After three weeks on the road, United are back in the home comforts of McKellar Park this weekend, seeking a third win of the season with Melbourne Victory providing the opposition for what promises to be a tantalising clash.
The unique situation of playing a designated home fixture at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney last weekend for Unite Round, means that Canberra hasn’t set foot on home turf since Saturday 30 December when Western United were the visitors to the Australian Capital.
Since then, Canberra have gone four matches without defeat, picking up a point from the Western United match, before getting the same reward from trips to face Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets.
Last weekend saw United claim a second win of the season with an excellent display against Adelaide United, seeing off the Reds 3-1 with Michelle Heyman breaking the one hundred goal barrier in style, bagging a brace of goals within a minute of each other to turn the match on its head after Adelaide led 1-0.
Heyman now sits on 101 Liberty A-League goals, 89 of which have been scored in the green of Canberra United, and the legendary striker is set to lead the line once more against Victory, a traditionally difficult foe for United.
Indeed, earlier this season the Victorians earned a 2-0 win over Canberra in Melbourne, meaning its now been nine matches since Canberra earned a success against the Victory, having to go back to 28 January 2017 and a 5-1 thrashing of their opponents for the last accumulation of three points.
In the intervening games there have been three Melbourne wins, and five draws, making the stalemate one of the most common results between the teams and Victory the opponent that United draws most with outside of Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory.
On the attacking front, Vesna Milivojevic’s ninth goal of the season, another thunderbolt against Adelaide, means that the attacking midfield needs just one more strike to become only the third-ever Canberra playing to notch double figure in a season behind Heyman (three times, 15, 12, 10) and Ashleigh Sykes (12).
Maria Rojas also reached a milestone last weekend with the Chilean forward earning her fiftieth Liberty A-League cap after coming on as a second-half substitute. With Rojas back, Heyman firing on all cylinders, and Milivojevic back among the goals, Canberra are hopeful for a late season surge.
Saturday 20 January 2024
Canberra United v Melbourne Victory
(McKellar Park, 17:00)