Sydney edge Roar

Sydney FC has run out comfortable 4-2 winners over the Brisbane Roar in the opening round of W-League action at Ballymore Stadium.

Sydney FC has run out comfortable 4-2 winners over the Brisbane Roar in the opening round of W-League action at Ballymore Stadium.

In a replay of the 2009 final, Sydney were once-more the better side and never trailed the Roar, who didn-t look close to hitting top gear.

Kyah Simon and Leaena Khamis were strong up front for the Sky Blues, while captain Heather Garriock was instrumental with a brilliant two-goal performance and was named Player of the Match.

“We-ve got a potent attacking line and it was really good to play strongly across the park first up,” Garriock said.

“It-s always good to get a win when you-re travelling and playing away first up like this.”

Brisbane were not without strong performers, Avik Luik was busy and Kim Carroll strong, but the team in orange lacked polish as a collective unit and coach Jeff Hopkins acknowledged there was a lot of work to do.

“We-re really disappointed today. There was a lack of ideas going forward, the play wasn-t cohesive and we didn-t have any tempo to it,” he said.

“We need to take a step back and analyse the game and see where we need to make changes.”

The defending champions soon had their 2010-11 campaign underway when in just the 6th minute captain Garriock scored their first of the season, calmly slotting home from the penalty spot after receiving the lay-off from Simon.

The Sydneysiders were playing a fast-paced attacking style through the early going, but Brisbane were making inroads as well, as Matilda representatives Kim Carroll and Claire Polkinghorne led with assurance in their passing.

Tameka Butt levelled for the hosts in the 14th minute. After a Roar corner, the ball was cleared to Butt at the top of the area who showed great skill to cut past one defender and then fire a shot on goal where Dimi Poulos was powerless to make the save.

The action was back and forth, and just moments later Khamis was played in for a one-on-one where Brisbane keeper Casey Dumont did well to make a smothering save.

Brisbane were matching possession and Butt was looking dangerous with every touch, but the Sydney forwards were full of running and getting in behind the back four with their superior pace.

As the opening half wore down, increasingly it was the Sky Blues dictating the terms. Garriock went within inches of her second in the 28th minute when she volleyed from range, forcing some athleticism from Dumont to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Sydney reclaimed the lead in the 33rd minute, with Renee Rollason taking the ball on the left-hand edge of the 18-yard box, controlling and then firing past Dumont on the half-volley, squeezing just inside the far post. Referee Jacqui Melksham refuted Brisbane-s suggestion of a hand ball.

The Roar backs were in disarray and the Sky Blues looked like running away with the match when they made it 3-1 shortly after, as Simon took a through-ball straight down the middle of the pitch and drove low and hard past the left hand of Dumont.

Brisbane came out of the break needing something special to put them back into the game, and Lana Harch delivered just four minutes into the second half, unleashing from at least 30-meters out and catching Poulos unaware to narrow the margin to 3-2.

But Brisbane had their momentum stalled by Sydney-s fourth for the match. Simon delivered to the top of the area where Garriock showed no hesitation, hammering past Dumont for her second of the day.

Having poured water on Brisbane-s second-half comeback attempt, the Sky Blues were full of confidence, defending with structure and breaking forward with intent.

The Roar weren-t without their chances, but too often they opted for the long-ball, which Sydney defended with ease.

Brisbane were fighting hard in front of a passionate home crowd, but time and again the passing was off the mark and Sydney maintained their grip on the contest to the final whistle.

Brisbane Roar: 2 ( Butt 14, Harch 49)
Sydney FC: 4 (Garriock 5, 54, Rollason 33, Simon 36)