Westfield W-League - 2011/2012 - Season 4 - Semi Final

Drama-packed semi-final
gives Roar a chance for third W-League title
By Andrew Demack

2011/2012 W-League - Semi Final
3:00pm - Sunday 22 January, 2011 - Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre

Brisbane Roar FC 1
(Emily Gielnik 90'+4) AET
Sydney FC 1
(Renee Rollason 19’) AET

On penalties - Brisbane Roar (Kim Carroll, Tameka Butt, Brooke Spence, Aivi Luik) 4 beat Sydney FC (Thea Slatyer, Danielle Brogan, Teigan Allen) 3

Brisbane Roar has made it through to the W-League grand final against Canberra, keeping intact their perfect record of attendance at the last game of the season.

For all four seasons of the Westfield W-League, Brisbane Roar has contested the grand final. At present they have two titles.

The Roar beat perennial rivals Sydney FC in an extraordinary game that offered the 1648 spectators present unbeatable value for money. The match went to extra time and subsequently a penalty shoot-out, Brisbane keeper Casey Dumont again proving herself the queen of the big occasion.

But all that was yet to come, when the game started at 2pm on a warm Brisbane summer afternoon.

Sydney’s 4-3-3 had the mobile and dangerous trio of Leena Khamis, Kyah Simon and Caitlin Foorde up front.

By contrast Brisbane’s strength, was in midfield, with Aivi Luik and Tameka Butt. One supplying the clever passes, the other with the indomitable drive and will to win.

Sydney was the better team for most of the first half. Roar’s central striker Catherine Cannuli was easily bottled up by Sydney skipper Danielle Brogan, and wide players Lana Harch and Jo Burgess were getting hemmed into the touchline.

Servet Uzunlar at right back for Sydney was especially dominant, not only stopping the Roar attacks, but providing supply for Foorde, Simon and Ledbrook ahead of her. Uzunlar was also the dead-ball specialist for Sydney, and her delivery from free kicks played a crucial role in the game.

It was a Uzunlar rocket that Renee Rollason got her head on, in the 19th minute to give Sydney a deserved lead.

Brisbane held possession well, but were finding it very difficult to make chances further up the field. Occasional raids forward from fullbacks Brooke Spence or Clare Polkinghorne looked the most positive moves the home side could make. Cannuli was caught in possession time and again, and there were early calls for the introduction of Emily Gielnik to the Roar attack.

Sydney took a well-deserved lead to the break.

Roar coach Jeff Hopkins did indeed introduce Gielnik for the second half, but at the expense of Lana Harch, shifting Cannuli out to the left flank and bringing Burgess over the right.

In some ways this helped Brisbane, as Burgess began to get on top of her direct opponent, Estelle Johnson. But Uzunlar was dominating Cannuli, and the Roar attack down the left was absolutely ineffective.

The battle in the middle of the park did not let up for the entire game. Aivi Luik and Vedrana Popovic up against Kylie Ledbrook and tiny Teresa Polios. These four ran each other into the ground, as the heat and the pace of the game left its mark on all players.

But still Sydney held sway, and still made the better chances. Only the safe hands and bravery of Casey Dumont kept the home team in the contest, as she saved late on twice from substitute Sarah Walsh.

The game looked to be Sydney’s.

The fourth official held up the board: 5 minutes of added time.

The crowd buzzed. Just like the A-League game last week!

And just like last week, Brisbane grabbed a late goal. Through a crowded penalty area, it was supersub Emily Gielnik who poked home the equalising goal. In the 94th minute.

There were wild scenes after the goal. The Sydney bench, especially the already subbed Leena Khamis and coach Alen Stajcic, let the fourth official know their negative opinion of her time-keeping.

Play recommenced, and Sydney’s Kyah Simon promptly hacked down Vedrana Popovic, right in front of the Brisbane bench. Simon had already received a yellow card for playing on after an offside call.

Referee Casey Reibelt reached into the top pocket for the yellow card, and then went for the back pocket to haul out the red.

In the near melee that followed, Alen Stajcic was also sent from the field of play. At the time he was leaning over the prone figure of Popovic, shouting accusingly. Referee Reibelt found that this was not the appropriate behaviour for a coach.

