Missed chances cost Sydney in clash with Coast

Sydney FC has made a slow start to its 2009 Westfield W-League campaign, failing to take its chances and falling to a 3-1 defeat in its opening round clash with the Central Coast Mariners on Monday.


Sydney FC has made a slow start to its 2009 Westfield W-League campaign, failing to take its chances and falling to a 3-1 defeat in its opening round clash with the Central Coast Mariners on Monday.

The Sky Blue women dominated possession and attempts on goal but were sunk by from former Sydney striker, Michelle Heyman, whose double led the Central Coast to victory in a wet encounter at the Sydney Football Stadium.

“We probably created 15 or 20 chances to score some goals today and converted one out of 20,” said Sydney coach Alen Stajcic after the match. “It doesn-t matter how well you play, it doesn-t matter how poorly you play, if you don-t finish your chances you can-t win any football matches so I-m very disappointed, not happy at all.”

The Mariners took the upper hand early in the match after a floating cross from the right was helped on by Michelle Heyman in the 13th minute. Her header looped over Sydney keeper, Nikola Deiter-s outstretched arms to give the visitors the early lead.

Sydney fought back later in the half, creating a number of great chances to equalise. One of their best was in the 23rd minute, when last year-s Westfield W-League Golden Boot winner Leena Khamis found herself behind the Central Coast defence. Running in from the right, her pass eventually found Kyah Simon, who unfortunately slipped as she took a shot, sending it wide.

The hosts had another golden chance five minutes later when Sarah Walsh broke away down the right hand side. Her swinging cross was brilliantly headed by Khamis but an equally great save by Central Coast custodian, Jillian Loyden denied Sydney the equaliser.

A minute later, the home side almost went two down after a rare mistake by skipper Heather Garriock allowed Jenna Kinsley to get in behind. Fortunately for Sydney, Kinsley-s close-range shot from a tight angle ricocheted off the near upright.

A host of chances fell to the Sky Blue women late in the half. In the 40th minute, Walsh found space again down the right but her powerful, low cross couldn-t be tamed by Khamis, who rocketed the ball over the goal. Just before the break, a short corner found Julie Rydahl right in front of goal. She managed to control the cross, but couldn-t control her volley and it also sailed over the cross bar.

Sydney came back from the break with renewed vigour and found its equaliser two minutes after returning to the pitch. In a swift counter-attacking move, Khamis deftly touched the ball through to send Walsh clear. She fired the ball past Loyden to bring her team back on level terms.

The home side continued to gather momentum after goal, dominating possession and goal attempts in an effort to find the winner. But it was the Central Coast who claimed the advantage, when Heyman scored with a skilful solo effort against the run of play. The striker beat two defenders to set up a one-on-one with Deiter. She easily slotted the ball past the Sydney keeper to put the Mariners back in the lead.

Forced to chase the game again, Sydney surged forward. Its best chance came when substitute Catherine Cannulli beat her defender with her first touch, putting herself in the clear with only Loyden to beat, but her mistimed shot when straight into the arms of the Central Coast keeper.

In a desperate bid to take at least a point away from the match, the home side rushed forward but this left them vulnerable to counter-attack and Central Coast made them pay. Heyman was involved again and took full advantage of the space in Sydney-s backline - she put a clever ball through to Golebiowski who managed to beat Deiter and pass the ball home to remove any doubt about the Mariners- victory.

Next up for Sydney FC is a meeting with last-season-s beaten Grand Finalist, Canberra United on Saturday, October 10 at McKellar Park in the ACT.

Match Detail

Sydney FC 1 (Sarah WALSH 47-) Central Coast Mariners 3 (Michelle HEYMAN 13-/64-, Kelly GOLEBIOWSKI 90-)

Sydney FC: 1. Nikola DEITER (gk), 2. Teigan ALLEN, 3. Danielle BROGAN, 5. Lisa GILBERT (14. Nicola BOLGER70-), 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 7. Heather GARRIOCK (c), 8. Julie RYDAHL, 9. Sarah WALSH, 11. Cathrine PAASKE, 15. Kyah SIMON (13. Catherine CANNULI 81-), 19. Leena KHAMIS (10. Kylie LEDBROOK 65-).

Substitutes not used: 20. Carla MONFORTE (gk).

Yellow Cards: nil. Red Cards: nil. Goals: 9. Sarah WALSH 47-.

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Jillian LOYDEN (gk), 2. Caitlin COOPER (c), 4. Rachael DOYLE, 7. Teresa POLIAS (13. Trudy CAMILLERI 82-), 8. Kelly GOLEBIOWSKI, 9. Renee ROLLASON, 10. Kendall FLETCHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Samantha SPACKMAN, 16. Jenna KINGSLEY (5. Jessica SEAMAN 68-), 19. Lydia VANDENBERGH (3. Lyndsay GLOHE 72-).

Substitutes not used: 20. Rachel COOPER (gk).

Yellow Cards: 10. Kendall FLETCHER 45-. Red Cards: nil. Goals: 11. Michelle HEYMAN 13-/64-, 8. Kelly Golebiowski 90-.

Referee: Peta McCallum (at the Sydney Football Stadium).