Brisbane Roar wins premiership as United bow out in 5-1 loss
Brilliant Brisbane Roar turned on a championship master-class to inflict a heavy 5-1 defeat on reigning champions Canberra United and knock Jitka Klimkova-s team out of the finals race sealing top spot in the Westfield W-League. The Queenslanders were in irresistible form as they romped to victory and dealt United a mortal blow.
The Roar came out of the blocks intent on claiming the victory that would give them the Premiership and with news filtering through that Sydney FC had won their match with Western Sydney Wanderers the need for a Canberra United win became evident. The Roar though dominated possession from the outset and United struggled to find any tempo in hot and humid conditions at QSAC.
The writing was on the wall for Canberra as early as the first minute when Emily Gielnik stole in behind the defence and got away from Mackenzie Arnold only to be denied by a superb challenge from Ellie Brush. Almost immediately Hayley Raso was flagged offside when she was clean through on goal, a tight call, but that was a rare sight of goal for the visitors.
The Roar took the lead in the 11th minute when tricky winger Katrina Gorry cut onto her right foot and sent in a low teasing cross that Arnold misjudged, perhaps distracted by the decoy run of Tameka Butt, and the ball trickled invitingly into the back of the net to the delight of the Brisbane bench. And they continued from there as Gorry, in combination with Butt and Vedrana Popovic. Led United a merry dance.
They doubled their lead on 38 minutes from the penalty spot. Popovic threaded a precise ball through the Canberra defence for Butt who was adjudged to have been brought down by the retreating Nicole Sykes who protested vehemently. Butt picked herself up to blast her penalty high into the top corner despite Arnold getting a slight touch.
Minutes later it was three as Butt was left criminally unmarked near the penalty sport to steer a Gorry cross past the exposed Arnold for her second goal, the cross coming on the back of a sensational run from Popovic that took three visiting defenders out of action and enabled Gorry to find the space to deliver an inviting ball into where Butt had stolen in unnoticed to add her second with aplomb.
Staring down the barrel of defeat and missing out on the finals for the first time in the club-s history Canberra gave themselves a glimmer of hope in first half stoppage time. Kristen Mewis rose highest to meet a perfect Ariane Hingst corner and thump a header past Kate Stewart from close range to make the score 3-1 at the interval.
Knowing that they needed three goals to make the top four Canberra started the second period in a positive attacking mood but, subsequently, left openings in defence. Arnold saved brilliantly from Butt (twice) and Amy Chapman whilst Gielnik fired wastefully over after a piercing run through the centre of the Canberra back four. The prolific finisher was less profligate though in the 66th minute as she killed off United-s hopes.
Racing onto an inch-perfect through ball Gielnik showed class and composure to round the advancing Arnold and slot the ball calmly into the empty net for the sixth goal of the season to take the score out to 4-1. And the magnificent Roar weren-t finished there. Gielnik was instrumental in the Roar-s fifth goal, pulling out to the right flank and sending over a precise square ball that United failed to cut out leaving Butt with the simplest of tasks to round off a hat-trick.
Opportunities were coming thick and fast by now as United wilted in the heat having been forced to back up from the midweek match on Tuesday against Western Sydney. Arnold was called into action to deny Popovic with a superb save when the midfielder broke clear on goal whilst Brisbane substitute Sachiko Tatsuoka saw her effort blocked by a brave dive at the feet of the replacement player by the United custodian.
But the Roar was simply too good and took out the premiership title with a convincing display heaping a record defeat on Canberra United in the process.
Brisbane Roar 5 (Katrina Gorry 11-, Tameka Butt 38- (pen), 41-, 71-, Emily Gielnik 66-)
Canberra United 1 (Kristen Mewis 45-)
Brisbane Roar: 18. Kate Stewart, 2. Laura Allleway, 3. Amy Chapman (6. Ashley Spina 88-), 4. Claire Polkinghorne, 5. Brooke Spence, 7. Erika Elze, 8. Elise Kellond-Kinght, 11. Vedrana Popovic, 13. Tameka Butt (15. Hannah Beard 88-), 17. Emily Gielnik (16. Sachiko Tatsuoka 81-), 19. Katrina Gorry
Canberra United: 1. Mackenzie Arnold, 2. Caitlin Cooper, 3. Georgia Yeoman-Dale, 6. Caitlin Munoz, 7. Ellie Brush, 8. Hayley Raso (16. Catherine Brown 74-), 11. Michelle Heyman (14. Ashleigh Sykes 87-), 13. Nicole Sykes, 17. Ariane Hingst (12. Sally Rojahn 80-), 19. Jennifer Bisset, 23. Kristen Mewis
Yellow Cards: None
Referee: Katie Patterson