Victory dent Roar’s momentum as Finals Series contenders stay deadlocked

Brisbane Roar’s winning run was brought to a halt by Melbourne Victory as the Finals Series contenders remained locked at 0-0 in a rescheduled Saturday morning kick-off.

Jake Goodship’s outfit had won their last two Westfield W-League matches, scoring five goals in the process, and Roar had the better of the opening stanza, with Rylee Baisden and Tameka Yallop causing the Premiers’ no end of problems.

Victory went into the clash with a psychological edge over Roar, having beaten them 3-2 in Redcliffe back in Round 2, and a relentless performance by Jeff Hopkins’ compact defence kept the the Queenslanders at bay through the second half.

Former Brisbane keeper Casey Dumont produced another outstanding display, making a superb double save from Baisden and substitute Hollie Palmer as Roar piled forward, to no avail, in the closing stages.

With temperatures in Victoria scheduled to rise to 43 degrees later in the day, the match at Epping Stadium – originally schedule for Friday, 20 December – was played at 10.30am AEDT on Saturday, still at around 32 degrees in hot, blustery conditions.

The stalemate does neither team any huge favours in the Westfield W-League table, with both clubs sitting outside of the top four in the race for a place in the Finals Series.

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Victory mounted a flurry of early offence but Roar took control of the contest after a quarter of an hour when Baisden’s angled strike was parried by Dumont, and Katrina Gorry lifted the follow-up over the bar from Yallop’s cut-back.

The home side offered a response four minutes later when Darian Jenkins’ electric run cut through the Queenslanders’ defence but her 18-yard shot, under pressure from Clare Polkinghorne, was held by goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold.

Yallop broke free after a swift move between Arnold, Carson Pickett and Baisden saw Roar go from back to front in 15 seconds but Roar’s all-time top goalscorer was denied as Dumont rushed out of her goal to smother the ball on 27 minutes.

The visitors continued to make the most of their possession as the half wore on, with Yallop firing over from Baisden’s lifted pass on the half hour, before Raso’s flick found the American attacker in space five minutes later but her stinging effort was finger-tipped over by Dumont.


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Teigen Allen was forced off with an injury before the interval but Victory remained unfazed, battling their way back into the game after half-time with captain Natasha Dowie threatening. Baisden gave the home side a reminder of Roar’s danger with a well-hit volley straight at Dumont on the hour mark.

Annalie Longo took aim from distance, her attempt flew well over, while at the opposite end Gorry lashed at a 25-yard effort, which skewed wide, as the clash turned into a scrappy midfield battle with the match entering the closing stages.

Dumont came to Victory’s rescue with a stunning double-save as Brisbane upped the tempo. She first blocked Baisden’s effort from 12-yards before throwing herself in front of Palmer’s strike while stranded way off her own goal-line on 75 minutes.

Raso lifted a shot over, Pickett slammed a strike narrowly wide and Natalie Tathem  watched her half-volley drop over the bar as Roar poured forward, but the Premiers held firm for a share of the points, leaving both sides chasing Canberra United in fourth place on the Westfield W-League ladder.

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Round 7

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Brisbane Roar v Newcastle Jets
Date: Sunday, 29 December
Venue: Lions FC Stadium
Kick-off: 4pm local, 5pm AEDT
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