Canberra Succumbs to Wellington Phoenix in Historic Clash

Canberra United fell to the Wellington Phoenix despite plenty of chances in front of a raucous home crowd.

Canberra United were unlucky to go into the half-time break a goal down after they were the more threating side in the opening 45 minutes.

Chloe Lincoln was making her first start of her career in goal replacing the injured Keeley Richards. And she was called upon straight into the game in the opening three minutes, where she had to make a smart stop to deny the Phoenix an early goal.

Ashleigh Sykes was put through a few minutes later by Michelle Heyman but Sykes was deemed offside as she simultaneously put the ball in the net.

It was then Heyman’s turn to try and take the lead, she burst down the left hand side and got inside the box before her shot was blocked by the slightest of touches.

Shots were few and far between in the opening 40 minutes, both teams were working hard to create opportunities. The best chances were coming on counter attacks when both defenses were left exposed against the strikers.

After all of Canberra’s good work, it was the away side who took the first lead with five minutes of the half to play. It was Chloe Knott who converted after a snatch shot at goal barely got past the fingertips of Chloe Lincoln.

Ally Haran had the first chance of the second-half to equalize for United, but her left footed shot was palmed away. Seconds later Wellington was through on goal and they capitalized on their chance, extending their lead.

It became more difficult for the home side as 10 minutes later Wellington were fortunate for some lucky deflections that ultimately led to the ball ending up in the net.

Canberra searched for a way back into the game, providing more pressure to the Phoenix side, but the Wellington defense were holding strong.

Allira Toby had the best of the lot, but her poking effort at goal after a great cut-out pass by Margot Robinne just bounced wide of the post.

Grace Maher wanted a word about that because her shot moments later hit the crossbar after a wonderful speculative effort from outside the box.

Canberra couldn’t find a way back into the game as Wellington collected their first win in their history.