Roar smash Canberra to keep alive top four hopes
Brisbane Roar remain in the Westfield W-League Finals Series hunt after a stunning 5-0 win over Canberra United on Sunday evening.
Americans Carson Pickett and Rylee Baisden starred for the Roar with two goals apiece at Lions Stadium, while Shea Connors also contributed late on for Jake Goodship's side.
Anything less than a win would have spelled the end of the Roar's top four ambitions, however, they proved the hungrier of the sides compared to a Canberra outfit guaranteed a mid-table finish.
The win puts the Roar just two points behind Western Sydney Wanderers in the hunt for fourth, ahead of their final round clash with newly-crowned Premiers Melbourne City next weekend.
Carson goes top bins for the Roar's opener
Canberra United duo Leena Khamis and Hayley Taylor-Young both fired wide early for the visitors, but there was no such worries for the Roar's American fullback.
Meeting compatriot Rylee Baisden's cross near the top of the box with a late run, Pickett controlled and then picked her spot with a firm finish into the top corner of the goal to open accounts.
Baisden wins and then converts penalty
Baisden was making the most of her return to the starting line-up for the Roar and had a goal of her own as the clock ticked past the quarter hour mark.
Another strong run on the right led to a cross from the American that clipped the arm of Laura Hughes in her attempted charge down. A spot-kick was the result and Baisden made no mistake as she sent Sham Khamis the wrong way to double the Roar's lead.
Canberra can't convert chances before the half
Despite the early goals, the visitors were not out of the contest at Lions Stadium but they simply couldn't make a mark on the scoreboard in the first half.
Leena Khamis and Taylor-Young failed to find the target with chances from set-pieces midway through the half, before Khamis was then foiled by Westfield Matildas goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold with a shot just after the half-hour.
'Keepers holding court after the restart
Knowing the value of goal difference in the Finals race, the Roar upped their attacking intent in the second stanza and if it were not for Sham Khamis they may well have run away it.
The United shot-stopper foiled attempt after attempt from the hosts - with Katrina Gorry and Indiah-Paige Riley the most dangerous with two efforts apiece on target.
At the other end, Arnold was also proving up-to-task as she denied efforts from Leena Khamis and Karly Roestbakken before the hour mark.
Pickett wraps it up late on
The momentum was with the Roar and with time winded down they made sure of the result as Pickett wrapped up her brace to complete a stunning individual performance.
This time the American made the most of a delivery from wide on the left from Holly Palmer - guiding in an inch-perfect headed finish into the bottom corner
Connors adds another with her maiden goal
Just minutes later and the Roar were in again as another dangerous run and cross from Baisden was squared up by Riley for Shea Connors to turn the ball in with an outrageous flick at close range.
Coming on just moments earlier as a substitute, the goal is the first ever in the Westfield W-League for Connors.
Baisden ices the win with her brace
Baisden had proved a handful all afternoon for the United defence and few could begrudge her rubbing salt into the wound as she netted her side's fifth in injury time.
With her run picked out by Katrina Gorry's through-ball, Baisden made no mistake with a one-on-one finish past Khamis on the angle to wrap up her haul.
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar
Sunday, 1 March 2020
Kick off: 4.00pm AEDT
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