Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 Brisbane Roar
By Ben Carey (19/03/22)
Above: Bethany Gordon celebrates with her teammates after scoring her first-ever A-League goal. Photo: Western Sydney Wanderers.
Western Sydney Wanderers defeated Brisbane Roar on Sunday in a match that was delayed by a few hours due to extreme weather during the day.
The first half hour of the match was relatively uneventful. There were a few half chances up both ends, but for the most part, both teams seemed content passing the ball around and playing it safe.
But about 10 minutes before half time the match kicked into gear. Malia Steinmetz played a good ball down to Sophie Harding on the left flank, who ran into the box and hit a cross to Bethany Gordon who had perfectly timed her run and tapped it in for her first-ever A-League goal.
A few minutes later, there was another A-League first. A great corner kick by Amy Harrison found the newly capped Matilda Clare Hunt, who scored a spectacular header off the inside of the crossbar.
Brisbane Roar started the second half with a bit more intensity, which paid off about five minutes in. Shea Connors capitalised on a Wanderers error in the middle of the pitch and used her lightning-quick pace to track down to the box and cut it across to Larissa Crummer who tapped it in. There was a muted celebration from Connors and Crummer, but the Roar were back in the match.
Just before the 80-minute mark, Amy Chessari hit a great cross into the box, which again found Gordon, who took a shot, but it bounced off a Brisbane defender up into the air, however, Gordon tried again on the volley and scored a sensational goal to seal the win for the Wanderers.
All in all, it was a big win for the Wanderers and well deserved. They defended very well when they needed to and they found a variety of ways to create goalscoring opportunities and when they had them, they seized them. Their conversion rate was excellent.
Gordon was phenomenal in the midfield, creating a seamless link between the defenders and the front line, and unbelievably scoring her first and second A-League goals in the same match. Hunt was rock solid in defence as usual, and she also showed her prowess in attack as well. The Wanderers goalkeeper Sham Khamis also did an excellent job filling in for Jordyn Bloomer who was recalled by her NWSL club, Racing Louisville, during the week.
For Brisbane Roar, it was a disappointing but entirely understandable loss. Brisbane Roar came into the match having had their finals dreams snuffed out by the APL, who handed them a disappointing three-point deduction during the week. The Roar also lost several key players, such as Katrina Gorry and Kajsa Lind, who were recalled to their Swedish club, Vittsjö.
Ayesha Norrie was also unavailable because she was serving suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards. Brisbane Roar were significantly weakened not having the experience, quality, and leadership of Gorry, Lind, and Norrie. Couple that with deflated spirits and you have an almost impossible mountain to climb.
Brisbane Roar play Melbourne Victory next Saturday and Western Sydney Wanderers will have a week off before facing Western United on 1st April in their last match of the season.
Teams: WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS (4-3-3): Khamis, Apostolakis, Hunt, Ferris, Matos, Harrison, Gordon, Steinmetz, Harding, Bolden, Price. Substitutes: Hall, Chessari, Saveska, Caceres, Abdul Massih.
Scorers: Gordon 38’, 70’, Hunt 42’.
BRISBANE ROAR (4-4-3): Hancuff, McQueen, Rasschaert, Rankin, Freier, Palmer, Kruger, Stephenson, Riley, Crummer, Connors. Substitutes: Shuttleworth, Haffenden, Levin, Kramer, Davern.
Scorers: Crummer 49’.
Referee: Rachael Mitchenson.