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Friday, January 11, 2013
Canberra's W-League hopes dashed

By Pete Smith

Canberra United's hopes of retaining their W-League crown ended in stunning fashion on Saturday as Brisbane Roar secured a 5-1 win in a replay of last year's grand final.

Sydney FC edged out Canberra from fourth as the Sky Blues grabbed a dramatic 3-2 victory over city rivals Western Sydney Wanderers to leave United as the first reigning champions to miss a finals berth.

In Brisbane, prolific Roar attacker Tameka Butt starred by scoring a hat-trick, taking her tally to eight goals in the past five outings as her side claimed top spot at the end of the regular season.

The Roar held a 2-1 lead at the halftime break before running away with the match in hot and humid conditions, inflicting a record defeat on Canberra in the process.

"It was probably best our performance of the season and hopefully we can build on this and perform even better next week," Roar captain Clare Polkinghorne said.

"We started strongly today with some early goals, and got the combinations working well.

"We knew at the start of the season that we would get stronger as the season wore one and that has been the case, having lost once in our last nine games."

Brisbane will host arch-rivals Sydney FC, while Melbourne Victory will meet Perth Glory in next week's semi-finals.

Sydney FC substitute Nicola Bolger scored with her first touch seven minutes from the end to give her side victory in an action-packed encounter against the Wanderers.

Young guns Caitlin Foord and Sam Kerr both hit the back of the net with the Wanderers' Swedish midfielder Louise Fors scoring a double to twice draw her side level.

The W-League's second Sydney derby was enlivened by an electric atmosphere at Campbelltown Stadium with several flares adding colour to the occasion.

It was a far more sedate affair as Perth Glory cruised to a 3-1 win over Adelaide United in the City of Churches to move into second.

Kate Gill scored in each half for the Glory, with the Matildas striker setting up a third for Marianna Tabain late on.

The Glory, however, must now hope Melbourne Victory fail to defeat bottom side Newcastle Jets on Sunday if they are to host their maiden finals match.

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