Polkinghorne: Roar positive about future after heartbreaking loss
Losing consecutive semi-finals is never easy but for Brisbane Roar skipper Clare Polkinghorne, at least there is somewhat of a silver lining.
The Roar went down 2-1 to Sydney FC at Dolphins Stadium on Sunday night courtesy of goals to Caitlin Foord and Sofia Huerta.
Despite a thunderous strike from Yuki Nagasato late on the home side couldn’t force extra-time and were left to rue a missed opportunity after Premiers Melbourne Victory were knocked out by Perth Glory earlier that day.
With the result coming almost 12 months to the day Brisbane were felled by Melbourne City in the same fixture, Polkinghorne could be forgiven for hanging her head.
However, the defender was instead philosophical after the match and told Fox Sports the Roar could remain positive after blooding some young talent throughout the campaign, including four teenagers on their bench against Sydney.
“That’s probably the main thing we can take from it [the youth],” Polkinghorne said.
“We had so many debutants and a lot of teenagers that played and came on and did a really good job for us so full credit to them, they worked hard and did a really good job for us but [we] fell short.”
While an even game at face value, Sydney pulled away in attack, registering 18 shots to the Roar’s nine.
The Westfield Matilda lamented the ease with which her side presented chances to the visitors.
“We were probably below our best today, especially the first half we gave away too much ball and gave them too many opportunities and against sides like Sydney you can’t do that and they punished us,” she said.
“I think we had confidence in getting the ball and playing it but I think we were just rushing our decisions too much and we probably didn’t put together enough passes and just gave the ball away too easily.”
Sky Blues goal scorer Huerta was relieved at full-time and pleased with her side’s steady progress throughout the year after losing three of their first four matches.
“I think any team could have beat any team this season on any given day, we started off a little slow this season so I’m happy that we’ve reached our full potential, almost because I think we can still be better,” Huerta told Fox Sports post-match.
“I’ve always had a lot of respect for this club and the players who play on this team and so I’m excited that we made it to the Grand Final.”