ray followed up and won a corner as Sydney dialled up the pressure from the get go.
The hosts’ pressure was finally rewarded on 52 minutes. A mishit from Jets’ Lucy Johnson saw the ball fly backwards towards Vine who flicked it through to Siemsen. The Matilda held off Brewer brilliantly before firing a low shot past Coelho.
Sydney continued to press. Green’s free-kick was only partly cleared to Hunter who showed great footwork on the edge of the box before Coelho denied her with a smart save. Yet, it was from the resulting throw out by the Jets keeper that Sydney doubled their lead.
The throw went to Brewer, but her attempted pass went straight to Vine who skipped through and played a perfect low ball across the box for Princess Ibini to sidefoot home.
Just past the hour mark, Coelho was forced to pull off a sensational save to palm away a powerful effort from Siemsen who was played in by Green. The shot was heading for the top right hand corner before the Jets shot stopper got a hand to it.
Newcastle grabbed a lifeline when substitute Lauren Allan was played in by Sophie Harding’s flick header. Allan comfortably beat Ray and hit the ball firmly past Whyman.
Yet, Jets hopes of a comeback were snuffed out immediately. Sydney went straight up the other end and forced three corners in quick succession. Mackenzie Hawkesby’s third flag kick, coming in from the left saw Hunter try and get her head to it, but it fell for Vine to touch home despite the ball passing four Newcastle defenders between the corner kick and the eventual goal.
Jets responded instantly as Markussen found Harding who played a cut back across the box for Ash Brodigan to smash an effort against the bar.
However, after that, it all fizzled out for the visitors, not helped by Tiana Jaber’s second yellow card for taking out Ibini near the left hand corner flag and Sydney were able to see out the final quarter of an hour comfortably.
Speaking after the game, Sydney FC boss Ante Juric said: “The only missing in the first half was putting the ball in the net. It was a little worrying because we didn’t capitalise on our chances but I was really happy with the intensity which was phenomenal.
“The players played for each other big time and to get three goals is nice. Cortnee Vine would have been buzzing to play and she killed it last year up until her injury. I think she is fresh now and she was excellent again.”
His Newcastle Jets counterpart Ash Wilson identified the key learning points that her team need to take onboard: “Any game of football has its ebbs and flows. We need to ride out the storm and be more composed when we have the ball to maximise this.”
Sydney’s Matildas striker Remy Siemsen, who gave her side the lead observed: “We created most of the better chances. We need to keep creating chances. I want to bring what I’ve learned with the Matildas to my season with Sydney.”
Teams: SYDNEY FC: Whyman, Mclean, Tobin, Green, Nash, Hunter, Ray, Hawkesby, Ibini, Siemsen, Vine. Substitutes: Johnson, Lowe, Offer (GK), Prior, Rule.
Scorers: Siemsen 52′, Ibini 58′, Vine 69′.
NEWCASTLE JETS: Coelho, Fenton, Brewer, Davis, Jaber, Eddy, Johnson, Gordon, House, Andrews, Franco. Substitutes: Allan, Boric (GK), Brodigan, Markussen, Harding.
Scorer: Allan 67′.
Referee: Rebecca Mackie.
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