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

Five Star Chelsea Sweep Vixens Aside

Bristol City 0-5 Chelsea

by Ben Gilby

Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table with a comfortable 5-0 win over bottom side Bristol City at a wet Twerton Park in Bath.

The defending champions were absolutely rampant in the first half, forcing the Vixens to feed on such meagre scraps that you could count the number times that the home side got out of their own half on one hand.

With just over thirty seconds played, Sophie Baggaley was forced into an excellent one handed save and before the two minute mark, Magda Eriksson was allowed to run through the middle unchecked and fire in a shot which went just wide of the right hand post.

Four minutes in Baggaley saved City again. Pernille Harder’s exquisite back heel to Fran Kirby saw the Lioness play a one-two with Sam Kerr and then found Eriksson who Baggaley denied.

Just two minutes later, Ji sent in a cross which was headed narrowly wide of the left hand post by Kerr.

Above: Ji creating more mayhem for Chelsea at Bristol City this afternoon. Photo: @BristolCityWFC

The Vixens responded when Ebony Salmon, rightly called up to the England squad, played the ball through Ji’s legs and ran onto it to escape into the visitors box and got an early shot away which Ann-Katrin Berger held.

Chelsea’s dominance finally resulted in a goal just before the quarter of an hour mark. A corner came in from the left and Kirby got the slightest of touches to direct it past Baggaley for her tenth league goal of the season.

In the period after the goal, Emma Hayes’ side sought to maximise possession and pulled City around whilst waiting patiently for the right moment to release the final ball. Harder was noticeably popping up all over the place behind the front pair. The influence of Jonna Andersson was also worth emphasising. The Swede is someone who doesn’t get the same sort of headlines that the offensive Chelsea stars do, but she was so influential down the left and tormented Flo Allen and Charlie Wellings non-stop.

With half an hour gone, Ji danced down the left and played a ball in for Beth England who half-volleyed an effort just wide of the post.

Eight minutes before the break, Chelsea doubled their lead. Sophie Ingle won the ball on the right thanks to a great tackle and found Harder. The Dane played in England before receiving the ball back and slamming home a superb shot on the right hand side of the area.

Four minutes later it was three. Kerr was found down the left and found Kirby who had ghosted in on the right hand side of the box to sweep it into the net.

Deep into first half stoppage time, Chelsea almost got another when Andersson came in from the left and lofted an effort which bounced off of the top of the bar and over.

Despite being 3-0 up at the break, with seventy four per-cent of possession and twelve shots on target, Chelsea should arguably have been much further ahead.

The second half opened in heavy rain which would only make the sticky pitch tougher as the game progressed.

Chelsea remained firmly in control. It did though take them a further ten minutes to increase their advantage. Pernille Harder found Beth England down the left and the Lioness’ cross was met by a trademark thumping header from Sam Kerr for her eleventh league goal of the season.

To their credit, the Vixens responded by creating a rare opportunity as Ebony Salmon was found on the left and played in a superb ball – one you felt her team would have wished she could have got on the end of herself – but Ann-Katrin Berger was alive to the danger.

The consequences of that were clear for all to see just four minutes later when Harder popped up and played in a teasing low cross which was prodded into the net by Beth England sliding through the mud.

Back came City and again, it was Salmon who cut in from the left and fired a shot over the bar.

Chelsea continued to create and England came in off the left once more and found Fran Kirby who hit a powerful curling shot which Sophie Baggaley did well to push away for a corner. The resulting flag kick was met by the head of Sam Kerr, but the Australian’s effort flew over.

As the game entered its closing stages, Bristol City created their final half chance when Molly Pike played a beautiful ball across to Charlie Wellings. Her attempt to find Abi Harrison was foiled by the diving Berger.

The visitors had four further opportunities to increase their lead, all of which were dealt with by solid Bristol City defence. First, Erin Cuthbert, on as a sub, got passed Gemma Evans thanks to an outrageous show and go before putting in a dangerous cross which was cleared.

Above: Plenty for Chelsea to celebrate at Twerton Park this afternoon against Bristol City. Photo: @ChelseaFCW

Evans was the victim again shortly afterwards when her slip allowed Sam Kerr to run onto a great long ball from Millie Bright. Kerr fed Guro Reiten, but the Norwegian’s effort was deflected for a corner.

Reiten again created the danger with two minutes to play when her high pass found Kerr. She passed to England, but great work from Kiera Skeels saw the ball out for a corner.

Finally, it was Evans who produced a quite magnificent tackle on Kerr just as the Matildas hot-shot was about to pull the trigger.

Chelsea are now five points clear at the top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League having played a game more than second placed Manchester City.

This match may well have served as a dress rehearsal for next month’s Continental Cup Final between the two sides at Vicarage Road and ultimately that rather than today’s one is the game against Chelsea that matters for Bristol City. Their FA Women’s Super League future will be decided by games against the teams around them in the table and whilst they remain within touching distance of West Ham United, those survival hopes remain strong.

Teams: BRISTOL CITY: Baggaley, Allen, Skeels, Evans, Purfield, Matthews, Wellings, Pike, Humphrey, Daniels, Salmon. Substitutes: Bryson, Rafferty, Haaland (GK), Palmer, Bissell, Collis, Harrison, Mastrantonio, Jones.

CHELSEA: Berger, Mjelde, Bright, Eriksson, Andersson, Ingle, Kirby, Harder, Ji, Kerr, England. Substitutes: Blundell, Carter, Reiten, Fleming, Cuthbert, Spence, Telford (GK),

Scorers: Kirby 14, 40. Harder 36. Kerr 55. England 60.

Referee: Emily Heaslip.

Adelaide Back In Business

Adelaide United 2-1 Canberra United

By Kieran Yap.

Above: Just perfect! Emily Condon shows how delighted she is to have scored the goal that lifts Adelaide United into the top three. Photo: @AUFCWomen

Adelaide United returned to the top three of the W-League with an important win over a Canberra United side who have now won only one of their last four games.

The last time these sides met it was a thrilling 4-3 win to Canberra, on that day Michelle Heyman scored a hatrick and entered the field this week needing only one goal to equal Sam Kerr’s W-League scoring record.

