There was a change at the top as the 2012-13 W-League season resumed, and who got the first Goal.com player of the week for the new year?
|By TAKU TANEKA
|SYDNEY FC 0-2 BRISBANE ROAR
Having suffered a defeat to Sydney FC at home earlier this season, Brisbane Roar travelled to Sydney’s Cromer Park with revenge firmly in mind. For the majority of the opening half, the game was akin to a spar, as both sides felt each other out without landing any crucial blows. But three minutes into first-half stoppage time, Tameka Butt sent the Roar to the break with a 1-0 advantage. The 21-year-old was the recipient of a neat ball from striker Emily Gielnik, who released Butt for the Matildas regular to beat Sydney FC goalkeeper Sham Khamis and put the ball in the net. It was a vital goal for the Brisbane Roar, as the momentum it generated led to Butt claiming a brace early in the second half, when she made it 2-0 after a sloppy pass by Sydney FC's Annalie Longo. With 35 minutes left on the clock following the second goal, the Blues turned to fully fledged attack. The continual forays forward nearly led to a goal on 80 minutes, only for substitute Kyah Simon's effort to be disallowed after being ruled offside. Ultimately, the Roar held on for a clean-sheet victory that lifted them to the top of the W-League ladder.
|MELBOURNE VICTORY 4-1 ADELAIDE UNITED
With Adelaide United out of finals contention, the Melbourne Victory had a great opportunity to continue their recent form and win their third successive game. It was immediately evident the Reds were in for a long Saturday, as they fell behind in only the second minute of the contest when Victory captain Danielle Johnson scored from a header. Four minutes later, the home side doubled their lead when Sweden’s Petra Larsson drove home a shot that Adelaide goalkeeper Kristi Harvey found impossible to save. The Reds were spared no mercy as the early onslaught continued in the 14th minute, when American Jessica McDonald slotted home a one-on-one finish to punish a defensive error by Adelaide. With the score a comprehensive 3-0 at half-time, the contest was all but over barring a minor miracle from the visitors in the second stanza. However, hopes of a comeback were dashed when the Victory scored their fourth goal in the 57th minute through Laura Spiranovic - the 21-year-old sister of Socceroos player Matthew Spiranovic. The lucky goal was the result of a long-range strike by team-mate Larsson that deflected off Spiranovic and beat Harvey. Playing for pride, the Reds managed a late consolation goal when New Zealand international Sarah McLaughlin hit a neat volley.
|PERTH GLORY 2-2 NEWCASTLE JETS
Needing a win against the Newcastle Jets to remain competition leaders after 11 rounds, Perth Glory had clear motive for a good result against the W-League cellar dwellers. But the unpredictable nature of football led to the Jets finding the scoresheet first, with the opening goal arriving just three minutes into the match. Emily Van Egmond, daughter of Newcastle Jets A-League coach Gary Van Egmond, was the scorer as she dribbled past several Glory defenders before finesse shooting into the net. In draining heat, the Glory then enjoyed a period of dominance that resulted in their equaliser in the 22nd minute via Queensland-born striker Rosie Sutton. The second half saw the home side showcase the class and pedigree that has seen them labelled competition favourites for the 2012-2013 title. They enjoyed the lion's share of possession and were not wasteful with the ball at their feet, and went in front 2-1 in the 56th minute. When goalkeeper Eliza Campbell poorly attempted to clear the ball, the experienced Kate Gill was on hand to snatch a goal with a precision finish in the bottom right corner. It appeared the Glory would hold on for a victory but, against the run of play, the Jets forced their way back into the contest with an equaliser by 18-year-old Jasmin Courtenay in the 77th minute. The match finished a 2-2 stalemate to see the Glory drop from first to third on the W-League table.
|CANBERRA UNITED P-P WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
After 34 minutes of play, this match was abandoned due to dangerous weather and will be replayed on Tuesday.
GOAL.COM'S PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Catapulting her side to the top of the league was the Brisbane Roar's Tameka Butt [pictured above], with a world-class showing that sees her Goal.com's first player of the week for 2013. The attacking midfielder, who made her W-League debut in 2008, scored a goal on both sides of the half-time interval in the Roar's 2-0 victory against Sydney FC. Should she be able to continue her outstanding form leading into the upcoming finals series, Butt is every chance to claim her third championship at the Roar this season.