Sydney FC pile heat on ALW leaders with 3-0 win

March 25, 2023 05:04 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Sydney FC have turned up the late season heat on A-League Women leaders Western United with a flawless 3-0 home win over Adelaide United. 

Sydney's victory allowed the Sky Blues to close within two points of Western, who lost 3-0 at home to Canberra United, after the two matches kicked off simultaneously on Saturday afternoon.

Sydney have two regular season games remaining - against Perth Glory and Newcastle Jets, while Western United only have one match left, against Western Sydney Wanderers.  

The Sky Blues have a great chance to clinch the minor premiership despite having three points taken and given back to Canberra United on Friday following a Football Australia appeals process.

Sydney created a great chance 12 minutes into Saturday's match when Cortnee Vine was released on the right and crossed for Mackenzie Hawkesby. 

The midfielder managed to direct her volley on target but it was kept out by Annalee Grove.

But the home side broke the deadlock just two minutes later thanks to Rachel Lowe. 

Natalie Tobin stormed out of defence and took a shot from long range which deflected off Indiana Dos Santos. 

The Reds thought the ball slammed into the arm of the Sydney midfielder and stopped to wait for a whistle but there was none forthcoming. 

Lowe raced onto the loose ball, rounded Reds 'keeper Grove and rolled the ball into an empty net.

Tobin nearly added a second just after the quarter hour, latching on to a Hawkesbury corner with a strong header but Grove did well to push it clear.

The Sky Blues pressured Adelaide's goal for much of the first half and carved out a series of chances with Vine, Lowe and Charlize Rule looking threatening.

United almost gifted Sydney their second goal in the 52nd minute when they were caught in possession trying to play out from the back.

Lowe intercepted on the edge of the area and squared for Prinicess Ibini, who tried to pick out the bottom corner but Grove tipped the shot past the post.

Sydney eventually doubled their lead on 66 minutes through their skipper Tobin. Hawkesby drilled in another dangerous corner and, with the ball bobbling in the area, Isobel Hodgson failed to clear.

Tobin made no mistake, capitalising on the error and blasting home from eight metres.

Vine should have made it 3-0 10 minutes later when she broke through the Reds defence and was one-on-one with Grove, but Adelaide's 'keeper stood strong and denied the winger.

Hawkesby iced the win 10 minutes from time with an easy finish inside the six-yard area. 

Ibini was set free down the left wing and charged towards the Reds penalty area, before cutting inside and squaring a pass. Hawksby was left unchecked and tapped in to the unguarded net.


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