She would get her first opportunity early in the match, she ran onto a long ball behind the Adelaide defense and into a one-on-one with the first gamer and goalkeeper Annalee Grove. A goal looked likely but Matilda McNamara raced back and applied just enough pressure to hurry the shot which Grove saved well.

It would prove a costly miss with Adelaide taking the lead minutes later. A floated ball in by Emily Hodgson was met at the back post by Chelsie Dawber who met it cleanly and cushioned a volley into the back of the net, the pass was perfectly curled in behind the defenders and the finish was sublime leaving Keely Richards with no chance to save it.

Above: Adelaide United celebrate Chelsie Dawber’s opener. Photo: @AUFCWomen

Heyman had another chance to score when Kendall Fletcher slipped a defense splitting pass into her path, Grove rushed off her line to cut down the angle and the prodded shot flew just wide of the far post. Heyman looked certain to score and shocked to miss but the teenage goalkeeper had done very well to cover for her defence.

Adelaide were dominating general play but Canberra had created the most clear-cut chances and in the dying minutes of the first half they finally converted one to equalize. Heyman dropped deep, collected the ball in her own half and playing a long pass to Paige Satchell. The New Zealand winger surged into the penalty area and finished at the near post confidently.

Buoyed by the goal, Canberra began the second half on the front foot, attacking, pressuring and forcing Adelaide into counter-attacks, unlike the first half though, clear-cut chances were hard to come by, when Adelaide were presented with one Emily Condon had no trouble converting it.

A pass out from the back was intercepted and played quickly to Condon around 10 yards from goal. She paused, picked her spot and curled it around her marker and beyond Richards to restore Adelaide’s lead. It was a wonderful composed finish from a player that has been in brilliant form this season.

Above: Adelaide United celebrate a hugely important win. Photo: @AUFCWomen

With Canberra surging forward in search of another goal, Rojas was mostly left isolated up front, this is usually a frustrating thing for strikers, on the basis of this game it might actually be Maria Rojas’ favorite position. She delighted in receiving the ball under pressure, turning in tight spaces and twisting defenders until help arrived or a chance opened up. In a brilliant few minutes she set up Dawber whose shot across goal flew just wide, shot after a solo run that Richards did very well to stop and set up Dawber again after racing down the middle of the ground.

Canberra were being well beaten but Paige Satchell again threatened to restore parity with a powerful dipping shot from just outside the area that beat Grove but not the crossbar it was a reminder that the game was still in the balance.

Adelaide should have been further ahead this point in the game and perhaps their best chance came when Richards played the ball directly to Rojas, the Chilean deserved a goal for her work rate and skill in this match but tried to lift the ball over the keeper who caught it easily.

Rojas remained Canberra’s tormenter, playing in Georgina Campagnale whose shot flew wide and Charlotte Grant tried to join the attacking wave with a run and left foot shot that Richards saved at the near post.

Canberra didn’t give up and kept pressing for a goal, Jessika Nash was playing brave, attacking passes from defense to the midfield and the substitute Laura Hughes was busy after replacing Grace Maher. Michelle Heyman played a perfect pass across the box to Hayley Taylor-Young who took a touch and fired the ball at goal only for Grove again to come to the rescue. The debutant rushed off her line and saved, tipping the ball over the bar, the resulting corner yielded no result.

When the final whistle blew Canberra could feel unlucky not to equalize late but Adelaide would have been disappointed to not put the result beyond all doubt earlier. It was an exciting end to the weekend’s football featuring two sides determined to score, Heyman fans will have to wait at least one more week for her to reach her milestone and Adelaide continue to impress on the march to their first finals campaign.

ADELAIDE UNITED: Grove, I.Hodgson, Grant, McNamara, Waldus, Holmes, Campagnale, Condon, Rojas, Weber, Dawber. Substitutes: Toovey (GK), E.Hodgson, Hogg, Kirkby, Mullan.

Scorers: Dawber 11, Condon 55.

CANBERRA UNITED: Richards, Keir, Ilijoski, Nash, Hunt, Fletcher, Galic, Maher, Heyman, Flannery, Satchell.  Substitutes: James (GK), Foletta, Hughes, Koulizakis, Taylor-Young.

Scorer: Satchell 45.

Referee: Isabella Blaess.

Attendance: 969.

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

Gielnik The Difference Despite Wanderers Efforts

Western Sydney Wanderers 1–2 Brisbane Roar

Report and EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS from Kris Goman.

Brisbane Roar continued their seven match unbeaten start to the W-League season with a 2-1 win at Marconi Stadium against Western Sydney Wanderers.

Above: Two goal Emily Gielnik in action for Brisbane Roar against Western Sydney Wanderers. Photo: Kris Goman.

The Queenslanders have travelled to the emerald city for a long weekend to play both Sydney teams. In the current climate it’s good to get these things done while you can, plus it probably saves on travel expenses and gives better rest between the games. So it’s a big win win for Brisbane before they even start playing.

Courtney Nevin isn’t playing tonight for the home side and isn’t a substitute either. Apparently coach Dean Heffernan is resting her this match and it’s her birthday tomorrow. This results in a reshuffle of the usual team and Yeoman-Dale has moved to left back from the forwards to replace her.

Georgina Worth is out for Brisbane with a knee issue and so Morgan Aquino is making her debut in goal for the Roar. Katrina Gorry is out and we won’t be seeing her playing again this year due to the happy reason of her being pregnant rather than having an injury. Although, like an ACL injury, it will probably take her out for a year so she won’t be going to the Olympics, opening a spot for a young contender.

Wanderers are kicking off playing in 4-3-3 formation and Brisbane are 4-4-2.

The match starts pretty rough with a few tackles sending various playing flying before Emily Gielnik takes a shot from the far left of the box that’s straight to Sarah Willacy.
Sarah Hunter, two goal hero for Wanderers in their last match seems to be being cheered on by the rest of her Year 12 cohort at Pymble Ladies College every time she gets the ball in this match. I guess a few more schoolmates have come along to support her after her stunning game last week. It’s great to see and adds to the atmosphere at Marconi.

Thirteen minutes in, Teigan Collister makes a break down the right for the Wanderers. Her cross is cleared back to Libby Copus-Brown who sends a lovely long ball through to Leena Khamis in the box in front of goal. She chips it to the top right of goal as two defenders arrive and it’s in for her long awaited first goal of the season as the Wanderers take an early lead.

