Melbourne Victory are the next visitors to McKellar Park.
Canberra United welcomes Melbourne Victory to McKellar Park on Saturday afternoon for Round 10 of the Westfield W-League knowing that the goal of securing a place in the competitions finals series is close to hand. Indeed, a positive result against the Victorians would almost guarantee a top four spot for the champions who are resolutely chasing down Melbourne City at the top.
Last weekend saw Canberra record a third successful home result of the season with a 4-0 hammering of Adelaide United, a result that saw the club consolidate second place on the ladder. The victory meant that in three matches at McKellar Park this term Canberra has scored nine goals and conceded none, a tribute to the performance at both ends of the park.
Goalkeeper Lydia Williams recorded a 26th Westfield W-League shut-out in her 63rd appearance for Canberra, ably supported by the back four of Ellie Brush, Emma Checker, Rebecca Kiting and Nicole Begg with the defensive unit having a settled feel to it as we enter the critical stages of the season.
Victory come to the capital struggling at the wrong end of the table having claimed only four points this season. Their only success was an away win at Brisbane Roar however so they will be a challenge not to be underestimated by the hosts. They contain a number of notable players in their ranks including former Canberra United fans favourite Hayley Raso with the Matildas forward one of their stars of the season.
It’s an unfamiliar position for Victory to find themselves in as they prop up the table. In seven previous years of Westfield W-league football they have never finished lower than fifth, a position they have ended the campaign in twice. A pair of fourth place finishes in the opening two years of the competition was followed by a brace of third place spots b3efore last season’s high of second.
Canberra famously dumped Melbourne out of the finals in a remarkable semi-final game at Simonds Stadium with the visitors prevailing on penalties after dominating the match but being unable to find the killer blow in regulation time. Kendall Fletcher, fittingly, notched the winning spot-kick to send Canberra to the Grand Final and ultimately glory.
Whilst Canberra will be favourites to win the game, matches with Victory have always been tough encounters and the Victorians will arrive with nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain. As the final match before Christmas both teams will be out to make sure they enjoy a merry festive season by taking the points.
Canberra United v Melbourne Victory
Saturday 19th December
McKellar Park, Belconnen
Canberra United Squad
1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Catherine BROWN, 3. Julia DE ANGELIS, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 5. Jenna MCCORMICK, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Meg MCLAUGHLIN, 9. Grace GILL, 10. Grace MAHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Emma KETE, 13. Nicole BEGG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Emma CHECKER, 16. Tegan RIDING. 17. Veronica PEREZ, 18. Rebecca KITING, 19. Nickoletta FLANERRY, 20. Melissa MAIZELS