Canberra United have fallen to a heavy 0-5 defeat to league leaders Western United in blistering heat at McKellar Park in Round 12 of the 2022/23 Liberty A-League Women’s season.

Three changes were made to the Canberra starting side with Emma Ilijoski, Grace Maher, and Kennedy Faulknor all starting and playing the full 90 minutes.

It was a less then ideal start for Canberra as the visitors got on the front foot early, controlling the play and finding an early goal through Danielle Steer. A run forward from Sydney Cummings ended with a pass out wide to Angela Beard, with the full back crossing the ball in towards Steer, the Canadian forward heading home to open the scoring inside five minutes.

The early goal would put Canberra on the attack as Michelle Heyman and Vesna Milivojevic combined well up top to trouble the Western defence. It would not be enough however, as the visitor would double their lead minutes later with Steer turning provider.

Controlling a high ball well, Steer played the ball to Melissa Taranto with midfielder calmly finishing into the bottom corner and giving the visitors their second goal inside the opening 15 minutes.

Following a drinks break, Canberra came out firing with Heyman shooting first time from the edge of the box but to no avail. Having been switched to a more forward position for this clash, Hayley Taylor-Young was causing plenty of problems down the right flank.

Despite a period of sustained pressure on the visitors, Canberra would be unable to capitalise and Western would grab a third inside half an hour.

An unfortunate back pass found the feet of Hannah Keane with the American forward striking early to put the visitors up by three.

Keane would be in again before the break as well-weighted pass from Melissa Taranto saw Keane slot the ball home from close range. Western would grab a fifth goal of the half right before the break as Sydney Cummings got on the scoresheet, jumping on a loose ball to bring an end to the half.

Despite the searing heat taking its toll on the players, Canberra came out firing in the second half, going on the attack early with Taylor-Young continuing to be a problem down the right flank.

Young forward Sofia Christopherson sending in plenty of dangerous crosses towards Heyman and Milivojevic.

Canberra would have plenty of the ball in the closing 15 minutes of the game. Substitute Chloe Middleton caused problems late in the game but it would not be enough for Canberra as the game finished in a five-nil defeat at the hands of Western United.