The title of Westfield W-League League Premiers will be on the line in this weekend’s top of the table clash between Sydney FC and Canberra United in Sydney.
The title of Westfield W-League League Premiers will be on the line in this weekend-s top of the table clash between Sydney FC and Canberra United in Sydney.
With only two points separating the teams, Sydney will be crowned League Premiers for the third time if they can avoid defeat in this match, while only a win for Canberra will be enough for them to take their second League Championship with them back down the Hume Highway to the nation-s capital.
A win would also assure Canberra a home semi-final in week one of the Westfield W-League semi-finals, although anything less than three points and Melbourne Victory could claim a top-two finish with an away win over Brisbane Roar, such is the congestion at the top of the table.
Sydney have all but assured themselves a home semi-final, as they strive to become the first team in Westfield W-League history to win back-to-back grand finals, but will be fired up after suffering their only loss for the season at the hands of United in late January. In a pulsating mid-week clash at Canberra-s McKellar Park, a wonder goal from Michelle Heyman and a Caitlin Munoz penalty were enough to hand Canberra a well-deserved 2-1 win.
Despite winning this most recent encounter, Canberra has had trouble with Sydney in the past, particularly in the Harbour City, having won only one previous meeting between the teams in Sydney, and only winning twice from eight matches overall.
Both teams will come into the League Championship decider off the back of strong victories. Canberra extended their impressive run of wins to four, easily accounting for Newcastle Jets 5-0, equaling their biggest ever win. In a match played in stiflingly hot conditions, goals to Michelle Heyman, the returning Sally Shipard, Ellie Brush, Georgia Yeoman-Dale and Jennifer Bisset helped Canberra to temporarily take top spot on the ladder from Sydney.
It wasn-t to last however, as Sydney quickly got back to their winning ways the following day, disposing of Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 in the Sydney Derby. An early goal from Leena Khamis set the tone for the match, with league top-scorer Jodie Taylor-s brace either side of halftime killing off the game as a contest with thirty minutes to play.
Canberra have stormed up the table in recent weeks, hitting top form in the lead-up to the finals, and will fancy their chances of repeating their recent triumph over Sydney. But Sydney, having led the competition in the recent weeks, will be keen to secure the top spot as they chase back-to-back Westfield W-League grand final wins.
Kick off – 5:15pm Sunday 9 February in Sydney.
CANBERRA UNITED SQUAD
1. Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 2. Catherine BROWN, 3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Meg McLAUGHLIN, 9. Grace GILL, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole SYKES (C), 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Sally SHIPARD, 16. Lori LINDSEY, 20. Trudy BURKE (gk), 22. Stephanie OCHS
In: Kendall FLETCHER / Stephanie OCHS / Grace GILL / Catherine BROWN (all return)
Out: Jenni BISSET / Grace FIELD (omitted)
LAST TIME OUT
Wednesday 29th January 2013
Canberra United 2 (Michelle Heyman 9′, Caitlin Munoz (pen) 57′) v Sydney FC (Renee Rollason 35′)
06/12/08: Canberra United 1 Sydney FC 1
10/10/09: Canberra United 1 Sydney FC 2
10/12/09: Semi-Final: Sydney FC 3 Canberra United 0
22/01/11: Sydney FC 3 Canberra United 0
05/11/11: Sydney FC 0 Canberra United 1
10/12/11: Canberra United 0 Sydney FC 0
01/12/13: Sydney FC 4 Canberra United 3
29/01/14: Canberra United 2 v Sydney FC 1
OVERALL: Played 8, Won 2, Drawn 2, Lost 4
HOME: Played 4, Won 1, Drawn 2, Lost 1
AWAY: Played 4, Won 1, Drawn 0, Lost 3