Sydney FC beat cross-town rivals Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 to lift them to the top of the W-League with one round remaining.
A double from prolific striker Jodie Taylor lifted Sydney FC to a comfortable 3-1 derby win over Western Sydney Wanderers to leave the reigning champions a point clear at the top of the W-League ladder with one round remaining.
Leena Khamis put the Wanderers on the back foot with an early goal, while Taylor added two more before the hour mark as Sydney FC rebounded in style from their midweek defeat by Canberra United.
Western Sydney Wanderers’ Catherine Cannuli netted from the penalty spot in the dying seconds in her final home match. The former Matildas’ forward announced her retirement during the week.
Taylor now seems assured of winning her maiden golden boot as the league’s leading goal scorer after taking her tally to 10, three clear of Melbourne Victory duo Caitlin Friend and Lisa De Vanna.
Victory leaves Sydney assured of a home semi-final but a final-round meeting with second-placed Canberra United will determine which team ends as premiers for finishing top of the ladder.
The Sky Blues’ three goals in the derby established a new W-League high of 36 goals for the season.
“We have had a tough schedule, but we have been rotating players and it seems to have worked for us,” said Sydney FC midfielder Khamis.
“It is always great to win the derby and we have earned a home semi-final so we couldn’t be happier.”
Canberra ensured the race for top spot will continue until the final round after cruising to a club record-equalling 5-0 win over an outclassed Newcastle Jets.
The match was marked by the return of popular Matildas midfield stalwart Sally Shipard who marked her first W-League appearance for nearly two years with a goal after just 10 minutes.
The win allowed Canberra to leapfrog Melbourne Victory, whose nine-match unbeaten run came to a surprise end at the hands of Perth Glory.
The injury-hit Glory went ahead with an early Kate Gill goal and they survived some oppressive heat and a second-half onslaught from the Victory to claim all three points.
Meanwhile, a late equaliser from teenager Emily Condon earned Adelaide United a 1-1 draw as fourth-placed Brisbane Roar continued their erratic form.