Canberra back to winning ways

Canberra United returned to winning ways with a convincing 3-0 W-League victory over Adelaide United at McKellar Park on Sunday.

Canberra United returned to winning ways with a convincing 3-0 W-League victory over Adelaide United at McKellar Park on Sunday.

Goals from Michelle Heyman, Stephanie Ochs and Ashleigh Sykes completed the win for Elisabeth Migchelsen’s team, who remain in the top four with four matches to play.

Having lost to the Lady Reds in Adelaide a fortnight ago, Canberra  were understandably cagey from the start but should have taken the lead in the 10th minute as Ochs fired wide from a low cross.

Heyman was then inches away from connecting with a Caitlin Munoz cross as Canberra upped the tempo before the Matildas striker broke the deadlock in the 16th minute.

Sykes rose highest to meet a deep cross, getting there ahead of Adelaide goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri and heading the ball against the crossbar before Heyman bundled it over the line in the ensuing scramble.

Adelaide responded immediately with an ambitious 30-metre lob from Lisa-Marie Woods that Lydia Williams in the Canberra goal needed to be alert to, punching the ball over the bar for a corner

Heyman should have had her second goal after a scintillating burst down the right flank by Ashleigh Sykes.

Burning off her marker with sheer acceleration, Sykes squared a ball across the six-yard box to the arriving Heyman, who connected well but was denied by a superb save from Barbieri.

Unfortunately for the Lady Reds goalkeeper, Heyman retrieved possession and cut the ball back for Ochs to steer her fifth goal of the season into the bottom corner in the 32nd minute.

After that it was all one-way traffic as Canberra threatened again before the break.

Munoz saw a thunderbolt blocked as it fizzed towards goal, Lori Lindsey headed wide and Sykes had a shot saved after a one-two down the flank with Sally Rojahn.

Adelaide started the second half on the front foot and Kristy Moore looked set to reduce the deficit in the 52nd minute when breaking clean through the Canberra defence.

But as Moore bore down on goal Williams advanced and made a terrific save to her left, diving and clutching the ball.

At the other end, Canberra caused havoc out wide with their pace too much for Adelaide.

Ochs carved another opening with a twisting slalom run and beautifully contrived cross that Sykes, arriving at pace on the opposite flank, threw herself at, only for the diving header to flash just wide of the post.

Sykes wasn’t to be denied a goal and made it 3-0 in the 61st minute after Canberra again exposed Adelaide’s lack of pace at the back.

Sykes collected a pass over the top and raced away, calmly composing herself to slide a precision finish past Barbieri.

The Adelaide custodian was certainly busy, making a glorious save to deny an Ellie Brush goal with 15 minutes remaining, clawing the ball back when she seemed beaten by the power of the header.

But it mattered little in the long run as Canberra eased to a win.


Westfield W-League
Round 9

Canberra United 3 (Michelle Heyman 16’, Stephanie Ochs 32’, Ashleigh Sykes 61’)
Adelaide United 0

Canberra United: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Catherine BROWN, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ (9. Grace GILL 61’), 7. Ellie BRUSH, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole SYKES, 14. Ashleigh SYKES (8. Meg McLAUGHLIN 66’), 16. Lori LINDSEY, 22. Stephanie OCHS (3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE 80’)

Adelaide United: 1.  Melissa BARBIERI, 3. Alexandra GUMMER (4. Tegan RIDING 68’), 6. Laura STOCKDALE, 7. Rachael QUIGLEY, 9. Lisa-Marie WOODS (8. Emily CONDON 46’), 10. Monique IANELLA (5. Jessica WHAREPOURI 73’), 12. Daila-Tais BORG, 15. Jenna McCORMACK, 17. Tiarn POWELL, 21, Snez VELJANOVSKA, 23. Kristy MOORE

YELLOW CARDS: 7. Ellie BRUSH (Canberra United), 15. Jenna McCORMACK (Adelaide United)