Brisbane are immediately back on the attack and make a few excursions into the box including a corner that comes to naught. Then a cross comes over from the left and is punched out by Willacy. Isobel Dalton comes flying in from outside the box and sends a low one towards goal that lands at the feet of Emily Gielnik who turns and is able to put it to the top right bin of the goal for the equaliser just two and a half minutes later.

We’re up and down the field a few times with Collister continually making good runs down the right for Wanderers. At one stage Khamis takes a long range shot on goal but she puts far too much into it and it is on a trajectory to the moon rather than goal.

Similarly for the Roar, Mariel Hecher is making good inroads down their right, occasionally foiled by Georgia Yeoman-Dale. At one point Gielnik is at the top of the box and passes back to Olivia Chance who takes a lovely strike but it just clears the top post.

Above: Georgia Yeoman-Dale of Western Sydney Wanderers trying to escape from Brisbane Roar’s Olivia Chance. Photo: Kris Goman.

A fine pass back from Collister finds no one in a fairly empty box and a chance goes begging for the Wanderers.

Hecher then receives the ball just outside the box. Yeoman-Dale fronts up to her. She has one foot just inside the box. Hecher flicks the ball up to the right and it hits Yeoman-Dale’s hand and a penalty is awarded. Pretty bad luck on Yeo-Da’s part as there’s no way she could have avoided it and she was only just partially in the box. In fact whether her hand was in the box could be debated but it certainly did deflect the path of the ball.

Gielnik steps up to take the penalty with thirty-one minutes played. It’s a fairly slow shot but she sends Willacy to the right and the ball to the left so it’s in easy. As well as putting the Roar in front, this also puts Gielnik level with Canberra United’s Michelle Heyman in the race for the Golden Boot on six goals each.

Just a minute later, Gielnik gets the opportunity for another clear strike on goal but sends it quite wide to the right this time. Straight after, Tameka Yallop is on the ball and brings it down to the goal line. Her cross is brought down but she has it back almost immediately to take a shot but it’s also well wide to the right.

Above: Emily Gielnik slots the ball past a despairing Sarah Willacy. Photo: Kris Goman.

Wanderers get a corner and it comes in right in front of the box. Khamis jumps but doesn’t quite connect but it deflects off Kim Carroll’s lower shoulder. There are calls for a hand ball but in this case, I think the call is right.

Just before half time Jamilla Rankin sends a beautiful cross to the front of goal but it’s cleared safely by a Caitlin Cooper header then brought down the midfield by Julie Russell to pass for a similarly lovely cross by Collister. It goes to Khamis who draws Morgan Aquino and the ball is headed to the left in front of an open goal. Chloe Middleton rushes on to it but her volley can’t be controlled as defenders rush in and it goes up over the net to miss the equaliser.

Two minutes of extra time are announced. A Brisbane attack sees Middleton chop at Yallop and earn herself a yellow and a free kick for Brisbane at the top left of the box. Gielnik will take it, looking for her hat-trick no doubt. As expected, she goes for goal. It’s low and to the right but Willacy is all over it despite an unmarked Polkinghorne rushing onto her. The half time whistle goes and it’s looking pretty even after 45 minutes.

Early in the second half, Wanderers get into the box and Russell is on the left and open when she gets the ball from a cross from Danika Matos. Her shot is a half volley that goes high.

Ten minutes later, Russell gets another shot on goal as she brings it into the box, side stepping a couple of Brisbane players and shoots across the goal and it narrowly misses the top far corner.

Wanderers are immediately on the attack and Brisbane don’t clear it out when they regain possession. Hunter gets it across to Rosie Galea at the top of the box who shoots with some free space in front of her. It’s wide to the left but it looked dangerous and Wanderers are pressing hard right now.

It’s now Brisbane’s turn to attack and Yallop brings the ball through the midfield before passing to Chance on the left who crosses to the goal mouth. Kaitlyn Torpey comes in for it and both Yeoman-Dale and Willacy are there. Willacy gets above and punches it away safely but collects Torpey in her wake who goes down in front of goal. She’s back up after some treatment but it looked like a heavy fall.

Above: Brisbane Roar’s Kim Carroll poised to hit a pass. Photo: Kris Goman.

Wanderers push again and it’s stuck in the right corner for a couple of throw-ins before Galea flicks it across to Khamis unmarked in the middle of the box. She turns and shoots but Aquino has it covered in some good goal keeping.

Wanderers seem to have the upper hand at the moment and have three shots to Brisbane’s none after 20 minutes of the second half.

In a switch, Hecher gets a run down the left and her cross is kicked out by Matos for a corner. The corner is low and goes through a few people before finding its way to the back of the box to Yallop. She shoots but it’s deflected and goes up high to be gathered by Willacy safely.

A careless distribution by Aquino goes straight to Collister. Khamis is clear in front of goal but the lob is intercepted and doesn’t reach Khamis. In the rush for the ball, Rankin is knocked over and Collister gives away a free kick after a wasted opportunity.

A transition sees Leticia McKenna offside. It’s straight back up the other end again and Russell brings it into the box on the left, kicks it back from the goal line and it’s tipped into the air by Aquino and then headed by Hunter across the goal. It hits the right goalpost and bounces back into play and it’s cleared by Rankin in a very close call.

The Roar attack again and McKenna gets a shot from the top of the box that skims the top post.

It’s straight back up the other end though and Galea extracts a foul on the right of the box from Rankin. Galea to take the kick. She goes for goal to the top right bin and Polkinghorne heads it out to the left. Not sure it had enough on it to get in but it was an audacious move. The resulting corner lands right in front of goal and is headed up and into the arms of Aquino by Cooper. Khamis has been knocked over in the foreground and complains about it but there’s no action on it.

Above: Caitlin Cooper and Leena Khamis compete at a corner. Photo: Kris Goman.

In yet another transition, Gielnik somehow manages to get up from being knocked over in the box to get down to the other end to receive a through ball in the box. Willacy comes right out to deflect it across the goal. Torpey is there to pick it up but her shot goes straight to Matos covering who kicks it out for a corner.

The short corner is crossed by Rankin then punched away by Willacy. The clearance comes back in but this time is snatched by Willacy.

