Canberra United Victorious in Melbourne

Canberra United moved into the top four for the first time in Westfield W-League history after securing their second win of the season with a 1-0 win over the Melbourne Victory at Bob Jane Stadium last night.

Canberra United moved into the top four for the first time in Westfield W-League history after securing their second win of the season with a 1-0 win over the Melbourne Victory at Bob Jane Stadium last night.

Sasha McDonnell-s second goal of the season in the 24th minute proved to be the difference between the two sides as Canberra United continue their impressive form away from home which also recorded an upset victory over Queensland Roar a fortnight ago.

The Canberra side outplayed their opposition in a physical contest which saw Canberra-s Cian Maciejewski collect her second yellow card of the season mid way through the second stanza.

Both sides has opportunities in the first half but stellar goalkeeper from both Matildas goalkeepers Lydia Williams of Canberra and Melissa Barbieri of Melbourne, denying the opposition on several occasions.

Canberra nearly took an early lead when Maciejewski-s connected with a great header off an Amy Chapman corner kick, it was stopped by Barbieri initially and then spilled, but no one besides the Victory backline was there to clean up.

Minutes later, the Victory nearly punished Canberra United for their missed opportunity when Louisa Bisby shot left Williams wrong footed after the ball took a deflection on the way to goal but struck the upright and away to safety.

In the 24th minutes, Canberra-s Ashleigh Sykes made a blistering trademark run down the left wing before cutting in towards goal along the baseline which drew Victory custodian Melissa Barbieri off her line to create the only goal of the game.

After dragging Barbieri from her line, Sykes found McDonnell at the top of the penalty box who calmly slotted what eventually became the winning goal mid way through the first half.

Coming out from the break with a 1-0 lead, Canberra had the opportunity to extend their lead when McDonnell was brought down on the edge of the 18-year box but Grace Gill missed the target from the free kick.

Ten minutes later, Canberra United-s Kara Mowbray thought she had doubled the visitors lead after Maciejewski-s flick on header left Mowbray all alone with Barbieri but was ruled to be offside in the 60th minute.

Melbourne started applying pressure in search for an equaliser which left the Canberra-s backline on their heels as the defence were put under more and more pressure as the clock wound down.

The result was nearly put in jeopardy ten minutes from time when Melbourne-s Rebecca Tegg was awarded a penalty after going to ground inside the 18-yard box but after match official Casey Reibelt consulted her linesman, the decision was reverse as Tegg was determined to be offside.

The pressure continued into injury time as the Victory continued to push for a late goal but a shot from Sophie Hogben narrowly missed the target as Canberra United hung on to record a vital three points away from home."

Canberra United head coach Robbie Hooker, praised his side after the tough 1-0 victory for sticking with the game plan. “We played pretty much to the way that we said we were going to play before the game,” Hooker said.

“We waned a little in the second half, but certainly in the first half, we did what we set out to do in terms of how we were going to play against their defence, where we were going to defend from and where we were going to press from, and how we were going to attack and we did that well. “With a little bit more composure in the final third and better decision making, we probably could have had a few more.

Despite the three points and a spot in the top four, Hooker still believes there-s room for improving as the competition nears the halfway stage.

“Having said that, the second half was a battle, and obviously Melbourne were pushing to get something out and I think we also lacked a lot of composure at the back at crucial times, we just didn-t get rid of the ball first time and kicked wildly at things when we just needed to get it down and play it and that-s what happens some times”

“I would like it to continue with a few more goals, one probably isn-t going to be enough in future games, but it-s good to get some points away from home considering that last week at home we probably threw away a few points it-s a good turn around for us.”

GAME DETAILS

Melbourne Victory: 1.Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 3.Marlies OOSTDAM, 4.Tal KARP (c), 5.Laura ALLEWAY, 6.Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 7.Sarah GROENEWALD (13.Deanna NICESKI 84') , 8.Louisa BISBY, 9.Rebecca TEGG, 11.Brittany TIMKO, 15.Daniela DIGIAMMARCO (18.Ursula HUGHSON 56') 19.Enza BARILLA (12.Sophie HOGBEN 56')

SUBSTITUTES NOT USED, 20.Nicole PAUL (gk), YELLOW CARDS, Maika Rutyer-Hooley, 49. RED CARDS: Nil GOALS: Nil

Canberra United : 1.Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 3.Amy CHAPMAN, 4.Bronwyn STUDMAN, 5.Sasha MCDONNELL (15.Nicole SYKES 92')., 7.Ellie BRUSH, 9.Grace GILL, 11.Cian MACIEJEWSKI, 12.Kara MOWBRAY, 13.Thea SLATYER, 14.Ashleigh SYKES (19.Jennifer BISSET 88'), 17.Christine WALTERS (8.Rebecca KITING 57').

SUBSTITUTES NOT USED, 20.Maja BLASCH (gk), YELLOW CARDS, Cian Maciejewski, 74. RED CARDS: Nil GOALS: McDonnell 24-

Crowd: 700 (approx) Referee: Casey Reibelt