Sydney FC have kept their finals hopes alive with a much needed victory on Friday afternoon, defeating a tenacious Newcastle Jets outfit 3-1 at Kogarah Oval.
Appropriately given the conditions, Savannah McCaskill was in red hot form, scoring twice for the Sky Blues. Princess Ibini grabbed Sydney’s other goal, while Libby Copus-Brown scored for Newcastle.
The Jets had problems before the game had even started.
Newcastle were already missing Katie Stengel due to injury when Cortnee Vine had to pull out during the warmup, with Panagiota Petratos taking her place. Perhaps understandably, for the whole game, the Jets lacked a threat up front to really trouble the Sky Blues.
They still made it difficult, thanks to their defensive organisation and an excellent goalkeeping performance from Britt Eckerstrom.
There were no such issues up front for the home team. McCaskill was fantastic in the centre forward role for Sydney, with her off the ball movement causing constant problems for the Jets.
There was also plenty of attacking support from Danielle Colaprico and Taylor Ray, aided by a typically solid defensive midfield performance from Teresa Polias, which allowed those two to have more attacking freedom.
This allowed the Sky Blues to control the majority of possession, however, their opener came from a counter-attack, with Colaprico and Caitlin Foord combining to set up a headed goal from McCaskill.
It was fitting that the goal came from a wide area as that was where Sydney got most of their joy in this game, with McCaskill, Foord and Chloe Logarzo all finding space on the flanks, supported by occasional attacking raids from fullbacks Sofia Huerta and Amy Harrison.
In contrast, Jets fullbacks Gema Simon and Arin Wright were largely kept quiet, as were wingers Jenna Kingsley and Teigan Collister.
While the heat may have affected the pace of the first half at times, things began to open up after the interval.