And so Stajcic departed reluctantly for the tunnel, but not before giving Khamis some instructions for his players. He also reappeared on the bench during the extra time period, which doesn’t seem to match up with having been sent from the field.

The extra time period was characterised by 22 extremely tired players, all playing on the edge of exhaustion and summoning up reserves of courage, character and energy to contest the game. Sydney were still the better team, and in the first couple of minutes Caitlin Foorde missed the goal from five metres out when it seemed that she was certain to score.

Sydney had the better chances, but every time Casey Dumont was there, and didn’t just palm away the shots. She held them.

So it was to be a penalty shoot-out again. And although Dumont had been by far the busier keeper all game, and Allison Lipsher would have been by far the fresher, Brisbane fans were confident in their team’s approach to the pressure situation.

Sydney went first in the shoot-out. And it was a goal each for the first two, Slatyer and Carroll. But then Estelle Johnson skied her shot over the bar, and Tameka Butt, cool as ever, slotted hers to give Brisbane the edge.

One more successful penalty for each side (Brogan and Spence), and then Dumont saved from Teresa Polios, getting two hands on a shot to her left side.

Olga Cebrian Garcia had the chance to win it for Brisbane. She narrowly missed, and Sydney’s Teigan Allen slotted hers to make it 3-3.

But Brisbane had the last penalty of the match, and it was in the capable hands of Aivi Luik. Lipsher had no chance, and Brisbane were the winners. Cue scenes of celebration for Brisbane Roar players, coaching staff and their fans, that carried on a long time after the final whistle.

All of that for a $5 entry fee! A fabulous afternoon of football.

2011/2012 W-League - Semi Final
3:00pm - Sunday 22 January, 2011 - Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre

Brisbane Roar FC 1
(Emily Gielnik 90'+4) AET
Sydney FC 1
(Renee Rollason 19’) AET

On penalties - Brisbane Roar (Kim Carroll, Tameka Butt, Brooke Spence, Aivi Luik) 4 beat Sydney FC (Thea Slatyer, Danielle Brogan, Teigan Allen) 3

    Crowd: 1,648


    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing: 1. Casey DUMONT (gk), 2. Laura ALLEWAY, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Joanne BURGESS, 7. Kim CARROLL, 9. Catherine CANULLI (18. Olga CEBRIAN GARCIA +80’), 10. Lana HARCH (17. Emily GIELNIK +46’), 11. Aivi LUIK, 13. Tameka BUTT, 14. Vedrana POPOVIC

    Substitutes not used: 20. Hoshimi KISHI (rgk), 19. Ellen BEAUMONT, 21. Rebecca PRICE

    Coach: Jeff Hopkins

    Yellow Cards: Vedrana POPOVIC 35’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Sydney FC :
    Player listing: 1. Allison LIPSHER (gk), 2. Teresa POLIAS, 3. Danielle BROGAN (c), 4. Renee ROLLASON (12. Teigan ALLEN +83’), 6. Estelle JOHNSON, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 8. Caitlin FOORD, 10. Kylie LEDBROOK (13. Brittany WHITFIELD +93’), 15. Thea SLATYER, 17. Kyah SIMON, 19. Leena KHAMIS (9. Sarah WALSH +71’)

    Substitutes not used: 16. Alisha BASS, 40. Trudy BURKE (rgk)

    Coach: John Stajcic

    Yellow Cards: Servet Uzunlar 40’, Renee Rollason 61’, Kyah Simon 69’, 96’, Leena Khamis 69’, Teigan Allen 112'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Casey Reibelt tba/10
    Assistants: Christie Robb, Renae Coghill; 4th official: Rebecca Durcau

    BOTN players to watch:
    Servet Uzunlar (Sydney) Casey Dumont (Brisbane) Aivi Luik (Brisbane)

    Pitch rating: tba/10

    Game rating: 9/10

    Match report, and ratings: Andrew Demack

Photo Gallery:


Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. Any photos used here, unless attributed, are as supplied by FFA and used by permission.

Crafted lovingly by hand
By fans, for fans
© Magic Llama 2000 - 2012