QUEENSLAND Roar took out the inaugural W-League trophy with a 2-0 win over Canberra United in the Grand Final at Ballymore.
To see the celebration (and streaker pics!) click below.....
The Roar took a 2-0 lead into half time courtesy of sharp strikes from Lana Harch and Tameka Butt and while Canberra lifted in a much more even second half, the home side took the honours in a pulsating physical contest.
Harch, who was adjudged best on field, was still in disbelief after the game.
"To have a win in front of your home crowd and family is just a dream, it's fantastic," Harch said.
"It's very exciting, they are the things you dream of, to score in a grand final, obviously you just want the team to do well, but to score as well was fantastic."
"I still can't get my head around it."
"We knew that they were going to come back and put as many people upfront as possible.... we knew that they would come hard, but we knew we had the personnel to deal with those issues."
Canberra United striker Sasha McDonnell, who had a number of chances in the second half, lamented her side's inability to find the back of the net.
"It's disappointing to miss them because you don’t get a lot of chances in finals," McDonnell said.
"We worked hard and maybe if I had of got one or two of them it could have been a totally different game, but that's the way soccer goes."
"Credit to them, they defended well after two early goals, I think we played better than them in the second half, it's always hard to come back from two goals down."
Queensland needed just six minutes to grab the lead when United failed to deal with a fantastic cross from Ellen Beaumont.
Courtney Beutel latched onto Beaumont's looping pass, making a sweet connection with her header, only for it to crash into the crossbar.
But the ball bobbled back into play and after Canberra's defence couldn’t clear the danger, Harch sent the ball crashing into the back of the net to leave the visitors stunned.
The Roar continued to press and in the next five minutes Lauren Colthorpe had a couple of handy chances to extend their lead.
Colthorpe poked a dangerous free kick over the top of the crossbar before a gutsy tackle in the box from Thea Slatyer shut her down in the 14th minute.
Canberra were still under siege from a rampant Roar and in the 23rd minute Butt made it 2-0 when she unleashed a sizzling strike from the cusp of the box that Canberra keeper Lydia Williams could do little about as the ball ricocheted off the post into the net.
The Roar remained the side that looked most likely to score in the first stanza, but United started to build shortly before half time with a number of meaningful surges forward.
One of these, in the 34th minute, left Roar keeper Casey Dumont in a tremendous amount of pain when she copped errant boots from teammate Clare Polkinghorne and McDonnell while desperately diving on the ball.
The blows left Dumont dazed and throwing up, but she gallantly stayed on the field and was soon thoroughly tested in injury time when an errant pass back from Polkinghorne needed Dumont to make a sliding clearance.
The visitors continued their resurgence in the second half and looked to have halved the Roar's lead in the 57th minute when McDonnell freed up Ashleigh Sykes, whose header zoomed past Dumont, only for McDonnell to be ruled offside.
The two sides continued to trade missed chances as they fought out a tight second stanza.
Harch deceived Williams with a sneaky chip in the 66th minute, only for the ball to fall just wide of the post, McDonnell fired wide three minutes later while Beaumont blazed over the top of the crossbar in the 75th.
Canberra battled desperately to get on the board and McDonnell again looked a chance in the 82nd minute, only for Dumont to dive on a loose ball intended for McDonnell.
The visitors continued their assault well into extra time, but the Roar's defence held firm, giving the Brisbane-based side the dream double after they claimed the premiership following a dominant regular season where they lost just one game.Match Details
Queensland Roar 2 (Lana Harch 6’, Tameka Butt 26’)
Canberra United 0
Saturday 17 January 2008
Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Kate Jacewicz
Crowd: 4,554To see the celebration (and streaker pics!) click below.....