It was a record home crowd of 3,501 that spurred the Brisbane Roar on to a win in the opening match of the season, defeating Sydney FC 2-1.

The two teams have been fierce competitors since season one of the W-League and the match on Saturday was nothing different. It was a typical match between the two: a physical and tight affair.

Record crowd on hand Record crowd on hand

Brisbane Roar - Key Points and Players

If it was not for Mackenzie Arnold’s heroics in the first half, Brisbane Roar could have been staring down the barrel of defeat. Her signing in the off-season has given the Roar the experience they need between the goals especially with such a young team.

Katrina Gorry was an influential force, controlling the midfield tempo for the Brisbane Roar while making it hard for Sydney FC midfield to get passes through to the forwards.

The Roar ensured Sydney was mostly kept in their own half during the first 45 minutes but this plan came crumbling down after coming back from half-time.

But a mastermind change from coach, Melissa Andreatta, saw Roar debutant Allira Toby make an impact right away, as she scored with her first touch of the ball.

Roar continued their possession-based game, with perfectly placed balls through to the forwards time and time again while holding out Sydney’s counter attacks.

As the whistle blew, the crowd cheered as one while a number of Den members sung their chant, and you could tell it meant a lot to the players.

“We were a bit slow to start but we built momentum which is really good for us and we showed that we were pretty fit in the second half,” said Katrina Gorry.

“It was awesome, so many people came out today to watch us and the crowd was awesome they really got into it and they lifted us when we were a bit flat.”

Talking point

The crowd came to watch and support their home team after the pay debacle in the pre-season; it was great to see women’s football being supported in the community.

Sydney FC - Key Points and Players

The head-to-head record was not favourable toward Sydney FC, only winning four out of the 11 matches away from home against the Brisbane Roar.

But it the Sky Blues made a promising start as they made the most of early possession and goal scoring opportunities.

Caitlin Foord and Kyah Simon looked most likely to score in the first half but could not put it past Matilda’s teammate Mackenzie Arnold.

The defenders were able to keep Brisbane at bay, forcing them to take shots from outside the 18-yard box.

As the second-half started Sydney FC came out stronger, and it paid off with an early goal. It showed that the Brisbane Roar midfield is beatable especially when you have the combination of Foord and Simon.

They looked on track to equalise but the send off to Foord late in the second half changed the strength and pace of the team as they found themselves trying to fend off a number of taking plays by Brisbane.

“It was disappointing obviously, we were the more dominant team in the first half and as the game went on we fatigued a bit and couldn’t keep up our quality,” said Kyah Simon.

“We have the depth in the squad to reshuffle to back up and recover for the derby.”

Talking point

Despite the loss, Sydney FC showed promise, as they were able to keep up with the Brisbane Roar in the Queensland heat. The pairing between Foord and Simon has the potential to catch teams out.

What’s next?

Next weekend sees the Sydney FC take on the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Sydney Derby without their goal scorer Caitlin Foord. Meanwhile, the Brisbane Roar will travel across Australia to meet Perth Glory next Saturday.

Match Report

Brisbane Roar 2 (Toby 55’, Gorry 66’)

Sydney FC 1 (Foord 52’)

Saturday 5 November 2016

Spencer Park, Newmarket

Kick-off: 4pm (AEST)

Referee: Casey Reibelt

Brisbane Roar FC: 1. Mackenzie Arnold, 2. Amy Chapman, 3. Clare Polkinghorne, 6. Angela Beard, 7. Sunny Franco (Allira Toby 52’), 8. Kaitlyn Torpey, 10. Katrina Gorry, 11. Maili Forbes (Natalie Tathem 55’), 14. Summer O’Brien, 17. Emily Gielnik (Abbey Lloyd 72’), 18. Maddy Evans

Substitutes: 20. Georgina Worth (gk)

Cautions: 35’ Katrina Gorry, 41’ Maili Forbes

Sydney FC: 1. Shamiran Khamis, 2. Teresa Polias, 4. Elizabeth Ralston, 6. Servet Uzunlar, 7. Nicola Bolger (Olivia Price 83’), 9. Caitlin Foord, 11. Natalie Tobin (Gabe Marzano 65’), 13. Georgia Yeoman-Dale, 14. Alanna Kennedy, 17. Kyah Simon, 19. Leena Khamis 

Substitutes: 15. Sarah Easthope (gk), 21. Panagiota Petratos

Cautions: Teresa Polias 59’

Red card: Caitlin Foord 86’