Sydney rampant as Brisbane whimper

By Stephen Webb

W-League Season 2013-14
Week 9
Sydney United Sports Centre
19 January 2014, 3 pm

Sydney FC 4 (Emma Kete 18’, Leena Khamis 20’, Jodie Taylor 44’ 79’)
Brisbane Roar FC 0

Against a disappointing Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC today continued their impressive run to retaining the championship title.

Notable absences for Brisbane were Clare Polkinghorne, who didn’t return from injury as predicted, and recently-crowned FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, Nadine Angerer.

Even on plastic grass that suited Sydney’s short passing game, the home team took a while to settle and Brisbane were first to cross their opponent’s goal line, Elise Kellond-Knight on the edge of Sydney’s penalty area pushing the ball wide to the left of goal.

Then Nicola Bolger did something similar for Sydney — but from distance.

Brisbane also had the first shot on target, saved by Casey Dumont in the bottom right corner. Then Emily Gielnik shot low but it was easy for Dumont to collect.

Sydney passed around the back but couldn’t string passes together going forward. Alesha Clifford hit a through ball too long for Emma Kete. Then Teresa Polias put a good ball down the right for Kete, who won a corner after which the eventual shot went high.

After several chances around Brisbane’s goal box the ball was finally laid back for Bolger, who called a finger tip save from Kate Stewart, pushing the ball over the crossbar. From the corner Leena Khamis got up well but could not make contact.

Brisbane broke towards the half way line but Alesha Clifford intervened.

In the 18th minute a Sydney shot from the right was blocked but the clearance popped up, enabling Kete to put a curving header into the Brisbane goal.

Sydney kept working the ball around the back until finding room in the middle and then swarming into the Brisbane box. Khamis scored after another scramble in front of goal.

Dumont came out strongly to stop Tameka Butt on the edge of the Sydney penalty area and, just as Sydney were beginning to look more comfortable on the ball, that’s where they had to retreat en masse to block a flurry of Brisbane shots. A cross into the box by Butt was collected safely by Dumont.

In the 40th minute Jodie Taylor replaced Clifford and Caitlin Foord dropped into right back. Taylor’s speed made her an ideal target, particularly since Sydney were building more through the middle and playing low passes behind the defence as an alternative to the long bombs Kim Carroll often intercepted.

Stewart collected the ball at the feet of Taylor and a neat pass from Sam Kerr down the left to Amy Harrison saw Harrison cut in across the top of the box, where she was shut down by Brook Spence and Joanne Burgess.

Taylor, played into the left of the Brisbane penalty area, rounded the sprawling Stewart before taking her time to swing the ball around Laura Alleway and Burgess and inside the right post before Stewart could get back into position. Sydney went into the half time break with a three-nil advantage.

Taylor continued to terrorise Brisbane’s defence in the second half: cleverly lobbing the ball on for Kete on the right, whose cross fell just out of reach of Kerr; speeding onto a ball to the right of Brisbane’s goal box, but offside; then lobbing Stewart  … but Spence was able to clear.

Foord was having a relatively quiet game but still found a few opportunities to muscle forward.

Gielnik got away down Brisbane’s right and crossed in time to evade Polias’ sliding tackle. Butt got a touch but it was too slight and the ball continued on past the left post.

Brisbane had some action in the direction of Sydney’s goal then, on a cross from the right, Sydney won a corner, taken by Polias and held by Stewart. A Brisbane free kick outside Sydney’s penalty area went straight down the throat of Dumont. Rollason cleared a cross … not far from her own goal — certainly closer than Gorry’s long shot wide to the right.

Taylor was played through again and, perhaps surprised she was not offside, held up and lost the opportunity for a clear run at goal. Taylor than successfully took on three defenders but was too slow releasing Kete.

Nicola Bolger was withdrawn for Chloe Logarzo — another substitution that seriously troubled Brisbane. Logarzo won the ball immediately, charging along the half way line as she entered the pitch, and then chased into Brisbane’s box, clashing with Stewart as a return ball came in from Taylor.

Taylor finally knowingly beat the offside trap and, too quick for Carroll, cut left and placed the ball back across the diving Stewart. Four-nil.

Foord had a long run down the right and cut into the middle to the top of the box and set up Logarzo, whose low shot was saved well by Stewart. Then a fierce long shot from Logarzo was punched over by Stewart.

Sydney kept up the pressure to the end — a few muffed clearances by Foord and some desperate tackles excepted.

Match stats:

Sydney FC:
1. Casey Dumont (gk), 2. Teresa Polias, 4. Alesha Clifford (14. Jodie Taylor 34’, 3. Danielle Brogan 85’), 5. Liz Ralston, 7. Nicola Bolger (12. Chloe Logarzo 77’), 8. Amy Harrison, 9. Caitlin Foord, 10. Renee Rollason, 18. Emma Kete, 19. Leena Khamis, 20. Sam Kerr
Sub not used: Sham Khamis (gk)
Yellow cards: Alesha Clifford 28’, Amy Harrison 71’

Brisbane Roar FC:
20. Kate Stewart (gk), 2. Laura Alleway, 5. Brooke Spence, 6. Joanne Burgess (19. Ayesha Norrie 74’), 7. Kim Carroll, 8. Elise Kellond-Knight, 10. Katrina Gorry, 11. Vedrana Popovic, 13. Tameka Butt, 17. Emily Gielnik (18. Sunny Franco 66’), 16. Hayley Raso (9. Larissa Crummer 51’)
Sub not used: 1. Nadine Angerer (gk)
Yellow cards: Katrina Gorry 54’

Referee: Kate Jacewicz
Assistants: Sarah Ho, Michelle Allen, Liz Shorter

Pitch: 9/10

Game:  7/10

Best players …

This was a thoroughly good team performance by Sydney. Fancy being able to call on Taylor and Logarzo off the bench! But Polias stands out. Such an intelligent player. Intercepting, spoiling but tackling hard when she has to. Always available to accept responsibility for release under pressure or to commence an attack.

By Stephen Webb

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