Brisbane Roar have solidified their spot at the top of the Westfield W-League table after defeating reigning premiers Sydney FC 1 – 0 in an eventful New Years Day clash at Campbelltown.
The win takes the Roar four points clear of second placed Sydney, firming their spot as favourites to take out the 2011 Westfield W League Premiership.
A Jo Burgess goal proved the difference between the two teams to secure the win for the Roar against their biggest threat in this year-s competition.
The blistering heat posed a challenge on the day with both sides relishing the chance to take a drinks break at the midway point in each half.
The duel between the top two teams saw few chances to score in the first half with both teams eager to come out on top, creating a heated battle through the middle.
Tameka Butt produced a few openings early with the second looking promising, only to hit the crossbar.
Sydney replied with Kyah Simon unable to connect with a header aimed in Roar goalkeeper Casey Dumont-s direction.
While both teams went into the half time break deadlocked, the Roar drew first blood five minutes into the second half courtesy of a Jo Burgess strike, after Clare Polkinghorne and Aivi Luik were unable to capitalise on their initial opportunities around goal.
The pace of Roar substitutes Lisa De Vanna and Kennya Cordner gave the Roar an edge in the heat as the opposition began to tire.
Star substitute De Vanna kept Sydney goalkeeper Dimi Poulos accountable for the remainder of the half and despite looking dangerous was unable to increase the Roar-s lead.
Sydney FC were further hampered playing one woman down after Danielle Brogan was handed a red card for a late tackle on the Roar-s De Vanna and then watching Kylie Ledbrook being assisted from the field with a suspected knee injury.
The home team were unable to find the equaliser as they watched the Roar dominate the 2nd half.
Brisbane Roar captain Clare Polkinghorne was very happy with the start to the New Year and was confident in her team approaching the business end of the season.
“We put in a solid performance and came away with the three points, so now we are four points clear at the top of the table. So we are very happy with the weekend,” Polkinghorne said.
“In the first half both teams were pretty conservative and not really putting too much forward or taking many risks but in the second half the game came alive.
“We created a lot of chances and we scored early on which was good.
“Then Lisa De Vanna came on and she could have had three or four goals in the end.
“We were sort of unlucky to come away with the 1 – 0 victory, it could easily have been three or four.
“De Vanna and Cordner are valuable coming off the bench for us, they are both really quick players who can create chances.
“Having those two come off the bench when the other team is tired really is beneficial for us and they can score goals as well, that is what we are after.
“We can win the big games and we have the players that can beat good teams.”