Cortnee Vine was the star of the show as Sydney FC kicked off their A-League Women’s season on Saturday with a 3-1 win over the Newcastle Jets at Jubilee Oval.
After the Jets withstood a first-half onslaught from the Sky Blues, Vine, 23, set up two goals after the halftime break with Remy Siemsen and Princess Ibini putting the home side two goals to the good just before the hour.
Substitute Lauren Allan hit back for the Jets with her first touch of the game, but soon after Vine had a goal of her own when she hit home from a corner to put the contest beyond doubt.
Any chance of a Newcastle fightback was killed off when Tiana Jaber was sent off for a second booking in the 77th minute.
“It’s not about Cortnee, it’s about the whole team but she was really good,” said Sky Blues coach Ante Juric.
“Everyone did brilliantly. She was direct and seems to be happy and in a good place.
“We dominated in the first 30 minutes and should have had four or five goals and credit to their keeper who had some really good saves.
“We were getting caught on the counter and at half-time I told them to be patient and the result would come.
“We were giving the ball away too easily, so we fixed that up and got on the front foot.”
Sydney were unable to find a breakthrough with Jets goalkeeper Claire Coelho repelling Siemsen, Ibini and Vine in the first half.
Newcastle were dogged and even when a suspected MCL strain forced Bethany Gordon off, the away side held their own.
The pressure began to tell, though, with a poorly-cleared ball falling into Vine’s path in the 52nd minute.
She flicked on to Siemsen who outmuscled Hannah Brewer and saw off the defender’s advances to send the ball into the back of the net.
Vine turned provider once more just six minutes later when she made a darting run deep into the Jets defence and stabbed the ball across the face of goal.
Ibini was on hand to finish but the Jets didn’t let Sydney’s advantage deter them from going forward.
Jets coach Ash Wilson went to her bench with substitute Sophie Harding flicking on through a disorganised Sydney defence to Allan, who fired past Jada Whyman in the 67th.
Any optimism for the Jets was short-lived with Vine poking the ball over the line two minutes later.
She and Siemsen were both substituted by Juric, either side of Jabar’s dismissal.
“I think that early goal maybe rattled us a bit. We were defending our own mistakes and were a victim of ourselves,” said Wilson, who claimed she had no issues with Jabar’s send-off.
“The moment when we conceded that first goal there was a patch where it was not controlled and panic stations which led to the second.
“In key moments we weren’t good enough.”