A double from American forward Katie Stengel lifted Western Sydney Wanderers to a crucial 2-1 comeback win over Newcastle Jets.
There was a lot at stake for both the Jets and the Wanderers on their Boxing Day clash as both teams had to fight for a chance in the finals.
Within seven minutes the Jets had the lead when a feed from Emma Stanbury found the head of forward Jenna Kingsley, who placed her shot neatly into the back of the net, scoring against her former team.
Western Sydney Wanderers’ Stengel found herself one-on-one with Jets keeper, Katelyn Rowland soon after. After evading Rowland, it took an outstretched left leg from Jets defender Cassidy Davis to clear what seemed a certain goal.
But within seconds Stengel equalised with a scramble in the box from the ensuing corner.
Outstanding play followed by Kendall Fletcher, Paige Nielsen and Ellie Carpenter for the visitors but it was Stengel again who put the Wanderers in front on the half-hour.
Stengel broke through the Jets defence after an attempted clearance by Davis only to be again one-on-one with Jets keeper Rowland, but this time making no mistake in burying her shot as the Wanderers took the lead.
Coming back after half time, both teams were determined to secure the three points, with Wanderers looking to protect their lead and the Jets eager to score twice.
In the 51st minute, Jen Hoy was awarded a penalty after Wanderers keeper Jada Whyman had tripped her in the box.
Hoy stepped up to take the penalty, hoping to make this her fifth consecutive goal in as many matches, however, her strike smashed into the Whyman’s left post and bounced out.
Hoy had a second chance on goal in the 81st minute, however this time the ball rebounded off the crossbar in what proved the final opportunity for the Jets to draw level.