Sydney FC fought for a hard earned victory over Brisbane Roar on Friday night, in the Westfield W-League’s state of origin clash at Lambert Park, Leichhardt.
A long goal to Princess Ibini in the second half secured the three points for the Sky Blues and ensured Dan Barrett’s side remain in the top four at the conclusion of Round 8.
A fast paced opening 10 minutes gave way to a cagey affair in the first half, with both sides struggling to break down the opposition’s defence.
Leena Khamis almost opened the scoring just beyond the half hour but she couldn’t steer her effort in at the near post, before Emily Gielnik was thwarted by a stubborn Sky Blues back line and an inspired Sham Khamis minutes later.
Georgia Yeoman-Dale saw a header cleared off the line with time ticking away as the sides went in level at the break.
Princess Ibini broke the deadlock 10 minutes after the re-start, cooly finishing from close range after Georgia Yeoman-Dale’s cutback was only palmed out by Mackenzie Arnold in goal.
Sydney FC continue the brighter from the resultant kick offf, and new signing Francisca Ordega was introduced into the mix with half an hour remaining to shake up the Brisbane defence.
A well worked set piece routine for the Roar fell to Gorry who blasted over, before Sham Khamis was forced low to save a close range effort from the Westfield Matilda.
A series of substitutions broke up the play as Amy Chapman saw a glorious chance to restore parity go begging as she headed wide at the far post when well placed, with seven minutes remaining.
Five minutes of stoppage time was awarded after a heavy collision between Sham Khamis and Katrina Gorry saw the Sky Blues keeper remain down for treatment, however the home side dug deep and held out to seal a valuable win in the opening match of Round 8.
Brisbane Roar have the BYE next round while the Sky Blues contest the #SydneyDerby at Popondetta Park on Friday 30 December (kick off 7pm).