The game has become very transitional now and it’s Brisbane’s turn for a crack. After some play around the box Dalton has a shot over the heads of everyone but there’s not enough on it and it bounces to the feet of Willacy who scoops it up.

Once more back down the other end and this time Henry gets a shot that hits the crossbar. She looks to be offside but it’s not called.

With five minutes to go, a nice ball to Gielnik sees her take a run down the right but her pass back into the box is ineffectual and is cut off and cleared by Matos. It then goes out wide to Hecher but her cross goes to no one and goes out in acres of space on the right of goal. She should have really taken a shot then.

In a slightly desperate effort, Hunter passes to Collister who takes a shot from a long way out. It’s not on target and goes out to the right. The previously well organised Wanderers have morphed to a bit of a shambles as desperation for the equaliser sets in. They need to settle again to be more effective and patient.

In a much better move, the clearance from Aquino goes to Matos who places the ball back to Galea who tips it over right in front of Khamis who runs onto it in the box. She races with Aquino to the ball but Aquino throws herself on top of it before Khamis can connect.

There’s another push by the Wanderers and a couple of incursions are foiled until Yeoman-Dale takes it down the left and crosses to Khamis in the box. A little back heel is cleared by Polkinghorne to Matos who has a crack but she’s a long way out and it was never going in. There’s a minute left.

Above: Sarah Hunter, Western Sydney Wanderers’ teenage star shields the ball from Brisbane Roar’s Australian International Tameka Yallop. Photo: Kris Goman.

The clearance is to Cooper who brings it up but it goes out. Wanderers throw in.  Yeoman-Dale takes it. Khamis flicks it into the box and Galea sends it back out to Hunter. She passes back to Copus-Brown who sends it back into the box with interest. Khamis picks it up, turns and strikes. It’s on target but Aquino dives and pushes it out with one hand, saving the day for the Roar.

There’s a corner with 5 seconds to go. Khamis heads it over the goal and full time is called much to the relief of Brisbane.

So disappointing for the Wanderers not to equaliser or even win in the second half. They really did dominate although the stats aren’t really showing that. Possession was 48% WSW 52% Roar,  territory 47% WSW 53% Roar,  corners 4 for Brisbane and 3 for the Wanderers and shots 13 for Brisbane and 11 for the Wanderers which I find hard to believe after the second half. Shots on target were Brisbane 7, Wanderers 3, balls into area Brisbane 25, Wanderers 24 and saves Wanderers 5, Brisbane 2.

Speaking after the game, Leena Khamis agrees that Western Sydney Wanderers were very unlucky and deserved a point at least and big-upped the save by Morgan Aquino, which is nice.

Emily Gielnik gets Player of the Match which I don’t really agree with. Yes, she got two goals and the first was a cracker but the second was a penalty and she had very little impact on the second half. I realise goal scorers often get this award but I think the defenders stepped up, particularly in the second half.

Polkinghorne saved the day many times and Aquino really saved the day, right at the end and was very solid, except for a couple of dubious distributions. Jenkins also had a very solid game both in attack and defence. Khamis, Collister, Yeoman-Dale and even Galea coming on as a sub late in the game all were worthy contenders. But I don’t make these decisions.

So Brisbane have Sydney to play next and I think they need to ask a few questions. Wanderers played well today, perhaps their best match of the season, despite losing. They are mostly a young team with a couple of veterans but were able to take it to Brisbane today. Sydney is also a young team but have a lot more experience playing together. Given the Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar match will be another top of the table bout, it will say a lot about the state of the W-League. I worry a bit that Brisbane are stacked with Matildas yet haven’t been able to perform as expected. Yes, they haven’t lost yet but they’ve drawn four times and didn’t dominate today against a team at the bottom of the table. Their only convincing win was against Melbourne Victory. Anyway, it should be a very interesting match on Sunday.

Teams: WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS: Willacy, Matos, Yeoman-Dale, Orgill, Cooper, Middleton, Collister, Copus-Brown, Hunter, Russell, Khamis. Substitutes: Newbon (GK), Chauvet, Gomez, Galea, Henry.

Scorers: Khamis 14.

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

Scorers: Gielnik 16, pen 32.

Referee: Casey Reibelt.

Attendance: 494.

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

AFC Portchester: The Club That Reformed In A Pandemic

Ben Gilby spoke to AFC Portchester Ladies manager Mark Dugan about how the club, presently in the Third Division of the Hampshire County Women’s Football League (tier nine) re-joined senior football in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic and have the organisation, desire and belief to move up the pyramid.

Mark opened our conversation by highlighting the journey that women’s football has been on in the village of Portchester, situated four miles from Portsmouth.

Above: AFC Portchester in possession against AFC Bedhampton Village. Photo via: Mark Dugan

“Originally the team were known as Fleetlands Ladies back in 2011 through to 2015 before moving across to AFC Portchester and forming a girls/ladies section. The ladies competed in the Hampshire County Women’s League Division Three, won that and the second division before having our final year in league one when team unfortunately disbanded. That said, I stayed and took the then under 12 team through to under 16s and reformed the senior in the summer of 2020 to give our girls a pathway. We had planned with the club to reform next season but had plenty of interest to push a year earlier.”

Given everything that has been going on off the pitch over the past twelve months, 2020 was a really tough year to re-launch a senior women’s football club, as Mark recognises: “It’s been a real challenge for the club in fairness. Our club consists of thirty-seven teams including the youth set up and trying to keep spirits high with such activities as Zoom training going, quizzes to keep the players engaged has been a challenge. The club itself has tried to help the local community in this awful time and set up a food hub where donations were dropped off, sorted and delivered out to the many volunteers we had. Tough times but thankful for such dedicated people in and around the club.”

Other than coronavirus, the biggest challenge that AFC Portchester face is one familiar to every grassroots club: “The club is big, and relies on sponsors and partners for income along with youth contributions. Our sponsors and partners have stood fast and supported us, which really helped. The youth contributions were quite rightly frozen during the lockdowns which obviously affects revenue, but the main club loss was our annual youth tournament which brings in one of our biggest youth contributions. With regard senior side hospitality is everything and losing that has really hurt us! However, we’ve managed, albeit suspending plans to undertake summer repairs and uplifts around stadium.”

