Roar seal home Semi Final with 3-0 win over Jets

Brisbane Roar moved into top spot on the Westfield W-League table with a 3-0 win over Newcastle Jets at Lions FC Stadium on Sunday night.  

The Roar secured a home Semi Final in their final game of the regular season, jumping both Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory to go clear of the Sky Blues on goal difference alone.

Kaitlyn Torpey gave the hosts the lead in the 41st minute with a close-range finish to Emily Gielnik’s headed attempt pushed by Claire Coelho into Torpey’s path in the goal mouth. Brisbane doubled the advantage early in the second half when Gielnik headed home a Mariel Hecher corner to score her 13th of the campaign, going three goals clear at the top of the Golden Boot charts.

Hecher rattled the crossbar with a well-hit shot as she looked to get in on the action before scoring her side’s third with less than 10 minutes on the clock, helping Clare Polkinghorne’s header past Coelho from another Roar corner routine.

The Roar now occupy top spot on the table with just one game left to play in the regular season – Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory on Wednesday, March 31.

Brisbane will concede top spot to one of the two sides, with Sydney needing a draw or win and Victory needing three points to clinch the Premiers Plate. But the Roar will settle for securing a place in the top two and a home Semi Final nonetheless.

Key Moments

Newcastle were impressive early doors at Lions FC Stadium. Tara Andrews called Georgina Worth into a save in the first minute of play before Lauren Allan headed a cross from Rhianna Pollicina off the crossbar to remind the hosts of their intentions.

But after a shaky start the hosts gained composure, growing into the game to create a series of dangerous opportunities to score.

Emily Gielnik looked to build on her 12 goals for the the season in her final game in Orange. The Westfield Matildas forward saw her header pushed around the post by Claire Coelho, before the in-form Jets ‘keeper pushed Gielnik’s right-footed shot over the bar just minutes later.

Mariel Hecher got involved in Brisbane’s forward play in the first half, setting Tameka Yallop free inside the box with an inventive reverse-pass, but the resulting shot flashed wide of the mark.

Yallop failed to make an impact with the shot but played a ball to the back post one minute later which proved far more effective.

Gielnik got on the end of Yallop’s aerial ball and headed on goal, calling Coelho into yet another excellent save. But the ball fell into the path of Kaitlyn Torpey to finish virtually on the goal line.

Brisbane emerged from the break looking to wrap up all three points and book a home Semi Final. Within two minutes of play resuming the Roar had a vital second goal, scored through Gielnik’s header from a Hecher corner which put the hosts in a strong position to take all three points.

Gielnik netted her 13th goal for the season to increase her lead as the Westfield W-League’s top scorer for 2020/21. The corner evaded Kim Carroll’s head at the front post which allowed Gielnik to get on the end of it herself, heading across Coelho to find the target.

Hecher was unlucky not to get in on the act herself with a shot from distance which rattled the crossbar.

The attempt took Coelho by surprise but just failed to drop in time to find the back of the net. The Brazilian was desperate to put her name on the scoresheet and would finally get reward for effort in the 81st minute, finding the target from close range after yet another corner routine.

This time it was Polkinghorne getting on the end of the corner from substitute Leticia McKenna, heading toward goal with Hecher stood in wait for an opportunistic finish.