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Dec 17, 2012   |  2:14PM AET

Westfield W-League Match Report: Wanderers 1 – Roar 2

Westfield W-League Match Report: Wanderers 1 – Roar 2

Brisbane Roar have proven why they are perennial finalists, soaring into the elusive top two with a narrow win over a tenacious Wanderers side.

Brisbane Roar have proven why they are perennial finalists, soaring into the elusive top two with a narrow win over a tenacious Wanderers side.

Brisbane Roar have proven why they are perennial finalists, soaring into the elusive top two with a narrow win over a tenacious Wanderers side.

Both teams knew what was at stake this match; a win for either team would propel them into a coveted top three position.

Last time Brisbane Roar and the Wanderers met both were missing key personnel to international duty, with the Wanderers securing a comfortable 2-1 victory over their rivals.

This match proved to be a closer contest, with both sides showing a healthy respect for each other and minimising their errors in the first ten minutes.

Brisbane Roar’s midfield dynamo Vedrana Popovic began to dictate the tempo of the game, with fellow midfielder Katrina Gorry delivering a long range shot that just strayed wide of the post.

Wanderers goalkeeper Thora Helgadottir proved why she was recently named Iceland’s player of the year, being tested on several occasions in the early stages of the game.

Brisbane Roar-s attacking midfielder Tameka Butt tore through the Wanderers defence with her blistering speed before delivering an ambitious long range shot that sailed over the post.

Although Brisbane Roar attacked with confidence in the final third, commanding defender Alesha Clifford proved to be a fortress in the Wanderers backline, snuffing out a number of potential goal scoring opportunities.

In the 21st minute of the match Tameka Butt capitalised on a wayward pass and opened the scoring, producing a trademark finish following a through ball delivered by midfielder Popovic.

Teigen Allen responded immediately, attacking with speed down the left side of the field, only to be denied a shot by goalkeeper Joanne Buckley.

Brisbane Roar striker Emily Gielnick scored Brisbane Roar’s second goal of the game in the 26th minute, managing to creep behind the Wanderers defence before lobbying the ball over the advancing Helgadottir.

The Wanderers first clear-cut chance fell to Captain Sarah Walsh in the 37th minute. The striker defeated defender Erika Elze and Buckley, but failed to deliver the desired finish, hitting the post with the goal at her mercy.

A different Wanderers side emerged in the opening minutes of the second half, with the team beginning to dictate play and dominate possession in the final third.

The Wanderers attacked with all guns blazing and they could have sealed two goals between the 60th and 63rd minute from pin-point crosses from Catherine Cannuli.

In the 67th minute the Wanderers were awarded a free kick for a late challenge outside the penalty area and Swedish import Louise Fors delivered a clinical free kick, that curled into the top left corner before goalkeeper Buckley even had time to blink. ?

Teigen Allen was replaced by Linda O’Neill in the 71th minute and midfielder Trudy Camilleri came on for Captain Sarah Walsh Sarah Walsh in the 79th minute with the Wanderers continuing to test a tiring Brisbane Roar defence.

The Wanderers continued to maintain their spirit and vigour in attack, with Cannuli continuing to terrorise her opposition – delivering a lethal left-footed shot that was saved by Buckley.

Brisbane Roar defender Laura Alleway was provided with a reprieve from the heat in the 81st minute, being replaced by Ashley Spina.

Wanderers defender Olivia Kennedy was replaced by Jessica Seaman in the 86th minute and Brisbane Roar’s commanding striker Lanah Harch coming on for midfielder Gorry.

This game lived up to all expectations, with both teams proving why they are serious contendersfor a finals position. The Wanderers will hope to bounce back from their loss next Saturday, when they face Melbourne Victory at Wembley Park.

Western Sydney Wanderers: 1 (Louise Fors 68′) Brisbane Roar: 2 (Tameka Butt 21′, Emily Gielnik 27′)

Western Sydney Wanderers: 20. Thora HELGADOTTIR (gk), 2. Samantha SPACKMAN, 3. Alexandra HUYNH, 4. Alesha CLIFFORD, 5. Olivia KENNEDY (12. Jessica SEAMAN 87-), 8. Vanessa HART, 9. Sarah WALSH (c) (14. Trudy CAMILLERI 80′), 10. Servet UZUNLAR, 11. Louise FORS, 13. Catherine CANNULI, 15. Teigen ALLEN (16. Linda O-NEILL 72-)

Brisbane Roar: 18. Kate Stewart, 2. Laura Alleway (6. Ashley Spina 81-), 3. Amy Chapman, 4. Clare Polkinghorne (c), 5. Brooke Spence, 7. Erika Elze, 8. Elise Kellond-Knight, 11. Vedrana Popovic, 12. Tameka Butt, 17. Emily Gielnik (15. Hannah Beard 87′), 19. Katrina Gorry (10. Lana Harch 90′)