Raso keeps Brisbane's Premiership hopes alive, end of the line for Canberra
Brisbane Roar have cemented their spot in the top four, and have kept their chances of a successive Westfield W-League Premiership alive, with a 4-1 win over Canberra United on Friday afternoon.
Hayley Raso grabbed her first Westfield W-League goal since returning from injury to open the scoring on 19 minutes, reacting fastest to Allira Toby’s attempted pass. Brisbane would double their lead just after the half hour mark — Celeste Boureille hammering home from a corner at the back post for her first goal of the 2018/19 Season.
Canberra pulled one back just after the hour mark when Nikki Flannery rose highest from a corner to head past Mackenzie Arnold.
But, just like in the first half, Brisbane would grab two goals of their own as Yuki Nagasato and Toby found the back of the net and buried Canberra's finals hopes for another season.
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Brisbane roared out of the blocks early on, assaulting Canberra’s box but unable to make any headway.
On 13 minutes, a corner variation caught Canberra’s defence unawares, but Sham Khamis — who’s been having a sensational 2018/19 Season — parried the cut-back.
Roar’s dominance would pay dividends on 19 minutes, and it just had to be through Raso.
Toby attempted a through ball, but her pass was deflected, falling into the path of Raso who fired across Khamis’s body and into the bottom-right corner.
Just over 10 minutes later, Canberra would be unstuck again, the defence caught napping from a Carson Pickett corner.
Boureille ghosted towards the back post and struck the ball on the fly, doubling Brisbane’s lead and putting them one step closer to a Westfield W-League finals berth.
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Canberra changed their tune in the second half, needing to overturn the deficit or risk ending their finals pursuits.
Yet it was Brisbane who would have the first telling chance after the interval, as Yuki Nagasato played through Toby on 56m minutes.
Toby was in on goal, but she blazed her shot wide.
She would rue that chance five minutes later when Canberra United had a corner just after the hour mark.
Olivia Price whipped in the corner, met by Flannery who headed home from eight yards out.
But Canberra's resurgence would last until the 70th minute, when Nagasato found herself running towards the opposition defence.
Shifting her weight one way, then dummying another, she cut in on her right foot and bent the ball superbly into the top-right corner, leaving a flailing Khamis with no chance.
And then Toby would get in on the action, too, latching onto a Chioma Ubogagu ball and firing home at the near post with her first touch.
Those two goals sucked the wind out of Canberra's sails, consigning them to a 4-1 loss and condemning them to another season without finals football.