Saturday, January 5, 2013
Perth Glory fall from top of W-League
By Pete Smith
Perth Glory's women have lost their grip on top spot after a surprise 2-2 draw against bottom side Newcastle Jets allowed two-time champions Brisbane Roar to move top of the W-League with one round remaining.An impressive 2-0 win over arch-rivals Sydney FC has left Brisbane in the box seat to claim the premiership for finishing top of the regular season ladder.Perth slipped to third and must now rely on other results in the last round to secure a first-ever home semi-final.The result ended an unhappy week for the Glory whose star striker Lisa De Vanna received a hefty six-match ban, with four suspended in the case of further infraction.The controversial De Vanna, who was sent home from a Matildas camp just prior to the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, was punished for inappropriate comments made on social media.The in-form De Vanna was sorely missed by Perth who had demolished the Jets 6-1 in November.The Glory overturned an early Emily van Egmond goal but spurned several opportunities to guarantee all three points, only for teenager Jasmine Courtenay to equalise with 13 minutes remaining with her first W-League strike."We just didn't turn up to play," said Perth skipper Collette McCallum."We trained hard all week and were looking forward to this match, but definitely didn't expect this result."Brisbane took a one-point lead at the summit following a typically hard-fought encounter against Sydney FC.Last season's semi-final between the teams resulted in two send-offs for Sydney and this was another bruising match-up, with Sky Blues defender Renee Rollason sent to hospital with a nasty leg gash.A pair of goals either side of halftime from the prolific Tameka Butt proved the difference.Melbourne Victory cruised to a 4-1 win over Adelaide United with three goals inside the opening 15 minutes setting up the result.The Victory moved into second with the win, now well placed to claim a maiden home finals match.Canberra United's home encounter against Western Sydney Wanderers was the victim of erratic weather.Kick-off was initially delayed due to heat and the game was abandoned after 36 minutes due to lightning.The match will be replayed on Tuesday with the pair, along with Sydney FC, in a three-way battle for the lone remaining finals berth.