Canberra Extend Unbeaten Streak to Seven

Canberra United have booked a date with the Newcastle Jets in the Westfield W-League semi finals following a 1-1 draw with the Queensland Roar at McKellar Park on Saturday evening in wet conditions.

Canberra United have booked a date with the Newcastle Jets in the Westfield W-League semi finals following a 1-1 draw with the Queensland Roar at McKellar Park on Saturday evening in wet conditions.

Following the Central Coast-s 2-0 win over the Melbourne Victory prior to kick off, Canberra kicked off the match guaranteed at least third place with a possible home final on the line depending on other results.

Despite the torrential rain that tumbled all afternoon leading up to kickoff, the McKellar Park pitch stayed reasonable dry which was inducive to quality football arguably played by the league-s two most inform teams.

A controversial missed penalty by captain Ellie Brush following a failed sending off of Queensland keeper Casey Dumont proved significant in the outcome of the match as the visitors secured a late equaliser in another thrilling match.

With a changed line up due to injuries and fatigue, Hayley Crawford started in the middle along side notable defender Bronwyn Studman on the wing and Nicole Sykes starting at left back.

Studman had the first chance of the game and after only two minutes when Caitlin Munoz found the winger at the back post free but was unable to beat Queensland-s custodian Dumont near post with a quality save.

It was Queensland that had the better of the chances in the first half when Elise Kellond-Knight-s free kick forced a low save from Canberra goalkeeper Lydia Williams before striker Lana Harch nearly beat Williams far post with a curling shot from outside the box only minutes later.

The visitors best chance came mid way through the half when Tameka Butt lined up a shot that clattered into the crossbar after taking a deflection on the way to goal after 26 minutes.

The rain returned late in the second half with neither side able to create further opportunities as scores remained locked 0-0 at half time.

Both sides were determined to come away with the three points in the second half with entertaining football again leaving the 712 crowd on the edge of their seats.

The first chance of the second stanza fell to Munoz on the 52nd minute mark when the striker tried to create something out of nothing with a shot from a shot from a wide angle forced Dumont into making a save near post.

Minutes later it was Queensland on the attack and looked dangerous when Butt strolled her way into the box before being tackled but the ball fell perfectly for Harch who again couldn-t find the inside of the far post.

In the 66th minute, Canberra United were eventually rewarded for their hard work when Munoz found the back of the net after a neat give and go with Kara Mowbray on the end of the box left the dangerous forward with an easy finish far post.

Ten minutes later, the home side should have doubled their lead when captain Ellie Brush missed a penalty after Ashleigh Sykes was dragged down by Dumont with the keeper fortunate to remain on the park.

Sykes was chasing the rebound after Crawford-s blistering shot from 20 metres out struck the cross bar and some how managed to stay out of the back of the net but Sykes was on hand and took a touch toward goal only to be fouled by Dumont on metres from goal.

After Dumont was controversially not shown a red card, Dumont went from villain to hero second later denying Brush with a diving save to her right.

The penalty breathed life back into the visitors as Queensland pressed for an equaliser which eventually came in the 87th minute through substitute Vedrana Popvic breaking the hearts of the brave Canberra United supporters.

Two minutes after coming onto the park, Popvic headed home a pinpoint cross at the back post from an Alicia Ferguson cross wide on the right hand side of the park.

Both sides pressed on searching for the match winner but desperation was evident as both sides played long balls looking to catch either backline napping with prevail as the score remained locked at 1-1 come full time.

Canberra United head coach, Robbie Hooker, pleased with his side performance despite conceding the late goal.

“I thought it was an entertaining game and again thought we were the better side, created better chances and probably should have won,” Hooker said.

“It was another good all-round performance.”

“We kept possession well on a pitch and in conditions where you-d probably think that we wouldn-t be able to do that and out composure again in the last third was good along with the middle third.”

The draw extended Canberra United-s unbeaten streak to seven and look the form side heading into finals.

“We-ve got one more hurdle to get over before we make the Grand Final which on form should see us play Queensland again but in one off games sometimes things don-t go to script.”

Canberra United: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 3. Amy CHAPMAN, 4. Bronwyn STUDMAN (19. Jennifer BISSET 61‘), 5. Sasha McDonnell (12. Kara MOWBRAY 46‘), 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Rebecca KITING, 10. Hayley CRAWFORD, 13. Thea SLATYER (17. Christine WALTERS 69‘), 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Nicole SYKES



Queensland Roar: 1. Casey DUMONT, 2. Kate McSHEA, 3. Karla REUTER, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE, 5. Brooke SPENCE (11. Ruth BLACKBURN 77‘), 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 9. Alicia FERGUSON, 10. Lana HARCH (15. Stephanie LATHAM 93‘), 13. Tameka BUTT (14. Vedrana POPOVIC 85‘), 18. Courtney BEUTEL, 19. Ellen BEAUMONT



Crowd: 712 Referee: Jacqui MELKSHAM