Khamis wonder goal seals the deal for Sydney FC

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14:  Leena Khamis (19) of Sydney celebrates with a team mate after scoring during the round seven W-League match between Sydney FC and the Newcastle Jets at Seymour Shaw on November 14, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Craig Golding/Getty Images)

Despite a monopoly on possession, the Sky Blues could only find the back of the net once (1-0), denied largely by the fine goalkeeping exploits of Newcastle Jets shot-stopper Alison Logue.
Leena Khamis? fine long-range strike midway through the first-half proved to be the match-winner.
Played in-front of a vocal crowd, the Sky Blues women were eager to keep pace with the Roar and Mariners above them on the league ladder, and their intentions were clear from kick-off.
A fast-paced start by the Sky Blues had the Jets on the back foot in the early exchanges as some desperate defending denied Heather Garriock a clear run on goal, before Sarah Walsh was pulled up for a narrow offside call.
On 4? minutes, a pin-point Catherine Paaske through ball picked out Julie Rydahl on the right-flank. The midfielder?s square pass across the face of goal found Walsh, though the striker?s lunging effort was not enough to divert the ball on target.
Newcastle?s best response arrived via the feet of captain Hayley Crawford on 10? minutes. The striker?s ?back-heeled? effort on the edge of the penalty-area had her marker beaten, though the pass failed to pick out a teammate.
Heather Garriock was guilty of squandering the best chance of the opening 15? minutes when she cleverly latched onto a pass from the left-flank. Garriock?s first-time effort on the turn though lacked any punch, and Alison Logue saved with ease to keep the sides level.
Walsh nearly found the breakthrough on 15? minutes when she met Paaske?s through ball out of midfield. The Australian International?s low-driven effort from an acute angle was deflected away to safety by some scrambling Jets defending.
The Sky Blues? eagerly awaited goal arrived on 18? minutes, and what a timely treat it was for the boisterrous Seymour Shaw crowd. Leena Khamis? ?dipped? effort from distance left Allison Logue in the Jets goal helpless as the ball ruffled the back of the net for arguably a huge shot for goal of the season.
Sydney FC squandered a huge opportunity to double the lead via the penalty-spot on 23? minutes as Garriock saw her effort brilliantly saved by Alison Logue down to her right.
Despite the setback, the Sky Blues continued to pressure the Jets? backline with a constant barrage of attacks.
Rydahl tested Logue on the half hour with a fine driven effort following an exquisite exchange of passes by Servet Uzunlar and Khamis. Logue stood tall and thwarted the effort with a composed save.
The Jets? goalkeeper was again the saviour on 34? minutes, ?single-handedly? saving a Khamis one-on-one situation down to her left, before clearing her line well to anticipate Walsh?s clear run on goal following another exquisite through ball out of the Sydney FC midfield.
Newcastle Jets? afternoon took a turn for the worse on 35? minutes as captain Hayley Crawford was shown her second yellow card of the afternoon, leaving the Jets a mammoth task.
Sydney FC kept the Jets on the back-foot immediately following the re-start as Garriock first, and then Paaske, forced Logue into two fine saves inside the opening 3? minutes.
Sky Blues striker Sarah Walsh found a yard of space at the back post on 52? minutes following a floated Garriock cross from the left, though the striker?s first-time effort was skyrocketed over the crossbar.
Walsh returned the favour moments later providing Garriock with a goalscoring chance, though Garriock?s final shot from the edge of the penalty-area finished well wide of the mark.
Rydahl had the crowd on their feet on the hour as her swerving free-kick avoided the wall, though failed to sneak past an unyielding Logue in the Jets? goal.
The Sky Blues onslaught continued as Michelle Carney replaced goalscorer Khamis, and it was Carney, whom with her first touch, forced Logue into another fine save to keep the deficit at one.
Sydney FC?s frustrations continued as consecutive efforts to Walsh and Kyah Simon were somehow scrambled away to safety by the Newcastle rearguard.
In the closing stages, Garriock finally had Logue beaten with a shot-turn-cross from the right touchline, though the ball ricocheted off the crossbar before the Jets cleared away from danger.
Following the match, Sydney FC midfielder Julie Rydahl confirmed her side?s relief at gaining maximum points from the contest:
?We are very happy with the win, that is the most important thing,? commented Rydahl.

?The disappointment is that we created so many chances and could only score one goal. In saying that though, we did dominate across the park, and we have taken home the win, so we can build on this for next week and keep playing away to ensure we are in the finals,? ended Rydahl.
Match Details
Sydney FC W-League:  1. Nikola DEITER (gk), 4. Alesha CLIFFORD, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 7. Heather GARRIOCK (C), 8. Julie RYDAHL (13. Catherine CANNULI 77?), 9. Sarah WALSH (22. Tenealle HAY 79?), 10. Kylie LEDBROOK, 11. Cathrine PAASKE, 15. Kyah SIMON, 16. Linda O?NEILL, 19. Leena KHAMIS (12. Michelle CARNEY63?)
Unused Subs: 20. Carla MONFORTE (gk)
Yellow Cards Kylie LEDBROOK 19?
Red Cards Nil
Goals KHAMIS 18?
Newcastle Jets W-League: 1. Alison LOGUE (gk), 2. Elizabeth SHARPE, 3. Pelay INGLES, 5. Stacey DAY (8. Bronte BATES 46?), 6. Amber NEILSON, 7. Gema SIMON, 9. Kate HENSMAN (13. Caitlin JARVIE 57?), 10. Hayley CRAWFORD (c), 15. Renee CARTWRIGHT, 18. Leia SMITH (12. Emma STEWART 75?), 21. Harmonie ATTWILL
Unused Subs: 20. Emma-Kate DEWHURST (gk),
Yellow Cards CRAWFORD 25?, 35?
Red Cards CRAWFORD 35?
Goals Nil

Referee Peta MCCALLUM
Assistant Referees Laura ELLIOT and Leanne SMITH
Fourth Official Liz SHORTER
Referee Coach Sharon O?NEILL
-By Joseph Carlucci