Canberra United got back on track in the Westfield W-League with a stirring 2-0 victory against Sydney FC at McKellar Park on Sunday afternoon.
A goal in the first half to birthday girl Rhoda Mulaudzi and Karly Roestbakken’s second-half rocket proved enough for United to hold off a fast-charging Sydney through 14 minutes of stoppage time.
The hosts began strongly and looked to make ground going forward, but the key pass was missing in the final third and Sydney began to play themselves into the game.
The visitors were awarded a penalty six minutes in when the ball struck Alanna Kennedy’s arm at an attacking corner, but after discussions with the assistant referee it was overturned by Katie Patterson.
Olivia Price looked good in midfield along with Denise O’Sullivan and Refiloe Jane, helping to run the game early for United. Karly Roestbakken looked to have given them the lead 24 minutes in as she chipped Aubrey Bledsoe only for the effort to be ruled out for offside.
Sydney responded well to the scare and Caitlin Foord was providing a constant threat upfront with Lisa De Vanna. Sham Khamis was forced into an excellent one on one save, denying De Vanna to keep scores level as part of an excellent performance between the sticks.
But it was United who did go ahead in first-half stoppage time, albeit with some confusion.
A United corner came to ground and Mulaudzi took control of it moving away from goal, before she lofted a delightful chip over Bledsoe on the turn and into the far corner and wheeled away to celebrate.
The assistant referee had flagged the goal down though, but after a moment of discussion with Patterson the goal was allowed to stand and the hosts took their goal advantage into half-time.
Sydney came out of the break looking strong and had chances early with a number of crosses going into the area, but couldn’t break down the home defence.
Jane did brilliantly to deny Danielle Colaprico as she looked to fire at goal and Khamis again did well in a one-on-one situation, this time denying Savannah McCaskill before McCaskill struck the bar on the follow up.
And four minutes later it was two for United, the excellent Price poking a ball into the path of Karly Roestbakken on the edge of the area and she thumped it into the bottom corner to give Bledsoe no chance.
Taren King was replaced by Tash Prior a couple of minutes later, and with 16 minutes to play the game was paused for an extended period of time after a heavy clash between Prior and McCaskill saw the former come off second best.
Laura Hughes replaced Prior after a significant delay, and United saw out over 14 minutes of stoppage time to seal an important victory and jump right back into the mix on the Westfield W-League table.
Heather Garriock’s side now turn their attentions to a meeting with Western Sydney on Friday night at Spotless Stadium. Catch all the action there by booking your sport on the bus to Sydney thanks to JT Sports Tours!