One positive for the club in this period has been the links with the men’s side of AFC Portchester, as Mark explains: “The club ethos around the ladies and girls has been fantastic and promote and support us fully. My role at the club as football development officer has really helped the link and something on my blueprint to oversee and ensure continued growth. I’m currently the men’s under 23s manager and youth link so we really have one club here.”

With the club competing in the Hampshire County Women’s Football League Division Three, I asked Mark to assess the division: “As a new team with both the newly introduced (but experienced) players signed supplemented by the under 17s stepping up into women’s football, we didn’t know what to expect. From the early signs we’ve played teams at different stages of their journeys, some have really young squads, others older and more organised, so each week presents challenges for us to overcome. The league itself though is bigger this year than it has been for a number of years so going in to Division Three of Four was a risk but one worth taking.”

Above: AFC Portchester Ladies 2020/21. Photo via: Mark Dugan

Going into the Christmas period, AFC Portchester Ladies were top of the league and unbeaten: “Promotion is definitely something we want to achieve, equally though it’s a firm belief to ensure a player pathway at the same time,” Mark says.

“Longer term, the club’s aim is to climb the pyramid of course, but want to first establish the team and make our way through the Hampshire County Women’s League. In doing this we’ll always be open as a community club to bring any player wanting football but also utilising the younger players coming through our youth set up. Ultimately we want to achieve Southern Region status (tier six and above), but in doing so also continue to plan for the future thereafter.”

Despite the senior side only reforming in the summer, AFC Portchester have an excellent player pathway in place from girls to senior football: “The pathway is in place, we have club phase leads in place within the youth set up who look after both 6-12 years and 13-16 years who actively work with coach in both player and coach development. The club currently have teams from under 9 through to under 17s girls and look to create further teams annually.”

As with all other clubs, it is the tireless work of volunteers off of the pitch that keeps things in good stead on the pitch. Mark highlights the fact that: “There are so many great people within the club! There are too many to mention really. However, our Chairman Paul Kelly must be mentioned for 24 years of continual commitment and hours upon hours of work to make the club what it is today.”

We ended our chat by looking at where Mark would like the club to be in five years time: “I want to see the ladies thrive and enjoy their football. Long term and we believe achievable, is playing Southern Region football so tiers five and six for sure.”

Above: AFC Portchester in action against AFC Bedhampton Village and afterwards with the banner of the club’s Arancione supporters group. Photo via: Mark Dugan.

The Swedish Scene

@DandalBs brings us our regular Saturday morning round-up of all the week’s news from the Swedish women’s game. This week, there’s the selection of Sweden’s squad for forthcoming international friendlies, pre-season match news and transfer updates.

Above: Amanda Nildén – called up to the Sweden squad for the forthcoming internationals against Malta and Austria. Photo:  Photo: Adam Ihse/TT and Eskilstuna United.

Peter Gerhandsson has selected the squad for the forthcoming camp in Malta which includes friendlies against Austria as well as their island hosts.  Chelsea trio Zećira Mušović, Jonna Andersson and Magdalena Eriksson were originally included, but due to travel restrictions, they have been told that they will not be able to enter Malta due to issues with allowing people from the UK onto the island nation due to coronavirus rates. They have been replaced in the squad by Emma Holmgren, Amanda Nildén (both of Eskilstuna United) and BK Häcken’s Emma Kullberg.


In last weekend’s games, Elitettan (second tier) Bjonnapojkarna defeated Damsallvenskan side Djurgården in the first Stockholm Challenge match after 2-2 at full time and 18 penalty kicks. The other Stockholm Challenge match ended with a 2-0 win for Hammarby over AIK after goals from Madelen Janogy and Emilia Larsson. The two winners meet in the final today with AIK taking on rivals Djurgården in the third/fourth place play-off.

Above: Pauline Hammarlund after scoring BK Häcken’s first ever goal. Photo: Expressen.

BK Häcken won their first match since formation with a 2-1 success over Linköping thanks to goals from Pauline Hammarlund and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd. Therese Simonsson scored for Linköping.

Örebro defeated Kalmar 2-1. Karin Lundin and 17 year-old trialist Lisa Frisk scored for the home side.

Piteå and Umeå drew 0-0.

In a game played on Thursday, Rosengård defeated Eskilstuna United at home 2-0. Goals from Jelena Čanković and Mimmi Larsson earned the win. This was probably Rosengård’s last warm-up match before their two-legged UEFA Women’s Champions League round of sixteen tie early March against still unknown opposition..


Kristianstad’s 23 year-old midfielder Sofia Hagman has departed for Swedish-coached Apollon Ladies FC in Cyprus.

Above: Bri Folds signs for Fortuna Hjörring. Photo: Nordsoeposten

Bri Folds has departed Göteborg/Häcken and moved to Danish top club Fortuna Hjörring.

Örebro recent signing, 18 year-old midfielder Cassandra Larsson has injured a knee in training and will be out for most if not all of the coming season. The squad is thin and she will need to be replaced.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset updates us on France’s international schedule and provides some important news from the Olympique Lyonnais club.

After the withdrawal of Iceland team following that of Norway last week and the impossibility to find two other nations to compete with, the planned France tournament has been cancelled. The tournament will be replaced by two friendly games against Switzerland the only remaining team. The games will take place at Metz on February 17, 2021 and February 20, 2021.

On the Olympique Lyonnais side, there has been the renewal of a contract. Amandine Henry has signed a two year extension and should stay with Lyon up to June 2023.

Above: From left to right: Jean-Luc Vasseur (coach), Amandine Henry and Jean-Michel Aulas (President).
Photo: @Damien LG from OL website.

After the extending the deals of Sarah Bouhaddi and Dzsenifer Marozsan this summer of an up to June 2023 and those of Ada Hegerberg and Griedge Mbock up to June 2024 recently, Lyon continue to secure its main players while preparing the future with new high-level young players like Damaris Egurrola (up to June 2023) and Catarina Macario (up to June 2024) who signed last month.

Lisa Topping: Life In Lockdown

Ben Gilby caught up with Chorley Women’s Lisa Topping, who Impetus are proud to sponsor, for our second monthly chat. Here, we catch up with what Lisa has been up to since the New Year Lockdown.

