Princess Ibini’s wonder strike clinched all three points as Sydney FC bounced back from their derby woes with a 2-0 win against Adelaide United in Round 7.
With the scores locked at 0-0, the six-cap Westfield Matilda was introduced from the Sky Blues bench on 66 minutes to replace Veronica Latsko, the American striker who was returning from an ACL injury.
Ibini injected an urgency into the Westfield W-League Champions’ attack and was involved in the opener as Reds defender Amber Brook turned Remy Siemsen’s cross into her own net in the 77th minute.
And the teenage attacker, Ibini, made sure she had the final word at Nestrata Jubilee Stadium with a blistering strike that left Westfield Matildas goalkeeper Sarah Willacy with no chance.
Alanna Kennedy starred in defence, while Caitlin Foord also helped Sydney heal some of the wounds of their 5-0 reverse against city rivals Western Sydney Wanderers last week.
The Sky Blues closed the gap on leading pair Wanderers and Melbourne City to one point, but they have played an extra game.
Clare Polkinghorne netted her first Westfield W-League goal in more than two years as Elise Kellond-Knight made her Brisbane Roar return in the 2-1 triumph against Newcastle Jets.
Captain Polkinghorne led by example to break the Jets’ resolve in the 41st-mintue and drew the Queenslanders level at 1-1, after Tara Andrews had fired Newcastle ahead against the run of play at Lions FC Stadium.
After Hayley Raso, Katrina Gorry and Tameka Yallop had been denied by Jets goalkeeper Claire Coelho, substitute Hollie Palmer hit the winner to lift Brisbane into the Westfield W-League’s top four.
Kellond-Knight was introduced in the 75th minute as she played her first game in the Orange jersey since leaving Brisbane in 2015 following a glittering seven-year spell with her home state club.
Amy Harrison and Western Sydney backed up their 5-0 rout of the Champions, Sydney FC, last week by hammering Canberra United 4-0 on Thursday night.
Karly Roesbakken’s side fell behind at half-time when Young Matilda Kyra Cooney-Cross netted her fourth goal of the season on 38 minutes.
Wanderers’ trio of North Carolina Courage players, Denise O’Sullivan, Kristen Hamilton and Lynn Williams, all added second-half strikes to bump the scoreboard to four at McKellar Park.
After collecting the wooden spoon in last year’s campaign, Western Sydney completed their rise to top spot, on goal difference, after six matches.
Melbourne Victory’s pursuit of a top-four finish is very much alive and the Westfield W-League Premiers earned a 2-1 win on the road against Perth Glory.
Amy Jackson’s double did the damage for Jenna McCormick’s side, who named Teigen Micah as their substitute goalkeeper at Dorrien Gardens.