Westfield W-League 2012 Semi Final Review

A drama-charged weekend of Westfield W-League action has set up a mouth-watering grand final between Canberra United and Brisbane Roar next Saturday.

A drama-charged weekend of Westfield W-League action has set up a mouth-watering grand final between Canberra United and Brisbane Roar next Saturday.

Unbeaten premiers Canberra will host the decider at their McKellar Park fortress after finally subduing a resolute Melbourne Victory with the league-s leading goalscorer Michelle Heyman predictably proving the difference on the scoresheet.

Sydney FC seemed certain for a trip to Canberra only for Brisbane to equalise deep into injury time, before prevailing on penalties in a typically intense contest between the league-s two traditional heavyweights.

Brisbane-s win sets up a repeat of the season one finale when the Roar were 2-0 victors, only this time the hosts have been reversed.

The victory means Brisbane have qualified for each of the competition's four grand finals, while Sydney miss out on the decider for the first time in three seasons.

The Sky Blues were looking good to overturn last weekend-s 1-0 final round defeat against the Roar with midfielder Renee Rollason scoring in the first half.

Despite chances galore at both ends, and in part due to some inspired goalkeeping for the Roar-s Casey Dumont and Sydney FC-s Allison Lipsher, scores remain unchanged until a late intervention from a familiar source.

Super sub Emily Gielnik scored the most important of numerous strikes this campaign having started the afternoon on the bench. This time though there was just seconds left on the clock, and Sydney-s afternoon went from bad to worse in the blink of an eye with star forward Kyah Simon dismissed after receiving a second caution.

Extra time was unable to separate the teams but the Roar triumphed 4-2 on penalties to repeat their spot-kick success in last season-s semi-final against Canberra.

Sydney-s Teresa Polias and Estelle Johnson failed with their attempts as did Olga Cebrian-Garcia for the home side, allowing Aivi Luik the honour of slotting home the winning penalty.

A day earlier a record Belconnen crowd of 1,785 witnessed a thrilling tussle in which the visiting Melbourne Victory took it to their highly rated opponents who were made to work overtime before wresting control.

The Victory showed no signs of last season-s debut finals nerves and could have easily gone into half-time at least a goal to the good with Jodie Taylor pushing a number of chances wide.

At the other end, lively teenager Hayley Raso brushed an effort against the post with the home side re-energised after the break.

Heyman was a persistent menace to the Victory defence and duly got her reward seven minutes from full time just as extra time loomed. Heyman bagged her 13th of the season with a long-range strike which somewhat fortuitously ricocheted over unlucky Victory goalkeeper Brianna Davey.

Westfield W-League 2011/12 Semi-final Round-Up

Canberra United 1 (Michelle Heyman 83-) Melbourne Victory 0 Saturday 21 January McKellar Park, Canberra Local kick-off: 3pm

Referee: Kiralee Gardner

Canberra United: Lydia WILLIAMS, Caitlin COOPER, Ellie BRUSH, Hayley RASO (Emma KETE 60-), Grace GILL (Caitlin MUNOZ 91-), Michelle HEYMAN, Nicole SYKES, Ashleigh SYKES, Sally SHIPARD, Taryn HEMMINGS, Jennifer BISSET Substitutes not used: Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, Snez VELJANOVSKA, Aroon CLANSEY (gk) Yellow cards: Nil Red cards: Nil

Melbourne Victory: Brianna DAVEY, Rebekah STOTT, Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, Kendall FLETCHER, Danielle JOHNSON, Stephanie CATLEY, Ashley BROWN, Jodie TAYLOR, Caitlin FRIEND (Georgie KOUTROUVELIS 80-), Katrina GORRY, Amy JACKSON Substitutes not used: Rita MANKOWSKA, Louisa BISBY, Cassandra DIMOVSKI (gk) Yellow cards: Ashley Brown 57- Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar 1 (Emily Gielnik 95-+) Sydney FC 1 (Renee Rollason 18-) * Brisbane Roar win 4-2 on penalties Sunday 22 January Queensland Sport and Athletic Centre, Brisbane Local kick-off: 2pm

Referee: Casey Reibelt

Brisbane Roar: Casey DUMONT (gk), Laura ALLEWAY, Clare POLKINGHORNE, Brooke SPENCE, Joanne BURGESS, Kim CARROLL, Catherine CANNULI (Olga CEBRIAN-GARCIA 79-), Lana HARCH (Emily GIELNIK 46-), Aivi LUIK, Tameka BUTT, Vedrana POPOVIC Substitutes not used: Hoshimi KISHI (gk), Ellen BEAUMONT, Rebecca PRICE Yellow cards: Vedrana Popovic 34- Red cards: Nil

Sydney FC: Allison LIPSHER (gk), Teresa POLIAS, Danielle BROGAN, Renee ROLLASON (Teigen ALLEN 83-), Estelle JOHNSON, Servet UZUNLAR, Kylie LEDBROOK (Brittany WHITFIELD 93-), Caitlin FOORD, Thea SLATYER, Kyah SIMON, Leena KHAMIS (Sarah WALSH 71-) Substitutes not used: Alisha BASS Yellow Cards: Server Uzunlar 40-, Renee Rollason 61- Kyah Simon 69-, 96-, Teigen Allen 112- Red Cards: Kyah Simon 96-

Westfield W-League 2012 Grand Final

Match: Canberra United v Brisbane Roar Date: Saturday 28 January 2012 Venue: McKellar Stadium - Canberra Kick Off: 3:00pm (EDST) Gates Open: 2:00pm (EDST)

The match will be shown live on ABC at 3pm.