Lisa began by explaining how she’s been doing and keeping active in the continuing difficult times: “I’m doing well despite the circumstances we are still facing. I have a really close family who work really hard to stay in touch virtually despite lockdowns and social distancing so I have family quizzes and such to look forward to. I’m also able to keep busy with little house projects and walking the dogs.”

Above: Lisa in action for Chorley previously. Photo via: Lisa Topping

In terms of how Chorley’s team are keeping in touch, it seems like there’s been plenty of creative activities going on: “We have weekly fitness sessions over Zoom led by one of our senior players, Betti Worth, who is fantastic at pulling together fun and engaging, football specific workouts. She is a really great fitness coach who has massively stepped up during this time to support the team. We also have a team WhatsApp group so there is always banter in there as well as little weekly challenges, such as keep-ups or a football skill. We also have club meetings where we all check in and keep up to date with where we need to be. Ben Gooden and the rest of the management staff are really great at keeping everyone connected.”

In terms of how Lisa is passing her time personally, “Apart from working, I’m passing my time during lockdown by doing plenty of dog walking, watching Netflix, and picking up some house DIY projects. I do like to watch football on TV. I regularly link up the FA Player onto the TV from my laptop or phone and binge back-to-back games. I enjoy watching sport in general – I grew up with it constantly being on the TV at the weekend where my Dad would point out tactical play in the football games. We also commonly watched tennis tournaments, F1 racing, rugby and horse racing. I’ve never really developed allegiance for a football team – I just enjoy watching a good game. I particularly enjoy watching big name games or rivalry clashes such as Liverpool v Everton or Manchester United v Manchester City.”

“On a more active note, now that we have slightly longer, lighter days I’m looking forward to getting back on my road bike on top of the running I currently do to try and stay fit in preparation for the season. I’ve joined Strava Clubs and challenges to keep motivated and maintain my running whilst training is on pause and then I grab my boots and a ball and head to the local park on my own on the weekend.”

Of course, all the home fitness work cannot make up for the loss of game playing sharpness. This is something that Lisa is already keeping in mind: “Once football is back and up and running, one of my short-term targets is to get back to game speed as quickly possible. Despite all the running and fitness during this time, the sharpness and mental focus will be something that needs to be quickly recovered.”

Whether or not there will be any football to be played before the summer is still in question. The Football Association recently circulated a survey to clubs with regards on how best to end the season – pausing until it is safe to play again or end the season now and rank clubs by a points-per-game basis. In Lisa’s opinion, “the FA are in a really tough position on this. Whichever decision they make, someone isn’t going to agree with it. I feel it’s a big weigh up of maintaining safety of those involved, taking into account club finances and being realistic with expectations. There are pros and cons with each approach that has been suggested and I’m glad it isn’t me having to make the decision!

Above: Lisa Topping (far right back row with thumb up) with a group of Euxton Girls players. Photo via: Michael Taylor.

We recently ran a feature on the site about Euxton Girls, one of your Lisa’s old clubs (see  so I asked Lisa if she could share a bit more about her experience there as a younger player and the role you have there at the present time.

“Euxton Girls is a fantastic local club who were integral in my football career. They really grew my love for the game and gave me a place to play football with other girls. Before that I only had options to play in the boy’s teams or train alone with my Dad. I remember feeling so happy when I got to train and play in an environment with other girls who had a love for the game and compete in a girls’ league. It was at that point that I felt I fitted in for being a girl who liked football.”

“We had a fantastic team including Holly Bradshaw, who is now the British Record Holder for the Pole Vault, Danielle Gibbons, who went on to be a goalkeeper for Liverpool FC and of course Nicola Barker who is still central in the Euxton Girls set up and develops young players coming through. The coaching staff there were, and still are, passionate, committed and put player development first. For example, I remember loving sessions delivered by Diane Moss when I was only fourteen and she is still there now driving the club forward.”

At the present time, myself and club captain, Laura Walker, would go and attend some of the Wildcat Sessions hosted by Euxton Girls and Diane on a Friday evening. Laura is a brilliant role model and really supports the local community whilst representing Chorley Women FC. When my time playing is up, I’d love to give back more to the club and get further involved in the coaching side with them.”

We look forward to catching up with Lisa again in March.

Artwork: Graphics by PW

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all the news from the women’s game in France. This week he informs us what went on in the fourteenth week of action in D1 Arkema, and highlights the latest squad selection for the French national team.

Paris St. Germain won 5-0 away from home at Fleury. PSG are still league leaders, one point ahead of Lyon. Goals from Sandy Baltimore (24, 62), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (61), Kadidiatou Diani (69 penalty) and Irene Paredes (90+1). It was an easy game for PSG, who played seriously and do not let any chance go to Fleury.

Olympique Lyonnais won at home 2-1 against Montpellier. Goals for Lyon from Amandine Henry (4) and Elisa De Almeida (40, own goal following a shot by Sakina Karchaoui); Montpellier’s goal came from Clarisse Le Bihan (6). Once again it was a difficult game for Lyon, which was not able to assert its game on the opposition. Even if Wendie Renard, their captain, was suspended due to three yellow cards, that does not explain everything. We saw also the debut of Catarina Macario who produced an encouraging debut but still needs to improve.

Above: Catarina Macario made her debut for Olympique Lyonnais. Photo: Damien LG.

Soyaux won away from home at Issy 1-0 with a goal from Laura Bourgoin (22). After 10 games without a victory, this is very good result for Soyaux against one of their direct rivals for staying in D1 next year. Soyaux and Issy were tied at 7 points with 1 game in hand for Issy; now Issy still have 1 game in hand but Soyaux are 3 points ahead of them and furthermore with a better goal average.

Guingamp by winning away from home against Le Havre 1–0, continues to slowly secure its place in the middle of the table. The only goal of the game was scored for Guingamp by Faustine Robert (76). Le Havre, who are still not able to win even at home, stay bottom of the table.  

Two games were postponed due to Covid19: Dijon – Bordeaux and Reims – Paris FC.

The D1 ARKEMA table now looks like this:

Paris St. Germain14131057240+ 55
Olympique Lyonnais14130150539+ 45
Bordeaux13823321426+ 18
Montpellier14626172220– 5
Guingamp14617202319– 3
Fleury13544112119– 10
Paris FC13535212218– 1
Dijon12516152216– 7
Reims13328173011– 13
Soyaux143110102910– 19
Issy1321108547– 46
Le Havre13121010245– 14

As a Lyon fan, I start to worry about the future in this season, not only in D1 Arkema championships but also in UEFA Women Champion League. In D1 Arkema, Paris SG won their games pretty easily and have now a goal difference of 55, 10 goals in front of Lyon. If Lyon does not improve their game soon, it will be very difficult for them to win against Paris SG even at home and they will be far from favourites in UWCL.

