Canberra United have suffered their first defeat of the season losing away to Perth Glory in a five-goal thriller at Macedonia Park. Despite being on top for much of the first half, the hosts fought back to claim all three points.
United started off the game well, pressing the Perth backline for much of the opening minutes. That pressure would pay off in the 13th minute as Nickoletta Flannery opened the scoring.
A darting run up the sideline from Michelle Heyman saw the legendary striker beat two defenders before squaring the ball to Flannery who was on hand to tap the ball home giving Canberra the lead, whilst also scoring her first goal for Canberra since returning from an ACL injury.
The hosts began to grow into the game as Hana Lowry forced a quality save from Chloe Lincoln in the Canberra goal, the ball landing at the feet of Emma Ilijoski who cleared it away from danger. Perth would be in again shortly after but Lincoln was on hand to keep them out again, this time denying Cyera Hintzen.
Despite the hosts growing into the game, United would find themselves back in control and would extend their lead to two little more than ten minutes before the break. After winning the ball in the midfield, Grace Jale stormed forward and passed the ball to Vesna Milivojevic on the edge of the box, with the Serbian International’s strike finding the back of the net.
Although they were in the ascendancy for much of the half, United were unable to hold on as Perth pulled a goal before the break. After a scramble in the six-yard box following a corner, Rylee Baisden was on hand to score and reduce the deficit in first half injury time.
United start on the front foot in the second half with Milivojevic winning a corner inside the first minute. The resulting set-piece was not enough to trouble the Perth defence and they cleared away up the field.
Eight minutes into the second half and Perth had levelled the scores as Hintzen got one past Lincoln. After a throw-in deep into the Canberra’s half, Baisden popped the ball over the top of the defence to Hintzen who got her effort into the top corner, levelling the scores.
Canberra immediately went on the attack as both Flannery and Heyman threatened the Perth goal. This did not stop the hosts however as they went up the other end, as Lowry forced another great save from Lincoln.
Despite United having the better of the chances, Perth would find themselves in front with just over 20 minutes to go. Getting on the end of through ball from Hintzen, Baisden calmly slotted the ball home to get her second of the game and give the home side the lead.
United would throw everything at a resolute Perth defence, with young guns Hayley Taylor-Young and Sofia Christopherson proving a handful along with the rest of the Canberra attack but it counted for little as Perth hung on to win the game three goals to two.
It is a short turnaround for United as they face Melbourne City Friday December 23 at Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan.