“This group of players never ceases to amaze me with their personality and collaboration, and sometimes this time of year is enough,” they said – Victory coach Geoff Hopkins after his side battled out a 1-1 draw with Canberra to a close finals berth.
Woman of the week: Young midfielder Bethany Gordon proved to be a potential Western Sydney hero against Brisbane, scoring the first of her two goals in Wanderers’ shock 3-1 victory.
The moment: Sydney FC looked bound to secure a 1-0 win over Melbourne City. But a 94th-minute corner kick from substitute Chelsea Blissett was slotted in at the back post by Kaitlin Turbie to level things up for South East Melbourne.
BEAT TH: It was a weekend of drama. Canberra looked set to beat Victory when Tiffany Eliadis coolly pushed in Maja Markovski’s cross in the 88th minute to grab a point.
STAT ATTACK: Michelle Heymann continues her investigation. Playing for Canberra against Victory, yesterday’s A-League top scorer tied former Sydney captain Teresa Polias for most appearances played (157).
Watching the World Cup: Lots of Matildas hit the scoreboard. New defender Claire Hunt scored a goal for Western Sydney while Brisbane striker Larissa Cromer also scored a goal. Sydney’s electric forward Courtney Fane found the back of the net against City, whose winger Holly McNamara has continued to impress on her comeback from tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.
Talking point: Brisbane Roar became the second team to be recorded with a points deduction this season for using an ineligible player. Brisbane were deducted three points and a 2-0 win over United at the weekend stripped them and replaced them with a 3-0 loss after playing against the suspended Aisha Nouri. Canberra received a points deduction for an additional substitution against Sydney FC.
UNDER PRESSURE: The league will face two tough tests with Canberra and Brisbane each resuming points deductions, arguing that a fourth official and league officials respectively played a role in the breaches.
What’s next: Western United will attempt to seal on top of the Premier League and deal a huge blow to Canberra’s World Cup hopes when they meet on Saturday, when fellow Sydney premiership hopefuls take on struggling Adelaide United. Victory could seal their place in the finals if they beat Brisbane on Sunday, while Perth really need a win over City to stay firmly in the chase.
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