Sydney FC goalkeeper Jada Whyman equalled the A-League Women’s clean sheet record as the competition pacesetters stretched their lead to seven points with a 3-0 home win over closest challenger Melbourne City.
Well-taken first-half goals from Paige Satchell and Rachel Lowe gave Sydney a deserved halftime lead at Netstrata Jubilee Oval on Saturday.
Whyman made a string of saves in the first 15 minutes of the second half, to preserve their advantage and secure a seventh straight clean sheet.
Lowe put the game beyond City’s reach in the 74th minute when she raced into space and drove her shot between Melissa Barbieri’s legs.
Sydney have scored 26 goals in seven games while conceding just one and haven’t let one in more than 10 hours play.
“It means a lot to me,” Whyman said.
“The clean sheet usually goes to the goalkeeper, they have their name with it, but I’d have to say with the amount of defence that these girls do, it makes my job easier.”
Early on, it was City goalkeeper Barbieri who was the most influential player as Sydney created the best opportunities.
The former Matildas goalkeeper made a fine block to foil a close-range effort from Chilean Maria Rojas.
Barbieri pulled off another good save to push away Charlotte McLean’s long-range shot.
City’s best first-half chance came when Whyman used her legs to block a 27th minute shot from New Zealander Rebekah Stott, who had pounced on a misplaced back pass.
Satchell made City pay six minutes later after they lost the ball near the halfway line.
New Zealander Satchell slotted the ball away following a good first-time flick from Princess Ibini.
Emma Checker had a close-range volley from a corner saved by Whyman before Lowe doubled Sydney’s lead when she beat Barbieri at the near post after racing on to a through ball from Ally Green.
City started the second half with more urgency and created a number of chances, as well as having a potential goal rubbed out.
Within two minutes, New Zealand international Hannah Wilkinson had a shot pushed away for a corner by Whyman.
Checker headed the ball home from the corner but her joy was short-lived as Whyman was judged to have been fouled.
Wilkinson had two more strong shots well saved by Whyman and Kaitlyn Torpey fired a powerful attempt just wide.
It was City’s second loss and they had conceded only four goals In their six previous games.
“I think the first half for me was the most disappointing, we struggled to keep the ball we were frantic and I think we were flat,” City captain Checker said.
“We’ve had some games like that in the first half the last few weeks and we’ve been fortunate enough that teams haven’t capitalised
“But up against a strong opposition like Sydney, they took control of the first half and I think we came back strong second half, but it just wasn’t enough.”