Sydney FC wins W-League

A second half resurgence has seen Sydney FC come from a goal down to win their first W-League Grand Final beating last years inaugural champions Brisbane Roar 3-2.

A second half resurgence has seen Sydney FC come from a goal down to win their first W-League Grand Final beating last years inaugural champions Brisbane Roar 3-2.

“It was a fantastic second half performance, a typical Sydney performance, we started off slow to get into the game” said Sydney-s coach Alen Stajcic after the game. “It took us 15- 20 minutes to really warm up into the game but once the game settled down a little bit, the play starts to level out and we play the football (that we want) and gradually get on top.”

The Sky Blues win means that Sydney FC has created a football milestone by becoming the first club to win all three national football championships after the men won the inaugural A-League grand final in 2006, the Youth team won in 2008 and now the W-League in 2009.

“It-s Brilliant (for the club)” said Stajcic on Sydney-s record. “I just just got a text from Vitezslav Lavicka wishing us the best . They (the men-s team) were down in Melbourne watching it as a group so that is really pleasing that the club is so connected.”

The win did not come easily for Sydney after they went behind early in the match with Brisbane-s Lana Harch scoring in the 15th minute after a controlled header by Joanne Burgess left Harch with plenty of room to score.

Sydney almost hit back one minute later when Leena Khamis-s shot went narrowly over the crossbar and they were unlucky again in the 21st minute after a Sarah Walsh shot, from what seemed an impossible position in right hand corner of the pitch, dropped hitting the goal frame and going over.

A corner in the 31st minute from captain Heather Garriock was almost headed into the goal by the Brisbane defense but fortunately for the Roar it traveled straight into the safe hands of keeper Casey Dumont.

The first half drew to a close with Sydney unlucky to be a goal behind with the Sky Blues creating more scoring shots to lead the Roar seven to four on attempts.

In front of a vocal home crowd of 1 439 the second half again started in Sydney-s defensive end after a free kick was hit wide of the goals in the second minute by the Roar-s Karla Reuter

But it was not long until the Sky Blues started to pressure the Roar-s defense with a free kick on the edge of the box in the 49th minute saw Kylie Ledbrook-s shot seemingly destined for the top right corner of the goal until the long arm of Casey Dumont reached out and collected the ball.

Sydney-s scoring luck finally changed in the 66th minute when Brisbane failed to clear the ball out of the danger zone giving Sarah Walsh the chance to pass to Linda O-Neill. O-Neill did not disappoint and powerfully put the ball in the back of the net and leveled the game.

The crowd thought Sydney had taken the lead two minutes later when Heather Garriock-s shot found its way past the keeper. The home fans were ecstatic until they realised that the goal was ruled offside but they did not have to wait long to celebrate for the next goal as Sarah Wash slotted in a long field pass to take the lead and control of the game in the 73rd.

Brisbane must had felt like luck had deserted them completely when a corner kick hit Nikola Deiter-s shoulder and then the top bar on its way towards the goal line before Kylie Ledbrook headed the ball out of danger.

When Sydney-s third went in on the 78th minute after a Julie Rydahl shot from outside the box found the back of the net, the games seemed out of reach for Brisbane.

A late penalty conversion by Tameka Butt in the 92nd minute came too late as the final whistle came within seconds of the restart and the Roar had run out of time.

Despite being down at half time Alen Stajcic felt confident that his team could win. “I knew it was a 50-50 game at half time and even before the game. At 1-1 or 2-1, any game with quality players like (we had) you know that anything is possible.”

“It was a great performance and true Sydney type win, getting better as the game went on.”

Match Detail

Sydney FC 3 (16. Linda O’NEILL 66′, 9. Sarah WALSH 73′, 8. Julie RYDHAL 78′)
Brisbane Roar FC 2 (10. Lena HARCH 15′, 13. Tameka BUTT 93′ Penalty)

Sydney FC Line-up:: Nikola DEITER (gk), 2. Teigan ALLEN, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 7. Heather GARRIOCK (c), 8. Julie RYDAHL, 9. Sarah WALSH (18. Brittany WHITFIELD 89-), 10. Kylie LEDBROOK, 11. Cathrine PAASKE (12 Michelle CARNEY 91-), 15. Kyah SIMON, 16. Linda O’NEILL, 19. Leena KHAMIS (13. Catherine CANNULI 84-).

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Carla MONFORTE (gk).

Yellow Cards: 7. Heather GARRIOCK 48-, 11. Cathrine PAASKE 64-.
Red Cards: Nil.
Goals:16. Linda O’NEILL 66′, 9. Sarah WALSH 73′, 8. Julie RYDHAL 78′

Brisbane Roar FC Line-up:: 1. Casey DUMONT, 2. Kate MCSHEA, 3. Karla REUTER, 4. Carle POLKINGHORNE, 6. Joanne BURGESS, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 10. Lana HARCH (18. Courtney BEUTEL 72- – 12. Steph LATHAM 83-), 11. Aivi LUIK, 13. Tameka BUTT, 16 Lauren COLTHORPE, 19. Ellen BEAUMONT.

Substitutes Not Used: 7. Pam BIGNOLD, 15. Leah CURTIS, 20. Kate STEWART (gk).

Yellow Cards: Nil.
Red Cards: Nil.
Goals: 10. Lena HARCH 15′, 13. Tameka BUTT 93′ Penalty.

Referee: Kate JACEWICZ.
Attendance: 1 439 at Shark Park Cronulla.