Keane hands Western United 2-1 win over Wanderers

A double from American striker Hannah Keane lifted her to top spot in the Isuzu UTE A-League Golden Boot race and handed Western United a 2-1 home win over Western Sydney Wanderers.

Keane scored once in each half to increase her season’s tally to 13, one ahead of Canberra’s Michelle Heyman, who will be in action on Sunday.

A near-post header from a 23rd-minute in-swinging corner from Tyla-Jay Vlajnic broke the deadlock at Melbourne’s City Vista Reservation Reserve.

Keane doubled Western’s advantage in the 55th minute when she read the bounce of a long ball better than Wanderers defender Gemma Ferris.

The forward raced into the penalty area where she drilled a precise drive past goalkeeper Sham Khamis.

Teenage substitute Sienna Saveska pulled one back for Wanderers in the 80th minute with a well-struck shot from the edge of the penalty area.

The win lifted Western into top spot above Sydney FC, but the latter have the chance to reclaim the lead – and with it the Premier’s Plate – with victory in their final-round game against Newcastle Jets later on Saturday.

It was a deserved morale-boosting win for Western who have limped towards the finals in recent weeks and had not won a game on the field since late February.

They had lost their three previous matches, though one of those results – a 2-0 defeat by Brisbane – was changed to a 3-0 win for Western after the Roar fielded an ineligible player. 

Angie Beard almost doubled Western’s lead in the 42nd minute, but her goal-bound shot from the edge of the area was tipped over the bar by Khamis in the Wanderers goal.

Western Sydney did not have a shot on target until added time in the first half, but looked more threatening after the break.

The result means Western Sydney completed the season without registering an away win, having drawn two and lost seven.

They are winless in their last 13 away games in total, with their last victory on the road coming back in January 2022.