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ALW: Matildas star Vine upsets spirited Jets


It took a goal from Matildas rising star Cortnee Vine to sink the Newcastle Jets 1-0 at No. 2 Sportsground on Sunday afternoon.

Only a few months ago, she scored the winning penalty kick, in a 7-6 shootout victory over France, to lead Australia into the FIFA World Cup semi-final.

And, on 10 December, the talented winger was “jolly on the spot” again to guide Sydney FC to a nail-biting A-League Women’s (ALW) triumph.

With time ticking away, Vine cleaned up some sloppy play at the back to tap in for the match-winner in the 84th minute.

It was FC’s eighth straight victory at the expense of their Hunter rivals, dating to December 2019.

In fairness, Newcastle deserved a bit better than a loss, following an exciting end-to-end contest in which the Jets enjoyed 58.2% possession.

But, they just couldn’t turn their chances into points.

At the other end of the park, and despite a slip-up which led to Sydney’s goal, home keeper Izzy Nino had a blinder, making several brilliant saves, alongside defender Natasha Prior, as the visitors launched raid-after-raid in the second period.

Newcastle looked sharp early with Emily van Egmond setting up Sarina Bolden, whose header was defused by rival No. 1 Jada Mathyssen-Whyman.

The FC goalie was then called upon to make another crucial save soon after, following great lead-up work by van Egmond.

Sydney’s best effort came in the 39th minute courtesy of Aideen Keane.

In spite of the many opportunities, the combatants went into the break locked at 0-all.

In the 49th minute, MelindaJ Barbieri, who replaced van Egmond, narrowly missed from outside the box.

The introduction of Vine off the bench lifted FC’s spirits.

Almost immediately, Madeleine Caspers and Fiona Worts combined to cause countless headaches, but – on at least four occasions – Nino held her nerve, blocking some well-placed strikes.

In the 70th minute, Sophie Hoban, who enjoyed a stellar match, combined with skipper Cass Davis, however the latter’s attempt was saved by Mathyssen-Whyman.

With the Jets under the pump, Shea Connors hit the bar and sent another ball astray.

However, the visitors didn’t have to wait long to break the deadlock, with Vine converting.

Newcastle refused to surrender and took it up another gear.

Bolden, Barbieri, Davis and Lorena Baumann ensured Mathyssen-Whyman remained busy in the dying stages.

But, Sydney managed to hang on to secure a much-needed win.

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