A-League Women's leaders Sydney FC have gone nine matches without conceding a goal but now face two big contenders in a week.
A-League Women leaders Sydney FC have the chance to break clear of two of their big rivals over the next week, as they seek to extend their remarkable defensive record.
Sydney FC Women
- Sydney are leading in the league, clear by four points atop the ladder.
- The side's 29 goals this season is the most for any A-League team so far.
- They have also only conceded one goal in ten matches played.
More A-League Women's news can be found on The Women's Game.
A 1-0 away win over Newcastle on Sunday, courtesy of Princess Ibini's brilliant 22nd minute goal, gave Sydney a four-point lead at the top with four games to play.
The draw provides them with a testing run into the finals, with their last four games on the road against the teams currently placed between second and fifth.
On Wednesday, they face Melbourne Victory who are fourth, and they have another tough assignment in Victoria next Sunday against second-placed Melbourne City.
Beyond those games, they will play Perth (fifth) and Adelaide (third).
Coach Ante Juric, who didn't attend Sunday's game after coming down with a bout of gastro, wasn't fussed by the short turnaround heading into the Victory game, nor by the potential significance of their matches in Victoria.
"If we win, we keep going forward and they sort of get knocked off a little bit from second and third, but if we don't win, then they come closer," Juric told the Australian Associated Press.
"So it's in all the teams' hands there and we just focus on ourselves regardless of who we play."
Sunday's competition record-extending ninth successive clean sheet means Sydney have now gone the best part of 14 hours since conceding their only goal.
"Just enjoy it while it's there and maximise what we can, just try and get clean sheets until the end of the year," Juric said.
"Obviously, it's going to be tough to do, but why not go for it?
"But we're relaxed with it and enjoy it because it's something that doesn't happen."
Juric was happy to get Matildas squad members Cortnee Vine and Remy Siemsen back for the Newcastle game, though he said both looked underdone after each got just the one start in the Asian Cup finals.
He said it was good to have them back with Maria Rojas flying out last week to join the Chile squad, Page Satchell heading off for international duty with New Zealand and Kahli Johnson out with an ankle injury.
Juric said Sydney were not at their most fluent against Newcastle, who remained in sixth but with no realistic chance of making the top four.
"I think now the goal has to be to keep winning and finish as high as you can," Jets' coach Ash Wilson said.
"If we can't make the four then we want to finish fifth at least and put the teams below us, well below us."
She said Gema Simon, who came off at halftime, looked to have suffered a recurrence of a calf injury.
The full A-League Women's schedule can be found using this link.