Western United got back on the winners list in the Liberty A-League Women with a 2-0 triumph over Brisbane Roar in Hobart on Saturday afternoon.
Jessica McDonald had a major impact on proceedings in her last match for the Club, teeing up Hannah Keane to score before the break and Tyla Jay Vlajnic just after it.
The win ensured Mark Torcaso’s side remained at the top of the table and continued the team’s perfect record in home matches.
There were four changes to the starting XI as Mark Torcaso reverted back to a more familiar looking line-up after rotating the side last week.
Alana Cerne, Stacey Papadopoulos and Aimee Medwin all returned in defence while Melissa Taranto came back into the midfield.
Brisbane began the game the faster of the two sides, putting United under pressure early on with balls in the box stretching the Green and Black’s defence.
The back four held firm to ensure Brisbane were unable to create any meaningful openings, though, and United slowly began to enjoy more extended spells of possession.
The Taranto twins and Emma Robers worked well together to limit Katrina Gorry’s time on the ball for Brisbane, but an overall lack of cutting edge let Torcaso’s side down in the final third.
United threatened from set pieces but largely struggled to break down Brisbane’s defensive structure from open play.
With the game becoming very much a midfield battle, the space out wide was available to be exploited and that’s exactly what Western United did to open the scoring just before half-time.
After Adriana Taranto fed her down the right-hand side, McDonald looked to pick out Robers with a cutback but the ball deflected into the path of Keane who adjusted mid-air to side foot the ball into the net via the post.
After stealing the lead right on the stroke of the break, Western United set about taking advantage and increasing the lead in the second half.
Having settled into the game after the opening stages, the Green and Black looked best value to add the next goal of the game.
And that came after some more brilliant work from McDonald who added a second assist to her final match for Western United.
Taking her time and beating multiple defenders down the right-wing, McDonald sent a fizzing delivery across the face of goal which Vlajnic converted at the second attempt from virtually on the goal line.
That goal gave United the breathing room needed to play the remaining half hour of the game on its own terms, dictating the majority of possession and keeping Brisbane at arm’s length in defence.
Hillary Beall made any intervention required and United even went looking for a third with Hannah Keane and substitutes Kahli Johnson and Jaclyn Sawicki having efforts at goal.
United didn’t need the extra goal in the end as the defence held on to its fourth clean sheet of the season and returned to winning ways in the Liberty A-League.