Heroic Moments: Kerr leads Golden Boot race thanks to brace against Sydney FC
When Sydney FC took the lead at HBF Park - formerly nib Stadium - it was going to take some Sam Kerr brilliance to get Perth Glory out of their conundrum.
Lo and behold, brilliance was delivered as Sam Kerr grabbed her 14th Westfield W-League brace to keep Perth unbeaten in the league and fire them to the summit.
Of particular note was Kerr’s second header of the afternoon which gave Perth the 2-1 lead.
After a see-sawing affair where both sides threatened in scorching conditions, Rachel Hill delivered a cross to the back post on 85 minutes and into the orbit of Kerr.
The delightful cross bent over Sofia Huerta and Westfield Matildas defender Alanna Kennedy, giving Kerr the minimal space needed to convert her chance.
And that’s exactly what happened as the 25-year-old climbed high above the pack to head home, the ball evading Kennedy’s last-ditch efforts to bail out keeper Aubrey Bledsoe.
Kerr’s eighth goal in six games of the 2018/19 Season puts her in out-right first in the Golden Boot race, one goal ahead of Adelaide United’s Veronica Latsko who is breathing down her neck.
Riley backs into first goal
When Yuki Nagasato delivered a wicked corner into Western Sydney Wanderers’ box, the ball ended up in the back of the net and Brisbane Roar celebrated.
Indiah-Paige Riley celebrated too, but she revealed after the game she knew very little about her maiden goal in the Westfield W-League.
“I had no idea,” said Riley. “I just turned and Polks was jumping in the air (screaming) ‘Indi, it came off you!’
“I was like ‘oh my god,’ but yeah it’s good to get my first goal.”
On a personal level, the goal was an incredible achievement for Riley. At 18-years-old, and having only played six games in the Westfield W-League, grabbing a goal is a Heroic Moment in and of itself.
However, in the context of the game, it restored Brisbane Roar’s lead and forced Western Sydney to chase another equaliser.
This left gaps in the Wanderers’ defence and helped Allira Toby grab her second goal in as many games to send Brisbane to the top of the ladder alongside Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory.
Heyman Red-dy to keep scoring for Adelaide
When Michelle Heyman signed for Adelaide United, it was only a matter of time before she would add to her record-62 goals in the Westfield W-League.
And despite her slow start in getting off the mark, Heyman still did her part for the team including two assists and an intelligent dummy to set up Georgia Campagnale against Melbourne City.
So what better time to break the duck for your new team than against your arch-rivals and ladder-leaders Melbourne Victory?
Heyman showed her years of experience to expertly position her body in such a way that attracted a foul from Teigen Allen in the box.
And when she stepped up to take the penalty, there was only ever going to be one result — a bulged net.
The goal gave Adelaide a 2-0 lead and helped them on their way to a tight 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory, putting them one point off the pace of the trio on 13 points.
Dobson Christmas cracker one to savour
Melbourne City appears to be mounting an insurgency in their pursuit of a top-four finish, epitomised by Rhali Dobson’s brace against Canberra United on Saturday afternoon.
Dobson’s first-half injury-time bullet was the pick of the bunch, as it handed City a 3-0 lead at the interval and an unassailable lead.
The 26-year-old picked up the ball metres out from the box and in a seemingly non-threatening position.
Seconds later, having danced past two defenders, Dobson let fly with her left peg, firing the ball into the top-left corner well-beyond the grasps of Sham Khamis.
The goal was a fitting exclamation mark on City’s dominant first-half and affirms opposition’s fears that Melbourne are circling for that top-four finish.