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Sydney FC takes over W-League top spot after derby win

Sydney FC defeated the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Sydney Derby to climb to the top of the W-League table. (photo courtesy Westfield W-League)

Sydney FC captured top stop in the Westfield W-League standings with a 2-1 derby win at Western Sydney Wanderers on December 30. Sydney FC now has 18 points, with one more game played then second- and third-place clubs Perth Glory and Canberra United, who are both on 16 points. NWSL loanees accounted for all the goals in the game, with the Wanderers Katie Stengel (Washington Spirit) opening the scoring with her fifth tally of the season in the 23rd minute. Western New York Flash defender Alanna Kennedy scored in the 35th minute, her second of the year before Kyah Simon (Boston Breakers) scored the winner from the penalty spot in the 84th minute, also her second goal of the year with both coming from penalty kicks. For Sydney, Australian NWSL players Caitlin Foord (ex-Sky Blue FC), Nigerian international Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit), Kennedy and Simon played the entire match. Western Sydney’s American imports Kendall Fletcher (Seattle Reign), Paige Nielsen (ex-Seattle Reign) and Stengel (Washington Spirit) all played 90 minutes, while Alex Arlitt (FC Kansas City) did not play.

Sydney FC retained its dominance in the Harbour City derby, having won both games this season and are 8-1-1 all-time against the five-year-old Wanderers. Western Sydney now sits in sixth in the standings, just two points adrift of a playoff berth.

Canberra United 2, Melbourne Victory 1

Canberra United defeated Melbourne Victory on the road 2-1 on December 28 to sit third in the standings with 16 points. Before an AAMI Park crowd of 1,963 fans, seventeen-year-old Nikki Flannery and veteran Ashleigh Sykes (with an 89th minute winner from the penalty spot) led the way with the goals, each scoring their third in consecutive games and fourth of the season. Natasha Dowie scored her fifth goal of the season for the home side; the Victory remain on 3 points and look to have missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season. For Canberra NWSL loanees Stephanie Ochs (Houston Dash) and Celeste Boureille (Portland Thorns) both started while striker Jasmyne Spencer (Orlando Pride) came on as a substitute in the 13th minute for Canberra United captain, Australian international and former Western New York Flash forward Michelle Heyman, who had to leave the field on a stretcher. Hayley Raso (Portland Thorns) came on in the 56th minute for Flannery.

For Melbourne Victory, Samantha Johnson (Chicago Red Stars), Christine Nairn (Seattle Reign) and Dowie played the entire match. Goalkeeper Bianca Henninger (Houston Dash) did not play but was on the bench as a reserve, working her way back from a knee injury suffered earlier in the season.

Adelaide United 2, Newcastle Jets 2

Two teams that desperately needed a win, bottom side Adelaide United and seventh place Newcastle Jets—rapidly sliding out of the playoff reckoning—each came away with one point in a 2-2 tie on December 29 in Adelaide. Twenty-one year old Adriana Jones scored her fourth goal of the season to put the Reds in front in the 14th minute but eight minutes later the Jet’s Jenna Kinglsey tied the game. In the second half, seventeen year old Australian international Alexandra Chidiac scored just after the restart (46th minute) for the Reds while Kingsley scored again from the penalty spot five minutes later after an infraction was called on Adelaide keeper Eliza Campbell. Campbell is an Australian youth international who previously played for the Jets as well as for two Norwegian sides. For Adelaide United, NWSL loanees Monica of Brazil (Orlando Pride)—back from international play with Brazil–Danielle Colaprico, Sofia Huerta and Katie Naughton (all from the Chicago Red Stars) played the entire match. For Newcastle, Katelyn Rowland (Western New York Flash) in goal, Megan Oyster (Boston Breakers) and Jen Hoy (Chicago Red Stars) all played 90 minutes, while Arin Gilliland (Chicago Red Stars) did not play as she was resting a quad pull. Newcastle remains in seventh place (8 points) while Adelaide United is now at the bottom of the table with Melbourne Victory (3 points).

Brisbane Roar, Melbourne City and Perth Glory all had byes this round.

Table After Nine Rounds

1. Sydney FC (6-2-0, 18 pts, +6)
2. Perth Glory (5-1-1, 16 pts., +8)
3. Canberra United (5-1-1, 16 pts, +9)
4. Melbourne City (4-3-0, 12 pts, +3)
5. Brisbane Roar (3-4-1, 10 pts, -3)
6. Western Sydney Wanderers (3-4-1, 10 pts, -4)
7. Newcastle Jets (2-4-2, 8 pts, -1)
8. Melbourne Victory (0-5-3, 3 pts, -11)
9. Adelaide United (0-4-3, 3 pts, -7)

Round Ten

Brisbane Roar vs Melbourne Victory, 12:00 am EST (Sunday)
Perth Glory vs Newcastle Jets, 3:00 am EST (Monday)
Melbourne City vs Adelaide United, 3:15 am EST (Monday)
Sydney FC vs Canberra United, 12:00 am EST (Tuesday)

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