Sydney FC’s first ever Westfield W-League campaign has come to a close, but not without a fight, with the Sky Blue women bowing out of the competition following a penalty shoot-out defeat against the Queensland Roar in Sunday afternoon’s Semi-Final at Brisbane’s Ballymore Stadium.
Sydney FC-s first ever Westfield W-League campaign has come to a close, but not without a fight, with the Sky Blue women bowing out of the competition following a penalty shoot-out defeat against the Queensland Roar in Sunday afternoon-s Semi-Final at Brisbane-s Ballymore Stadium.
Coach, Alen Stajcic-s side was comprehensively beaten by the title favourites the last time the teams met in the Sunshine State, but Sydney was made of much sterner stuff this time around and can consider itself unlucky not to be lining up in the final.
After falling behind in the first half it was backs-to-the-wall stuff from Sydney, and its determination was rewarded when super-sub Linda O-Neill launched a stunning long-range strike to level the ledger in the 71st minute.
Not long after the Roar were awarded a spot penalty for a hand-ball in the box, but Nikola Dieter proved the hero, denying the hosts the lead with a stunning save in Sydney-s goal.
While the deficit was avoided, the visiting side was dealt a blow immediately after the penalty was taken, with Danielle Small shown a straight red card and sent for an early shower. But Sydney held on through the closing stages of the second half and into extra time, and at times looked the dominant side, despite battling on with only ten players.
A missed opportunity early in the ensuing penalty shootout had the Sky Blues on the back foot but Queensland returned the favour with what would have been the last kick of the game to keep the contest alive.
Relief was short-lived for Sydney, however as another miss gave the hosts a chance to seal a hard-fought victory and there was no denying them second-time around – The Roar progressing to the season decider with a 5-4 win on penalties after the contest had earlier finished in a 1-all draw.
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Queensland Roar 1  (Tameka Butt 29-)
Sydney FC 1  (Linda O-Neill 71-)
Queensland Roar: 1.Casey DUMONT (gk), 2.Kate McSHEA (c), 3.Karla REUTER, 4.Clare POLKINGHORNE, 5.Brooke SPENCE (15.Stephanie LATHAM 106-), 8.Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 9.Alicia FERGUSON (19.Ellen BEAUMONT 47-), 10.Lana HARCH, 13.Tameka BUTT, 16.Lauren COLTHORPE, 18.Courtney BEUTEL.
Substitutes not used: 11.Ruth BLACKBURN, 14.Vedrana POPOVIC, 20.Lara BOON (gk).
Yellow Cards: Tameka Butt 107-.
Red Cards: nil.
Goals: Tameka Butt 29-.
Sydney FC: 20.Nikola DIETER (gk), 3.Danielle BROGAN, 4.Alesha CLIFFORD, 5.Lisa GILBER (c), 6.Servet UZUNLAR (16.Linda O-NEILL 70-), 8.Jo BURGESS (18.Nicola BOLGER 65-), 10.Kylie LEDBROOK, 15.Jessica SEAMAN, 17.Danielle SMALL, 19.Leena KHAMIS, 22.Kelly GOLEBIOWSKI (9.Sarah WALSH 55-).
Substitutes not used: 1.Rachel COOPER (gk), 2.Samantha SPACKMAN.
Yellow Cards: Kelly Golebiowski 29-, Danielle Brogan 75-, Leena Khamis 117-.
Red Cards: Danielle Small 78-.
Goals: Linda O-Neill 71-.
Referee: Jacqui Melksham.
Crowd: 1,891 at Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane.