Canberra too good for Wanderers

Canberra United put in a dominating performance to remain unbeaten in the Westfield W-League as they saw off Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 at McKellar Park.

Canberra United put in a dominating performance to remain unbeaten in the Westfield W-League as they saw off Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 at McKellar Park.

Goals from Michelle Heyman and Stephanie Ochs, plus a second consecutive clean sheet, ensured that the majority of the 1007 fans in attendance went home happy on a cool and blustery day in Canberra.

Unsurprisingly United head coach Elisabeth Migchelsen named an unchanged team for the clash, keeping faith with the side that defeated the Brisbane Roar 3-0 in their opening match, whilst the Wanderers were without key players Servet Uzunlar, Heather Garriock and Alanna Kennedy as well as long-term injured players Mackenzie Arnold and Kyah Simon.

The Wanderers started well and, with Tori Huster enjoying plenty of room in the centre of the field, dictated the early tempo. Chances were rare however with neither goalkeeper seriously troubled in the opening quarter.

That all changed in the 25th minute as the home team took the lead with their first meaningful attack.

US import Lori Lindsey was at the heart of the move collecting a loose ball in midfield and driving at the Wanderers defence.

Goal machine Heyman made the perfect run and Lindsey found her with an immaculately-weighted through ball.

Heyman anticipated the movement of Wanderers stopper Dimi Poulos and went to ground, sliding in and diverting the ball past the onrushing keeper and into the unguarded goal for her third strike of the season.

With a goal under their belts United looked a different proposition and started spreading the game and using the width provided by wide players Ochs and Ashleigh Sykes, the latter stabbing a shot at goal that failed to muster the requisite power to trouble Poulos.

The home side did manage to double their lead before the interval with another beautifully-crafted goal.

Heyman was the provider this time, turning in midfield and sliding a wonderful pass that pierced the Wanderers rear guard.

Ochs timed her run perfectly and kept her composure to stroke home her maiden goal for the club giving United a comfortable 2-0 half-time lead.

Canberra continued to press upon the resumption and twice went close to extending their advantage within five minutes of the restart.

Firstly, Poulos had to be alert to race off her line and make a tremendous save from Heyman who had burst clear of the back four before the Wanderers keeper made a superb save from Grace Gill, turning the United midfielder’s effort wide just when it seemed likely that Gill would net her first goal for the club.

Sykes drew an even more spectacular save from Poulos in the 65th minute after she hammered a shot at goal from range that which the Wanderers custodian pushed over the bar after she leapt high.

The Wanderers goalkeeper was having a busy afternoon and made another excellent stop to divert a fierce Heyman cross-shot as the pressure mounted.

Migchelsen gave a home debut to Meg McLaughlin in place of Sykes and threw Caitlin Munoz into the fray as Canberra continued to dominate whilst Western Sydney were unfortunate to see Huster limp off with what appeared to be an ankle injury.

Both substitutes were swiftly involved as Munoz headed over an Ochs cross and McLaughlin fired narrowly over on the turn as the semi-siege showed no sign of abating.

But there was to be no further goals as United comfortably gathered the three points to remain joint top.

Canberra United 2 (Michelle Heyman 25, Stephanie Ochs 41)
Western Sydney Wanderers 0

Canberra United: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Catherine BROWN, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 9. Grace GILL (6. Caitlin MUNOZ 61-), 11. Michelle HEYMAN (19. Jennifer BISSET 84-), 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole SYKES, 14. Ashleigh SYKES (8. Meg McLAUGHLIN 73-), 14. Lori LINDSEY, 22. Stephanie OCHS

Western Sydney Wanderers: 22. Dimi POULOS, 2. Caitlin COOPER, 3. Shawna GORDON, 5. Emily VAN EGMOND, 8. Tori HUSTER (18. Helen PETINOS 63-), 9. Jenna KINGSLEY, 11. Michelle CARNEY, 12. Jessica SEAMAN (19. Jordan BAKER 74-), 13. Catherine CANNULI, 15. Teigen ALLEN, 16. Linda O-NEILL