The much anticipated Westfield W-League Grand Final re-match between Canberra United and Brisbane Roar ended goalless.
Westfield W-League Round 1
Canberra United 0 Brisbane Roar 0
McKellar Park, kick off 2pm
The much anticipated Westfield W-League Grand Final re-match between ended goalless in hot and humid conditions at McKellar Park in Canberra.
The result was a fair reflection of a game in which both teams created a number of half chances but were unable to penetrate two well organised defences. The closest either team came to a match winner was a late Caitlin Munoz free kick that was brilliantly pushed onto the bar by Brisbane Roar custodian Hoshima Kishi.
The champions made an uncharacteristically nervy opening in defence as new goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold got to know her back four in competitive conditions for the first time. A back pass from Ellie Brush had Arnold back tracking as Christine Walters covered to clear before a ball was allowed to bounce in the area and Emily Gielnik-s acrobatic overhead just cleared the crossbar.
The defensive errors continued as Caitlin Cooper turned over possession on half way allowing Lana Harch to break two on one but her square pass was too heavy for the supporting attack and Arnold gratefully cleaned up. Ariane Hingst did her best to lift a strangely lacklustre United with a lofted pass that was intercepted by the Roar back four but it was the visitors who made most of the running in the opening stanza.
It took until the 32nd minute for Canberra to craft a meaningful opportunity but when they did they should really have opened the scoring. A superb crossfield ball from Walters found star striker Michelle Heyman free in the area but her header lacked direction and drifted harmlessly wide of the far post. Shortly afterwards Caitlin Munoz launched an audacious effort from 40 metres that dipped over the bar with Kishi watching on anxiously. Chances were at a premium though as the first half ended 0-0.
United almost stole in front within a minute of the restart as Heyman met a corner with a dangerous downward header that evaded Kishi but was hacked clear off the line but it was a sporadic moment in a half in which midfield dominated. Brisbane continued to offer a threat going forward, particularly from set pieces, as defender Clare Polkinghorne strode into the penalty box from a corner to meet the ball with a firm header that flashed wide of goal.
The Roar introduced Tameka Butt for the hard working Hannah Beard as they sensed that the points were there for the taking whilst Canberra responded by sending on Hayley Raso for the speedy Georgia Yeoman-Dale in an effort to add more dash to the front third. It was Brisbane who threatened next though as Katrina Gorry latched onto a through ball and, having got their ahead of the advancing Arnold, should have done rather better than lob harmlessly over the bar.
Munoz then went close six minutes from time as Walters sent forward a raking pass that the experienced Matilda-s international flicked on but could only look on as the ball narrowly evaded the target. The midfielder went even closer with her free-kick that crashed off the woodwork but it wasn-t to be and both sides will probably be happy with a draw at the end of ninety minutes.
Canberra United: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD, 2. Caitlin COOPER, 3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE (8. Hayley RASO 65-), 4. Christine WALTERS, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 13. Nicole SYKES, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 17. Ariane HINGST, 19. Jennifer BISSET
Substitutes not used: 12. Sally ROJAHN, 16. Catherine BROWN, 20. Trudy BURKE
Brisbane Roar: 1. Hoshima KISHI, 3. Amy CHAPMAN, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE, 5. Brooke SPENCE, 7. Erika ELZE, 10. Lana HARCH, 11. Vedrana POPOVIC, 15. Hannah BEARD (13. Tameka BUTT 57-), 16. Sachiko TATSUOKA (14. Georgia CHAPMAN 73-), 17. Emily GIELNIK (9. Emma PITTMAN 91-), 19. Katrina GORRY
Substitutes not used: 18. Kate STEWART
Yellow Cards: 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH (Canberra United), 3. Amy CHAPMAN, 5. Brooke SPENCE (Brisbane Roar)
Red Cards: None
Match Officials: Kate JZCIEWICZ (referee), Tanya DE BOER, Nia SOUTHWELL, Lee COREY (4th Official)