Canberra United fell to a third straight Westfield W-League loss on Friday night as Lisa De Vanna’s double helped Sydney FC to a clinical win.
Both sides fought hard for the ball early, with clear chances hard to come by. Princess Ibini almost forged a chance after 17 minutes as she intercepted a pass deep in the backline from Elise Thorsnes but her touch was heavy and Haley Kopmeyer gathered well.
Moments later Ellie Carpenter burst down the right wing for United and whipped an effort at goal but it was well saved and the hosts cleared the danger.
Nicki Flannery was forced off with a leg injury after going down behind play, with Heather Garriock having to use a valuable sub early into the match in testing conditions.
Sydney’s pressure would eventually count though, and they found the breakthrough on the half hour mark through De Vanna.
Ibini snuck down the right wing to the byline and her cross found De Vanna racing into the middle to smash home the ball past Kopmeyer in goals.
United looked to respond but struggled to create chances against a disciplined Sky Blues’ defence, and the hosts struck a hammer blow just before the break.
De Vanna was the one to stream down the wing this time, and she cut inside Thorsnes to open up the angle before curling a delightful effort into the far corner to double the advantage at half-time.
United needed a fast start to the second half but proceedings began in the worst possible way, as Toni Pressley headed De Vanna’s cross into her own net just three minutes into the period.
Up 3-0 and seemingly cruising, the hosts continued to control much of the play, and had another big chance just before the hour mark.
Amy Harrison got down the right flank and into the box before lashing a shot across Kopmeyer and into the upright, but Ibini shanked the rebound wide of the near post.
With United pushing to get back into the match the game opened up for Sydney, but a sensational performance from Kopmeyer in goals held the hosts at bay, even after the introduction of Caitlin Foord for De Vanna tested the defence further.
The loss leaves United three points off the top four, while Sydney now join the top echelon of the league on 12 points.