Heroic Moments: Nagasato’s cool finish ends Victory’s run and opens up Westfield W-League title race
She may have taken a couple of weeks to get off the mark in the Westfield W-League, but Yuki Nagasato is well and truly in form following her goal against Melbourne Victory.
Nagasato’s goal is her second in as many weeks, giving Brisbane Roar a much-needed win following their 5-1 loss to Sydney FC in Round 6 — but, more importantly, it puts five teams within five points or fewer from ladder leaders Victory.
READ: Brisbane ride out storm in composed performance
WATCH: Every goal from Round 7 of the Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season
GOAL OF THE ROUND: Sofia Huerta - Sydney FC
Thanks to Brisbane’s win, and Nagasato’s exquisite goal, Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar are on 10 points, Sydney FC and Adelaide United on nine, and Canberra United on eight points.
Melbourne appeared to be mounting a comeback in a wet and windy Lions FC Stadium after Natasha Dowie fired home on 82 minutes.
Brisbane withstood a navy blue onslaught and needed that extra bit of class to put the result beyond doubt.
Enter Nagasato, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Winner and striker with over 100 international caps for Japan.
Celeste Boureille threaded a ball through the eye of the needle into the path of Nagasato who, as per usual, took an exceptional touch to cushion the pass, before rounding the keeper on her second.
From then on, the goal was wide open as the Japan international slotted home to give Brisbane an ultimately unassailable 4-2 lead.
Nagasato’s ingenuity has completely revamped Brisbane’s 2018/19 Season. From looking like a team stuck on the middle of the pack, they are now within touching distance of Melbourne Victory and a real chance of sealing their second consecutive Westfield W-League Premiership.
Eckerstrom denies Kerr with super save
When Sam Kerr blared down on on goal on 61 minutes, fans would have expected one result: a bulged net and a Perth Glory lead.
The Saturday night thriller was delicately poised at 2-2 and Newcastle Jets were hanging on after Larissa Crummer had been giving her marching orders on 26 minutes.
The Jets had sustained attack after attack — surely their fort would be breached.
Not with Britt Eckerstrom in goal, though.
The 25-year-old American goalkeeper, now in her second Westfield W-League season with the Jets, stood tall as Kerr neared her territory.
In a flash, the custodian spread herself wide to cut down the angle and deny Kerr the shot that may have given Perth all three points.
In terms of difficulty, the save might not have been Eckerstrom’s hardest on the night. However, in the context of the game, it gave the Jets the belief that they could hold onto the draw or even go on and win the game.
Eckerstrom’s save epitomised her performance, denying Newcastle Jets on eight occasions — and incredible effort as the Jets look to climb the ladder and reach that coveted finals spot.
Ibini brace thunders Sydney to victory
Everything Sydney FC touches at the moment is turning to gold, and this has been in part thanks to Princess Ibini.
The 18-year-old Westfield Matilda is in some red-hot form, firing three goals in her last two games. Perhaps more ominously, the youngster has scored three of her five shots on target — so when Ibini’s got a peep at goal, it seems you best stop that shot or cop the consequences.
A bumper crowd at Cromer Park welcomed a formerly unbeaten Adelaide United outfit that had built their reputation for the 2018/19 Season on a watertight defence, and clinical attack.
The attack may have been true, but Ibini’s guile created cracks in Adelaide’s defence.
This was no more evident than when full-time was looming and Ibini found herself in possession at the edge of the box.
Two touches later, Ibini had fired a rocket into Adelaide’s bottom-right corner and given Sydney FC their fifth — the second time in as many weeks.
It capped off a superb night for the Sky Blues, and an incredible two weeks, where they have now scored 10 goals in two games.