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Nov 20, 2010

De Vanna delights in return to W-League

Matildas striker Lisa De Vanna was an instant hit in her return from a broken leg as Brisbane Roar kick-started their faltering W-League campaign with a 4-0 away win over Newcastle Jets.

National coach Tom Sermanni was an interested spectator as De Vanna earned, then scored from, a penalty within seconds of entering the fray as a second half substitute.

De Vanna, who scored four goals at the 2007 Women's World Cup, had been out of action for six months with the broken leg she sustained in Australia's successful run to the Asian crown.

Last year's grand finalists Brisbane, boasting a squad full of international players, went into Saturday's match with just one point from the opening two rounds after a heavy loss to defending champions and leaders Sydney FC and a draw with Canberra United.

The Roar were in charge throughout and led 2-0 at halftime Lana Harch's goal after just two minutes followed by a Tameka Butt strike midway through the term.

Harch grabbed her second on the hour before De Vanna's cameo completed the scoring 18 minutes from fulltime.

The Roar still have significant ground to make up on Sydney FC, who lead the competition by four points after another strong win, 4-1 over an Adelaide United side without a victory in over two years.

Sydney opened the scoring in Wollongong through Leena Khamis, but the Lady Reds drew level with a penalty converted by American striker Ashleigh Gunning.

However the Sky Blues, having scored four goals in each of the opening two matches, resumed normal service with second-half strikes from Kylie Ledbrook and Catherine Canulli before 15-year-old prodigy Caitlin Foord scored her first W-League goal in injury time in her hometown.

Canberra United maintained their unbeaten record and second spot on the ladder, but let valuable points slip from their grasp as Melbourne Victory equalised with virtually the last play of their 1-1 draw.

United went ahead early through Caitlin Cooper and hung on until defender Maika Ruyter-Hooley headed home a corner five minutes into injury time.

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