United romp to 13-0 win over Singapore National Team
Canberra United warmed up for their Westfield W-League encounter with Western Sydney Wanderers with a 13-0 destruction of the Singapore National Team at the Australian Institute of Sport. In front of a crowd of almost 200, United showed their pace, skill and power in ripping apart the Singapore team who, while out-gunned and out-classed, certainly did not lack for heart and endeavour in what was a wonderful exhibition.
The visitors had ben narrowly beaten in their first match on tour by local ACT Women’s Premier League Canberra FC, a goal from former Canberra midfielder Jennifer Bisset sealing a 1-0 win for the club side, and it was immediately obvious from the kick-off that this was a step up again for the Singapore side.
From the moment that Veronica Perez unleashed a rocket into the top corner of the net from outside the area, goals came at regular intervals, much to the appreciation of the surprisingly large attendance who had turned up to watch this training match. Emma Kete slid in goal number two following a probing run from Nicole Begg on the left flank, before a quick-fire double from Ashleigh Sykes had United 4-0 up at the break.
Sykes’ pace was causing numerous problems for the Singapore defence and it was the fleet-footed forward who was felled for the penalty five minutes into the second half that Kendall Fletcher despatched with aplomb to increase the lead. Sykes herself then took centre stage, capitalising on a mistake to complete her hat-trick before nodding home a brilliant Catherine Brown cross for her fourth goal.
Head Coach Rae Dower rang the changes after that, giving a run out to youngsters Samantha Roff and Clare Hunt wearing the jerseys of Michelle Heyman and Caitlin Munoz respectively, whilst Georgia Boric took over in goal from the under-employed Melissa Maizels.
One of the replacements, Meg McLaughlin, certainly took her chance bagging a six-minute hat-trick in tandem with Tegan Riding with the duo finding gaps in the Singapore defence with impunity. McLaughlin rammed home her first with twenty minutes to play and was the beneficiary of some tremendous approach work by Riding for her second.
McLaughlin returned the compliment for Riding to net goal number ten with a tidy finish and McLaughlin rounded out four goals in a six minute spell between the pair when she pounced on a poor clearance to calmly pick her spot and roll a finish beyond the reach of the substitute goalkeeper.
There was still time for more and Grace Maher got her name onto the score-sheet with a delightful free-kick rom out wide. Spotting the ‘keeper off her line, Maher floated a beauty over the head of the stopper and into the far corner, before turning provider for the final goal of the evening, whipping in a deceiving cross that eluded the defence and allowed the arriving Nickoletta Flannery, ghosting in at the far post, to steer a shot back across goal and into the far corner.
Canberra United 13 (Veronica Perez 12’, Emma Kete 26’, Ashleigh Sykes 37’, 42’, 56’, 65’, Kendall Fletcher 50’ (pen), Meg McLaughlin 70’, 71’, 76’, Tegan Riding 73’, Grace Maher 80’, Nickoletta Flannery 85’) Singapore 0
Canberra United: 20. Melissa MAIZELLS, 2. Catherine BROWN, 3. Julia DE ANGELIS, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 9. Grace GILL, 12. Emma KETE, 13. Nicole BEGG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 16. Tegan RIDING, 17. Veronica PEREZ
Substitutes (all used): 6. Clare HUNT, 8. Meg MCLAUGHLIN, 10. Grace MAHER, 11. Samantha ROFF, 19. Nickoletta FLANNERY, 22. Georgia BORIC