ALW Report: Brisbane 2-0 City

Saturday’s A-League Women’s away trip up north ended in defeat with Brisbane striking twice in quick succession in the second half.

City had had the better of the chances to that point, but strikes from Tameka Yallop and Sharn Freier would decide the game.

Team News

Dario Vidosic named Brazilian debutant Bárbara as one of five changes from the 1-1 draw against Adelaide.

Joining her in the starting XI were captain Rebekah Stott, Hannah Wilkinson (both returning from Olympic Qualification with New Zealand), Leticia McKenna and Leia Varley.

Daniela Galic, Tijan McKenna and Naomi Chinnama are away with the Young Matildas on U-20 AFC Asian Cup duty in Uzbekistan, while Melissa Barbieri and Leah Davidson shuffled to the bench.

Starting XI: 88. BÁRBARA (GK), 16. Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 13. Rebekah STOTT, 5. Taylor OTTO, 2. Leia VARLEY, 14. Laura HUGHES, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 6. Leticia McKENNA, 11. Emina EKIC, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.

Substitutes: 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 12. Shelby McMAHON, 15. Kiera MEYERS, 21. Isabella ACCARDO.

What happened?

After a delayed kick-off time due to the heat in Brisbane, we got underway with early stages of possession shared primarily within our defensive half.

The Roar had the first few opportunities but weren’t able to breach Bárbara’s goal.

After playing out of the back and through the middle via Taylor Otto, Leticia McKenna was able to beat the run of the defence and fire a well-placed cross that was saved thanks to a defender’s deflection out of the path of Hannah Wilkinson.

Brisbane pounced on a rare loose ball to put Mia Corbin in on goal, but Bárbara again stood her ground and made a strong save to her chest.

In the follow-up Bryleeh Henry won back the ball and played it out wide to Rhianna Pollicina, who played back for Henry to thunder off of one touch from outside the box, crashing into the post wide of the goalkeeper for what could have been one of the goals of the season.

Yallop wanted in on the long-range party but had to contend with our Brazilian shot-stopper, Bárbara making a stunning fingertip save to tip a dipping ball over the bar to keep the first 20 minutes scoreless.

We made our first change of the evening much earlier than expected with Leia Varley forced off through an injury and being replaced by Leah Davidson in the 35th minute.

Fresh legs led to fresh enthusiasm forward with Ekic pouncing on a loose ball from the Roar goalkeeper Jordan Silkowitz, turning away from her defender and firing a shot that curved into the crossbar, with the follow-up from a surprised Henry hitting Wilkinson and going just wide.

Ekic was brought down on the edge of the penalty area not long after the second half kicked off, earning Sharn Freier a yellow card and giving City a golden opportunity to take the lead.

It was very nearly taken advantage of with a beautifully bent free kick from Ekic curling goalward and forcing a save from Silkowitz.

Yallop pounced on a rare moment out of possession from City, making a run all the way from halfway and past the defence to score past an advancing Bárbara and opening the scoring in the 58th minute.

Freier doubled the lead shortly afterwards in a similar manner, putting the ball just out of reach for the Brazilian keeper.

City however wasn’t just doing to roll over, Henry trying again from distance and rattling the crossbar.

Increased impetus meant changes were needed, with 15-year-old Shelby McMahon making her A-League Women’s debut off the bench alongside 16-year-old Kiera Meyers for the 6th time in her young career.

We searched for a way back into it right until the final moments of stoppage time, earning a corner that was hit into the post for the fourth time of the evening before the referee blew for full time.

What’s next?

We’re back at home next week with a 4:00pm clash against the Newcastle Jets at the City Football Academy providing a great opportunity to get back in the groove in front of the City faithful.