Sydney FC, Victory fight out W-League draw
Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC fought out an entertaining 1-1 draw in their W-League clash at Wembley Reserve.
In steamy, 37-degree heat, Caitlin Foord got Sydney off to the best possible start before Maika Ruyter-Hooley cancelled out the early strike mid-way through the half.
The match started off with an intriguing battle between Matildas Foord and Stephanie Catley, with both pushing hard down their flank trying to keep the other pinned back.
However it was Foord taking the early advantage after four minutes when she was released by Emma Kete down the right flank and her mishit cross floated into the net over Victory keeper Brianna Davey.
Minutes later, Sydney were dealt a blow when Foord received a corked leg from a blocked cross and she was substituted on 18 minutes.
The absence of Foord seemed to swing the momentum in Victory's favour and on 27 minutes they found the equaliser.
Petra Larsson delivered a corner into the danger area and Ruyter-Hooley's header snuck just inside Shamiran Khamis' left post.
The home side were inches away from taking the lead just before the break when Larsson ran to a Sydney clearance and smashed a shot off the crossbar from 25 yards.
Victory started to cope with the conditions better than their opponents in the second half as the game became stretched because of the heat.
The best chance of the half fell to Victory's Amy Jackson on 60 minutes as the midfielder fired wide from the penalty spot after being slipped through by a wonderful reverse ball from Jessica McDonald.
Sydney's only clear effort of the half came mid-way through the second half when Nicola Bolger flicked on a lofted free kick and Kete's miscued finish went straight into the arms of Davey.
With neither side finding a winner, the points were shared and Victory missed a chance to leapfrog Sydney into second spot on the league table.
Melbourne Victory 1 (Ruyter-Hooley 27)
Sydney FC 1 (Foord 4)
Melbourne Victory: 1. Brianna DAVEY (GK), 2. Danielle JOHNSON, 3. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 4. Rebekah STOTT, 5. Laura SPIRANOIC (11. Caitlin FRIEND '86), 6. Petra LARSSON, 7. Stephanie CATLEY (c), 10. Jessica MCDONALD, 14. Enza BARILLAS (17. Gulcan KOCA '45), 15. Amy JACKSON, 2. Jessica FISHLOCK
Sydney FC: 2. Teresa POLIAS, 3. Elizabeth RALSTON, 7. Nicola BOLGER (11. Annalie LONGO '80), 9. Caitlin FOORD (4. Samantha KERR '18), 10. Renee ROLLASON, 13. Larissa CRUMMER, 14. Alanna KENNEDY, 17. Kyah SIMON (c), 19. Emma KETE, 20. Shamiran KHAMIS (GK), 22. Lillie BILLSON (12. Chloe Logarzo '64)