It was a case of déjàvu as the two famously fought it out for finals in Round 12 last season in monsoon conditions.
Once again Sydney were able to achieve the favourable outcome. However this time it was a much more convincing display for the home side winning 2-0 rather than drawing 2-2.
A shaky opening 25 minutes seemed to foretell another fight to the death as Sydney were unable to possess the ball for more then a pass before the Jets would pickpocket the ball and furiously counter attack.
Sydney were unsettled and easily flustered as their passes were just not connecting. It was a tale that kept repeating – a pass would be sent towards the wing but the striker would cut in, or vice versa.
Jets import Caprice Dydasco was virtually unstoppable as she drove forward down the flanks and sent in crosses. Often a distinct lack of Jets in the box not available to convert these chances but more bodies might not have been enough to overcome the smart proactive goalkeeping of Michelle Betos.
A critical moment for Jets came when Tara Andrews propelled herself to the 6 yard box and found the space to either pump a shot at Betos or cut a ball across the face of goal. Andrews choosing the latter but there was no Jets support in place to tap it in and Sydney escaped.
Jets were often let down by positioning and not anticipating the big moments which is uncharacteristic for a side who are known to be attack minded.
Chloe Logarzo and Rhali Dobson were also a constant threat. Logarzo keen to pressure her former side but the persistence in defence of Natalie Tobin and Elizabeth Ralston was immense. Tobin and Ralston fighting for every ball made it very hard work for the Jets midfield.
Alanna Kennedy had another standout performance while Teigen Allen also put on perhaps her best game of the season. Allen defensively strong but also more aware of keeping ball possession and looking for the quick counter.
The Sydney FC midfield also getting a mention with Teresa Polias and Nicola Bolger doing well to control the pace particularly in the middle and latter part of the game.
Forwards Leena Khamis, Jasmyne Spencer and Kyah Simon were very active on and off the ball and Sydney showed a sneak peak of their former selves with lots of short ground balls in behind. A lack of communication the only thing letting those moments go.
Sydney FC doing the business to secure 3rd place on the table with a round to spare. The Sky Blues also continuing their impressive record of finals securing now 8 of 8 finals series in the W-league competition.
Sydney FC are now off to face Premiers the undefeated Melbourne City on their home turf. Suffering at their hands 6-0 when they met in the first round, much has now changed.
Sydney have found their flow while other teams have shown the ability to ‘hold’ City to 1 goal wins. Currently an outside favourite, if Sydney want to truly get attention they must push City further then we have seen others achieve thus far.
Sydney FC 2 (Kyah Simon 33’, Leena Khamis 59’)
Newcastle Jets 0
Saturday 9 January 2016
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Kate Jacewicz
Sydney FC: Michelle Betos (gk), Liz Ralston, Jasmyne Spencer, Teresa Polias (c), Nicola Bolger (Olivia Price 85’), Princess Ibini (Sunny Franco 67’), Natalie Tobin (Hannah Bacon 93’), Alanna Kennedy, Teigen Allen, Kyah Simon, Leena Khamis
Substitutes – Sham Khamis (gk)
Newcastle Jets: Hannah Southwell (gk), Megan Oyster, Caprice Dydasco, Cassidy Davis (Siahn Bozanic 74’), Gema Simon (c), Tara Andrews, Rhali Dobson (Clare Wheeler 65’), Chloe Logarzo, Brooke Miller, Jenna Kingsley (Elizabeth Copus-Brown 65’), Hannah Bromley
Substitutes – Claire Coelho (gk)
Cautions – Hannah Bromley 33’, Brooke Miller 47’