W-LEAGUE: Sydney women record first win of season

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Sydney FC W-League side picked up their first win of the season against Melbourne Victory at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The 2-1 triumph came thanks to Kylie Ledbrook and Megan Rapinoe’s quality strikes. Victory had cancelled out Ledbrook’s goal on the hour mark when Jodie Taylor slotted a penalty, but Rapinoe’s finish with just eight minutes remaining sealed the three points for the home side.

Photo: Pete Nowakowski

Ledbrook capitalised on Sydney’s early dominance after just nine minutes with an outstanding effort from the edge of the area. True to their short and quick passing game, Sydney played the opening quarter of the match short. Passing around the box just in front of the Victory defence, Ledbrook received possession and curled a shot into the top corner.

Sydney instantly began looking for a second and almost found it from the individual brilliance of Rapinoe. After winning a free kick 35 yards out the marquee import tried to lob her shot into the far top corner and came within inches of an early contender for goal of the season.
Victory tried to fight back but struggled to hold possession. The passing was sloppy against Sydney’s high pressing, and it allowed for blistering counter attacks from the home side.
One of these counter attacks almost lead to Sydney doubling the lead on the half hour mark. Rapinoe was brought down after being put through on goal, though the referee only saw the incident being worthy of a yellow card. From the following free-kick, Rapinoe looked for another wonder goal and her shot from 25 yards was struck beautifully, as only the crossbar denied Sydney their second. 
The second goal of the game did almost come six minutes later, but it was Victory with the opportunity. Only Danielle Brogan was there to stop a rampaging Taylor after the striker was played through on goal. The Sydney center back made a crucial sliding tackle to stop the move and ensure Sydney kept their lead. 
Rapinoe continued on her search for a goal with a 43rd minute header going just wide before she played in Sarah Walsh on the stroke of half time. The striker played her first time shot from the edge of the area across goal, but saw her effort tipped well from Brianna Davey.

The Rapinoe-Walsh combination almost struck again just two minutes into the second half. Rapinoe’s ball over the top allowed Walsh to sue her speed to put her past Rebekah Stott, but her finish was saved by Davey.

 
Despite not having as many chances, Victory were still only a goal down and kept their heads as they looked for an equaliser. It was Taylor who was central to everything and she was only denied by a superb reaction save from Allison Lipsher on the hour mark.
Photo: Pete Nowakowski
Minutes later and it was Taylor again who was terrorising the Sydney defence as Victory won a penalty after she was taken down in the area. She stepped up and calmly slotted it into the bottom right corner, a fair reward for her consistent effort. 
Sydney looked to regain the lead and bought on Caitlin Foord and Brittany Whitfield to help find that elusive goal. 
The second Sydney goal did finally came in the 82nd minute from the well-deserving Rapione. After missing by centimetres and hitting the woodwork earlier in the game, the American placed her shot perfectly into the corner after getting in behind the defence yet another time.
Victory had one last chance at a second equaliser in the last minute of the game. A superb pass put Taylor through, but her shot across goal when inches wide. It was near enough the final play of the game as Sydney ran out 2-1 winners.
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