International News:

Above: Sakina Karchaoui – selected again for France. Photo: @Sakinakarchaoui.

This morning Corinne Diacre gave her list of players for the second Tournoi de France organized to prepare for the next European Championships. This tournament will take place in February from Wednesday 17 to Tuesday 23 at Metz and Sedan in the North East of France. For this first rendezvous of the year, France (3rd at FIFA ranking) will play against 3 other teams: Iceland (16th), Switzerland (19th) and a third team which will replace Norway who cannot be there for Covid19 reasons.

Games schedule:

  • 17.02.2021, 19:00, Metz: To be determined – Switzerland
  • 17.02.2021, 21 :10, Sedan: France – Iceland
  • 20.02.2021, 19:00, Sedan: Iceland – To be determined
  • 20.02.2021, 21 :10, Metz: France- Switzerland
  • 23.02.2021, 19 :00, Sedan: Iceland- Switzerland
  • 23.02.2021, 21:10, Metz: France-To be determined

Three main players are missing in this squad due to injury: Amandine Henry (Lyon), Griedge Mbock (Lyon) and Viviane Asseyi (Bayern Munich). Sarah Bouhaddi is not in this list too. Three players are in the list for the first time: Mylène Chavas (Dijon Goalkeeper), Constance Picaud (Le Havre Goalkeeper) and Ella Palis (Bordeaux Midfielder). We can remark also that two players having very good performances with their teams are not selected either: Kheira Hamraoui (Barcelona Midfielder) and Aurélie Kaci (Real Madrid Midfielder).

Goalkeepers: Mylène Chavas, Solène Durand, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, Constance Picaud
Defenders: Estelle Cascarino, Elisa De Almeida, Sakina Karchaoui, Perle Morroni, Eve Périsset, Wendie Renard, Marion Torrent, Aïssatou Toukara.
Midfielders: Charlotte Bilbault, Julie Dufour, Grace Geyoro, Oriane Jean-François, Léa Khelifi, Amel Majri, Ella Palis, Sandie Toletti.
Strikers: Sandy Baltimore, Delphine Cascarino, Kadidiatou Diani, Valérie Gauvin, Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Eugénie Le Sommer, Clara Matéo.

Sydney Make Statement As Canberra Collapse

Sydney FC 4-0 Canberra United

Report and EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS from Kris Goman.

Sydney FC moved seven points clear at the top of the Westfield W-League after a comprehensive 4-0 win over second placed Canberra United, who were previously unbeaten.

Above: Remy Siemsen, scorer of a brace for Sydney FC sends another effort goalwards against Canberra United. Photo: Kris Goman.

It’s Teresa Polias’ 150th game in the W-league, the first player to do so. Incredible really when you consider how short each season is. It really is an achievement. Another record on the line is the all-time leading goal scorer. Michelle Heyman is currently sitting at 69 goals, one behind Sam Kerr’s all-time record of 70. It looks set to be smashed and, despite being a Sydney fan, I’m hoping it’s today so I can witness it.

This is the top of the table clash. Sydney have been victorious in all their matches so far. Canberra have played five but have won three and drawn two. Still expecting this to be close with both teams in form. Sydney will have the home ground advantage of course at Kogarah Oval.

Both Sydney and Canberra are playing 4-3-3 today and the visitors kick off. The opening exchanges consist of a battle in the mid field with both team’s defence standing strong and keeping back any incursion to the final thirds until a foul gives Sydney a free kick. 

Polias takes it and its headed straight back out by Canberra. Heyman gets a ball through the centre but is relieved of it by Charlotte Mclean before she can enter the box.

Canberra string together a few passes. Kendall Fletcher passes to Grace Maher who takes a shot which is headed on and provides the perfect opportunity for Heyman to run onto it in the box. Ally Green is right beside her though and bumps her off the ball so she can’t make a decent connection and it’s gathered by Jada Mathyssen-Whyman.
It’s down the other end quickly and Princess Ibini sends a ball across from the left. Mackenzie Hawkesby is not quite quick enough to connect to what would have been a dead cert. Sydney apply a lot of pressure to stay in their attacking third and are rewarded with a number of throw ins. The pressure is building with a couple of runs into the box but no shots on goal yet.

Then a corner is given to Sydney, to be taken by Polias. It lands in front of the goal for a couple of headers before it’s cleared to the left side-line.

Another wave from Sydney sees Remy Siemsen on the right evading two defenders and getting a shot away but Keeley Richards collects it safely. It’s straight back the other end for a solo effort by Nikki Flannery but her shot is under powered and goes straight to Mathyssen-Whyman.

Sydney weave down the right with a number of connected passes and a cross goes into the hand of Fletcher for a free kick near the top of the box on the right. Everyone lines up along the top of the box. Somehow everyone misses the ball in and it floats out to the left chased by Ibini. She darts between defenders to bring it in and passes back from the goal line. It goes past Siemsen and is kicked up by the Canberra defence to Hawkesby’s chest. It bounces off her chest and she volleys it in past two defenders for the first goal. 1-0 Sydney at 16 minutes in. Hawkesby runs off with her tongue out in celebration, chased by her teammates who eventually catch her for a group hug.

Above: Mackenzie Hawkesby connects for her goal which put Sydney FC 1-0 up. Photo: Kris Goman.

After a dominating ten minutes, Canberra get back into the play a bit and there’s a lot more midfield action. The defence is holding strong until Green brings the ball down the left flank and her cross is kneed out uncontrolled by Jessika Nash. The resulting corner sees the ball in and out of the box a few times until a shot by Natalie Tobin is pushed out at with a stretch by Richards for another corner.

The corner is defended well by Canberra and we’re back to a midfield battle. The rest of the half plays out with a couple of build ups by Canberra foiled by Sydney, unrelenting pressure by Sydney including a number of corners but the Canberra defence standing ultimately solid.

