Roar downed in decider

Brisbane Roar have fallen just short of successfully defending their Westfield W-League title, going down 3-2 to Sydney FC in the pulsating 2009 decider at Shark Park.

Brisbane Roar have fallen just short of successfully defending their Westfield W-League title, going down 3-2 to Sydney FC in the pulsating 2009 decider at Shark Park.

Last year's Player of the Grand Final Lana Harch opened the scoring for the visitors, but three goals in twelve second-half minutes were enough to seal the victory for the Sky Blues, despite a late penalty from Tameka Butt.

The Roar dominated the early proceedings, but Sydney were not to be outdone, arguably creating the first chance of the game.

After thirteen minutes of play, Sydney's Sarah Walsh found space on the left and put in a telling cross to her captain Heather Garriock, but the shot was the wrong side of the near post.

But the Roar domination continued, and they took the lead two minutes later, Harch latching onto a flick-on from former Sydney FC player Jo Burgess and unleashing a thunderous volley in to the back of the net, much to the delight of the small contingent of travelling Roar supporters.

Sydney started to push for the equaliser, with Walsh twice going close before the break, once with a glancing header that flew just wide of the post and another with a right-footed cross that moved in the wind, but the Roar headed into the half-time talks with the marginal advantage.

Karla Reuter, fresh from last week's match-winning goal, tried her luck again early in the second stanza, but despite her best efforts, the dipping ball went the other side of Nikola Deiter's post.

However, against the run of play, it was Sydney who found the back of the net when Linda O'Neill connected with a lay-off from Walsh and executed a clinical finish just inside the box to level the scores.

Seven minutes later, Walsh turned goalscorer and after the perfect through-ball from Player of the Match Kylie Ledbrook, took one touch and slided it past Roar custodian Casey Dumont.

The Roar's Lauren Colthorpe had a chance to reply almost instantly, her header in the six-yard-box bringing out a quick reaction from Dieter who flicked the ball onto the cross-bar and away to safety.

That proved to be the turning point for the Roar, with Sydney FC sealing the win with their third twelve minutes from time.

Danish international Julie Rydahl curved a left-footed strike into the top corner, crushing all hopes of back-to-back grand final victories for the Roar Women.

Brisbane were given a slim hope of a revival two minutes into injury time when Butt was awarded a penalty, but despite the composure of the 18-year-old to send Dieter the wrong way, it just a consolation goal as referee Kate Jacewicz blew the full time whistle just after the restart.

Sydney FC 3 (Linda O-NEILL 66-, Sarah WALSH 73-, Julie RYDAHL 78-) Brisbane Roar 2 (Lana HARCH 14-, Tameka BUTT 90-+2) Saturday, 19 December 2009 Shark Park, Woolooware Referee: Kate Jacewicz

Sydney FC line-up: 1. Nikola DEITER (gk), 2. Teigen ALLEN, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 7. Heather GARRIOCK (c), 8. Julie RYDAHL, 9. Sarah WALSH (18. Brittany WHITFIELD 89-), 10. Kylie LEDBROOK, 11. Cathrine PAASKE (12. Michelle CARNEY 90-), 15. Kyah SIMON, 16. Linda O-NEILL, 19. Leena KHAMIS (13. Catherine CANNULI 84-)

Substitutes not used: 20. Carla MONFORTE (gk)

Yellow cards: Heather GARRIOCK 49-, Cathrine PAASKE 64-

Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar line-up: 1. Casey DUMONT (gk) 2. Kate MCSHEA, 3. Karla REUTER 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 6. Joanne BURGESS, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 10.Lana HARCH (18. Courtney BEUTEL 72-) (12. Steph LATHAM 83-), 11. Aivi LUIK, 13. Tameka BUTT, 16. Lauren COLTHORPE, 19. Ellen BEAUMONT

Substitutes not used: 7. Pam BIGNOLD, 15. Leah CURTIS, 20. Kate STEWART (gk)

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil