Sunday, January 18, 2009
The Queensland Roar have defeated Canberra United 2-0 in the W-League Grand Final at Ballymore Stadium in Brisbane. The W-League is Australia's premier women's football competition.
Queensland finished the regular season as premiers. They hosted Sydney FC at Ballymore in the semi final, winning 5-4 on penalties. Canberra finished third and traveled to EnergyAustralia Stadium in New South Wales to play the Newcastle Jets.
Queensland went ahead after 6 minutes with a goal to striker Lanna Harch. Midfielder Tameka Butt doubled the advantage 17 minutes later.
In a desperate attempt to get back in the game, Canberra played three players at the back after half time. This strategy worked well in the opening stages of the second half, but failed to result in any goals for United. Canberra were denied a goal early in the half after substitute Ashleigh Sykes was ruled offside.
"It was a really pleasing performance," said Roar coach Jeff Hopkins. "We were under a little bit of pressure coming in as premiers and perhaps being expected to win the game, but it just shows the quality and character that we have in the squad that the players performed under a lot of pressure."
"It's just a dream, especially because it's the inaugural year, just to be in the right spot at the right time and finish it off was really good," Harch, who claimed player of the match honours, told ABC1, "It was definitely a tight clash, Canberra came to play and it was a hard match."
== Sources ==
Australian Associated Press. "Roar win inaugural W-League championship" — Sydney Morning Herald, January 17, 2009
"Queensland claims inaugural W-League title" — Australian Broadcasting Corporation, January 17, 2009