Brisbane Roar has extended their lead at the top of the Westfield W-League in an entertaining and hard-fought clash against Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.
The Roar Women were forced to come from behind after the Victory took the lead into half-time, but displayed incredible character to fight back and earn a late win.
Brisbane was rewarded for their efforts as Clare Polkinghorne, in her 100th game as Captain, equalised in the 56th minute, rising high and finding the back of the net with a glancing header.
Mel Andreatta's side dominated attacking opportunities throughout the match and pushed hard for a late winner which came in the 80th minute through Celeste Boureille.
The American midfielder combined with fellow countrywoman Carson Pickett to net her first goal in Brisbane orange.
Head Coach Mel Andretta was pleased with her side's ability to regather themselves at the break and run over the top of the Victory.
“Once we came in at half-time, the real focus was on being able to regroup and trust in what we are doing and to improve, whilst still getting the result,” Andreatta said.
“Our leaders were fearless in the second half. I thought we trusted our way of playing and once we got in the right position we converted our chances and finished strongly.”
The win sees the Roar extend their lead at the top of the ladder with second-placed Newcastle now four points adrift.
Brisbane now have a deserved week off with the bye before heading south to face Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Sunday, 21 January (3:30pm KO QLD time).
STORY OF THE GAME
- A sublime strike from Melina Ayres handed the Victory the lead in the first-half, despite the Roar dominating both chances and possession.
- Brisbane took that dominance into the second half, regularly threatening in attack and making Victory keeper Casey Dumont work.
- Emily Gielnik was a constant threat throughout the 90 minutes, providing the assist for Clare Polkinghorne's equaliser.
- The Roar Women now sit more than a game clear at the top of the ladder with four rounds to play in Westfield W-League season 10.
- Brisbane's ever-present Captain, Clare Polkinghorne, celebrated her 100th game as skipper with a goal and three points.
Melbourne Victory – Ayres 22’ – 0-1
Melina Ayres opens the scoring, linking up with Natasha Dowie before firing past Mackenzie Arnold into the top-right corner.
Brisbane Roar – Polkinghorne 56' – 1-1
Emily Gielnik finds captain Clare Polkinghorne with a corner who rises high and heads the ball past Casey Dumont to level the score.
Brisbane Roar – Boureille 80' – 2-1
Celeste Boureille snares her first ever Westfield W-League goals, assisted by fellow American Carson Pickett, with a glancing header beating Dumont at the far post.
Westfield W-League 2017/18: Round 10 – Brisbane Roar FC vs Melbourne Victory
Friday, 5 January
Brisbane Roar 2 (Polkinghorne 56’, Boureille 80’)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Ayres 22’)