Roar kick-start season with edgy win in Canberra

Brisbane Roar clinched their first points of the Westfield W-League campaign with a nervy 2-1 win against Canberra United.

Goals from Westfield Matildas, Tameka Yallop and Hayley Raso, sealed head coach Jake Goodship’s maiden victory in charge, after the 2018/19 Westfield W-League runners-up and semi finalists came up short in their opening two games of the season.

The Queenslanders made their superior possession count at McKellar Park and Yallop fired the visitors ahead on 17 minutes when her strike bounced back out off the bar, but the ball had already crossed the goal-line.

Former Canberra star Raso’s header on 41 minutes put the visitors in a commanding position at half-time, but Norway international striker Elise Thorsnes gave Roar a scare when her 66th-minute strike kept Brisbane on edge until the closing moments.

Goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, who earlier claimed an assist for Raso’s goal, came to Brisbane’s rescue with a sensational full-length save in the 87th minute from substitute Leema Khamis’ header to leave Canberra empty-handed.

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Key moments

The Green Machine were seeking to build on their first away win for 741 days last week but Garriock’s side were up against it on 17 minutes when Raso found Yallop with a crisp pass. 

The club’s all-time top goalscorer crashed a shot off the under-side of the crossbar and marginally over the goal-line, to record her second goal of the season, as Indiah-Paige Riley followed up and put the ball into the net to make sure.

Brisbane were controlling possession and looking the more dangerous side. Rylee Baisden’s drilled shot forced home goalkeeper Sham Khamis to parry the ball over on 23 minutes, and Raso’s close-range header, from Carson Pickett’s superb delivery, flew off target.

Canberra missed a golden chance to level when Thorsnes failed to connect cleanly with Camilla’s dangerous cross, and Roar made the hosts pay when Raso raced onto goalkeeper Arnold’s launched kick and beat the onrushing Khamis to the ball, nodding it into an empty net on 41 minutes.

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The visitors defence opened up as the interval approached, with Simone Charley firing over and Karly Roestbakken fluffing her lines from 18 yards on the stroke of half-time, but Roar picked up the pace once after the break as Baisden’s 57th-minute effort cannoned back off the woodwork from a tight angle.

Although Roar were cutting Canberra open, the home side never stopped fighting to get back into the game and Garricok’s side threatened when Thorsnes slammed a 12-yard shot wide from Nikola Orgill’s rampaging run and cross. Moments later, Thorsnes made amends by robbing Clare Polkinghorne on the edge of her own area and rifling the ball past Arnold to half the deficit.

Sham Khamis made an excellent save from Pickett’s long-range effort on 76 minutes as Roar searched for a third, but Canberra continued to force the issue. Substitute Leena Khamis’ late header looked set to square the game up but Arnold scrambled across her goal to fingertip the ball around the post, as the Roar clung on to their first points under Goodship’s stewardship.

Canberra travel west to face Perth Glory in Round 5 on Friday, 13 December. The match at Dorrien Gardens kicks off at 6.15pm local, 9.15pm AEDT. Get your tickets here.
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Brisbane Roar entertain Adelaide United in Round 5 at Lions FC Stadium. That match on Saturday, 14 December kicks off at 4.30pm local, 5.30pm AEDT. Get your tickets here.
Find out more at the Match Centre here

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