There’s one beautiful run down the left by Cortnee Vine from a Green pass but her pass across goal sees no one connect and is out for a goal kick. The Green / Vine connection is formidable. They are both in top form and can cause havoc at will it seems.

The next distribution by Richards is sent directly to Ibini’s thigh and she nearly scores from this mistake.

At half time there’s a substitution and Taylor-Young is off and Satchell is on for Canberra. Canberra come back rejuvenated and get some possession. They look good when they have the ball and I like their passing game. They just can’t seem to breach the Sydney defence though and it’s not long before we find Ibini running into the box and passing to Clare Wheeler for a shot on goal. It’s deflected out and Sydney have their first corner of the second half.

The corner comes across and is headed straight out the other side by Maher for another corner from the opposite post. Next corner is punched up by Richards then headed onto the top of the net by Vine. Shortly after Canberra get a rare corner but the lob is grabbed out of the air by Wyman. Canberra can’t win a trick today.

Above: Cortnee Vine gets above the Canberra United defence. Photo: Kris Goman.

The next Sydney corner is close but eventually cleared. There is some movement around the box and a couple of blocked shots until Ibini gets a clear position at the top of the box. Her shot is deflected by Richards who is on the ground. Siemsen rushes in to kick it and it hits the top of the bar and rebounds straight down and bounces back while Siemsen rushes in and points to the goal line. Paige Satchell is able to take the ball away down the right flank towards goal. Heyman can’t connect with her cross and the Sydney defence recover to keep it out. The replay shows the ball from Siemsen clearly went in with a massive spin that bounced it back out again but the ball clearly crossed the line. The crowd rumbles when the replay is shown. The lack of VAR has cost Sydney a goal there. Siemsen is trying to argue the point with the ref who is not having it. She might regret that decision when she watches the match back later.

Play continues with Canberra on the attack but once again the Sydney defence proves impenetrable until Siemsen can take a run up field. There’s some passing around the top of the box then Canberra takes back control.

Wheeler stops a foray into the box and once again Sydney are on the attack. This time it’s up the right side and the ball ends up with Vine.  She brings it into the box, shoots and it just goes under the diving arm of Richards but shaves the left post to go out in a very near miss.

At 64 minutes Siemsen gets the ball about ten metres from the top of the box. She passes right to Hawkesby who flicks it back to Vine who has positioned herself just inside the box. She controls the ball and takes a snap shot that beats the keeper on the right of goal. It hits the back of the net and Sydney are redeemed and it’s 2-0. Cortnee Vine’s confidence is soaring. If she doesn’t make the Matildas squad for the Olympics, I’ll be very surprised and disappointed. I hope boss Tony Gustavsson is watching this match.

Canberra respond to adversity aggression with Flannery bringing the ball into the box and taking a shot that crossed the face of goal unchallenged.

That doesn’t last long and the ball is shortly back up with Sydney and there’s a corner to be taken from the left. It goes to the back post and Siemsen heads it. It’s grabbed and punched back down by Richards and kicked by Laura Hughes. The kick goes straight to Siemsen who pounds it through the tangle of legs and into goal and is finally vindicated with a recognised goal. She’s pretty happy about it as the score increases to 3-0 Sydney at 72 minutes.

In a similar restart, Canberra have another corner after the kick-off. It’s cleared by a Allira Toby volley. Another ball towards the Canberra goal is cut off before Heyman can get to it. The Canberra icon has had very little involvement so far in this match and is struggling to make an impact.

Above: Michelle Heyman – a tough day at the office for Canberra United’s icon. Photo: Kris Goman.

At 75 minutes, Sydney get a corner on the right. It comes to the back post and Siemsen heads it in for her second of the match and fourth of the season. Sydney go up 4-0.

It’s looking embarrassing now and Sydney are showing their class with Canberra unable to match it. Given this is a top of the table clash, Sydney look to have the Premiership stitched up at this stage. Brisbane may have some better answers next week but Canberra are floundering.

With eight minutes left, a ball comes straight up the field into the box for Toby to run at. Her kick connects at the same time the keeper does and Richards goes down as does Toby in their clash. Richards seems to have come off the worst and needs some treatment. Looks like the contact was in the thigh.

A late slide tackle on Keir by Siemsen gets her a yellow card and Canberra a free kick near the right side-line in their half. It’s initially taken short but for some reason is called back. Next time it goes to the maddening crowd. It’s headed over and to a waiting Rachael Goldstein who kicks through to Mathyssen-Whyman who has gathered it up without any problems.

Above: Remy Siemsen slides in on Canberra United’s Lauren Keir to earn a yellow card. Photo: Kris Goman.

A Canberra corner is cleared up field and Vine gets hold of it. In a solo run she avoids a defender and shoots. It’s deflected by Lauren Keir for a corner.

The corner is well managed by the Canberra defence. Richards makes a couple more saves from long shots before the end of the match. A final push by Canberra comes to naught. Sydney is victorious 4-0.

The stats come up at the end and very surprisingly Sydney’s possession is 49%. The tale is told in the territory though and that’s 59% for Sydney with 13 corners to Canberra’s 3 and 16 shots to Canberra’s 6. Shots on target: Sydney 9, Canberra 2 and balls into area: Sydney 42, Canberra 15.

Vine is the player of the match after her goal, innumerable penetrating runs and performance in defence. Well deserved. 

This really was a dominating performance by Sydney and puts them well clear at the top of the table after six wins from six matches. It’s also Canberra’s first defeat of the season so the mood may be a little sombre on the bus trip back to Canberra.

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

Scorers: Hawkesby 16. Vine 64. Siemsen 72, 76.

CANBERRA UNITED: Richards, Foletta, Ilijoski, Nash, Keir, Fletcher, Hughes, Maher, Heyman, Flannery, Taylor-Young.  Substitutes: Jones (GK), Goldstein, Galic, Koulizakis, Satchell.

Referee: Georgia Ghiradello.

Attendance: 1,337.

Sydney FC660015118+14
Canberra United6321111011+ 1
Brisbane Roar624011410+ 7
Melbourne Victory6312131110+ 2
Adelaide United631210910+ 1
Newcastle Jets61149124– 3
Melbourne City71157174– 10
Western Sydney Wanderers61145154– 10
Perth Glory3012241– 2

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

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Artwork: Graphics by PW