Cortnee Vine stars as Sydney FC overcome Western United

Jasper Bruce |

A last-gasp goal from Maliah Morris (r) earned Western Sydney a share of the ALW spoils at Canberra.
A last-gasp goal from Maliah Morris (r) earned Western Sydney a share of the ALW spoils at Canberra.

Matildas ace Cortnee Vine has starred for Sydney FC in a 3-1 defeat of ladder-leaders Western United that enhances the Sky Blues’ push for a fourth consecutive premier’s plate.

Vine scored twice and was a constant threat as the Sky Blues suffocated United, whose six-game A-League Women winning streak came to an end at Leichhardt Oval.

With three rounds remaining in the regular season, reigning champions Sydney have risen to second on the ladder, two points behind Saturday’s opponents.

Showing her pace down the right wing, Vine sent a beautiful cross into the area for Princess Ibini after 15 minutes.

United goalkeeper Kathrine Larsen slapped Ibini’s shot away but couldn’t stop Abbey Lemon from firing a follow-up into the back of the net.

Vine threatened to extend the lead with a goal of her own, striking the woodwork just before the half-hour mark before firing another effort over the bar after the break.

But when Ibini released the Matildas flyer with 20 minutes to play, Vine needed only to beat Tyla-Jay Vlajnic and shoot past Larsen for Sydney’s second.

Lucky not to have found themselves more than 2-0 down, it took United until the 53rd minute to record a shot on target.

But they were right back in the game when Catherine Zimmerman, excellent from the bench, headed home 25 minutes after that first shot.

Vine sealed the result in added time. firing home her seventh goal of the campaign following a swift counter-attack.

Earlier, Maliah Morris’s last-gasp goal had allowed the Western Sydney Wanderers to salvage a 1-1 draw with Canberra United and close in on the top six.

Canberra appeared set to escape from a physical encounter at McKellar Park with their first clean sheet of the season – and a win to hoist themselves off the bottom of the ladder.

But that was before American striker Morris, on from the bench, seized a pass from Sophie Harding and tore up field to set up a one-on-one with Coco Majstorovic.

Morris’s shot sailed past the Canberra goalkeeper to lock up a draw in the seventh and final minute of stoppage time.

Canberra will have the chance to exact revenge for Morris’s 11th-hour goal when they travel to Wanderers Football Park for a rematch on Wednesday.

Brisbane Roar's Ayesha Norrie (l) and CCM's Kyah Simon.
Central Coast goalscorer Kyah Simon (r) challenges for possession with Brisbane’s Ayesha Norrie. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Third-placed Central Coast Mariners kept their premiership dream alive with a 2-0 defeat of Brisbane Roar that featured two quickfire goals either side of halftime.

Annabel Martin looped a long cross into the box for China international Wurigumula, who poked the ball into the bottom-right corner of the net in the 45th minute.

Martin was involved again in the first minute after the resumption, pouncing on the ball after Alicia Woods mistimed a pass to Leah Scarpelli.

Before the Brisbane defence could blink, Martin had played in Kyah Simon and the Matildas forward had found the back of the net.