Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC opened the ninth instalment of the Westfield W-League competition in spectacular style in front of a huge crowd at Corporate Travel Management Stadium on Saturday.
Two second-half goals for the Roar eclipsed Caitlin Foord’s opener to hand the Roar a deserved 2-1 win.
The crowd of 3,105 is an all-time record for Brisbane Roar stand-alone Westfield W-League matches as well as the largest stand-alone attendance in Westfield W-League history, capping off an incredible 24 hours of football in Brisbane.
In her debut match as Head Coach, Mel Andreatta says she was delighted to take the three points on the opening day.
“It’s the start we were after and it gives us confident going into the next round,” she said.
“Everyone is in this competition to perform well and get those three points so it’s a good reward for the hard work that has been put in these players day in, day out.”
The sides entered the break with scores deadlocked at 0-0. Matildas goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold was solid between the posts and made a number of strong saves in her first 45 minutes in the Roar Orange.
Caitlyn Foord scored the opening goal for the visitors as she tapped in from close range to give her side the lead.
However, Roar Head Coach Mel Andreatta made changes early in the second half which turned the match in the home side’s favour.
Roar debutant Allira Toby make an instant impact, as she scored with her first touch of the ball with a wonderful header following an inch-perfect cross from Katrina Gorry.
Gorry (below) then took it upon herself 11 minutes later and put the hosts in front with an incredible long-range strike.
Roar continued their possession-based football, with perfectly placed passes presenting opportunities for Brisbane’s forward line time and time again.
The last few minutes saw chances created at both ends of the pitch but neither side were unable to add a decisive goal with the scoreline finishing at 2-1 in a deserved win for the Roar Women.
52’ : Caitlin Foord ran down the middle of the pitch then laid it off before tapping it in to the net. 0-1
55’: A Katrina Gorry pass into the box saw Allira Toby jump above the rest of the players and head it into the back of the goal. 1-1
66’ : A solo effort by Gorry saw her score from outside the 18-yard-box as the Sydney FC goalkeeper fumbled the powerful shot into the back on the net. 2-1
What a crowd! There is obviously interest in the women’s game and that showed today with a record crowd at Spencer Park which will hopefully continue throughout this coming season.
Brisbane Roar Head Coach MEL ANDREATTA: “Brisbane does this time and time again and to have this crowd here today is special. It makes the girls feel proud that they’re playing for their city, in front of their fans.
“What it shows is that Brisbane have passionate football teams that love this club and this team. We couldn’t ask for anything more and we hope it continues.”
Brisbane Roar midfielder KATRINA GORRY: “We showed that we’re pretty fit during that second half. We were able to keep possession and score two goals.
“There’s definitely a great rivalry between the two sides and we fought hard today. It is the first game so it’s all about getting the mistakes out of the way early and I thought I improved towards the end of the first half and leading into the second half.
“The crowd was awesome! they really got into it and lifted us when we were a bit flat. We couldn’t have done it without them.
“We’ll go back to the drawing board, look where we can improve and get ready for next weekend.
The Roar face Perth Glory away from home on Saturday 12 November (4pm KO Qld time) before returning back to Queensland to face Canberra United at A.J. Kelly Field on Sunday, 20 November (4pm KO Qld time)
Westfield W-League Round 1, Brisbane Roar FC v Sydney FC, Saturday, 5 November at Corporate Travel Management Stadium
Brisbane Roar FC 2 (Toby 55′, Gorry 66′)
Sydney FC 1 (Foord 52′)
Brisbane Roar FC: 1.Mackenzie ARNOLD (gk), 3.Amy CHAPMAN, 4.Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 6.Angela BEARD, 7.Sunny FRANCO (12.Allira TOBY 52′), 8.Kaitlyn TORPEY, 10.Katrina GORRY, 11.Maili FORBES (19.Natalie TATHAM 55′), 14.Summer O’BRIEN, 17.Emily GIELNIK (15.Abbey Lloyd 72′), 18.Madlyn EVANS (below)
Unused substitutes: 20.Georgina WORTH (gk)
Yellow cards: Katrina GORRY 35′, Maili FORBES 41′
Red cards: Nil
Sydney FC: 1.Shamarin KHAMIS (gk), 2.Teresa POLIAS (c), 4.Elizabeth RALSTON, 6.Servet UZUNLAR, 7.Nicola BOLGER (12.Olivia PRICE 83′), 9.Caitlin FOORD, 11.Natalie TOBIN (5.Gabrielle MARZANO 65′), 13.Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 14.Alanna KENNEDY, 17.Kyah SIMON, 19.Leena KHAMIS
Unused substitutes: 15.Sarah EASTHOPE (gk), 21.Panagiota PETRATOS
Yellow cards: Teresa POLIAS 59′, Caitlin Foord 64′, 86′
Red cards: Caitlin FOORD 86′ (second yellow card)
Referee: Casey Reibelt; Assistant Referee 1: Sarah HO; Assistant Referee 2 : Renae COGHIL; Fourth Official: Rebecca DURCAU