A brace from Welsh International Jess Fishlock has helped Melbourne City to a 2-1 win over Canberra United, condemning the visitors to a second loss in a row.
Fishlock opened the scoring after just 20 minutes with a long-range effort, before Michelle Heyman took advantage of a Lydia Williams error only minutes later to even proceedings.
Fishlock had the final say though as she scored with ten minutes remaining to seal the deal.
City started strongly, probing the United defence with Ashley Hatch looking lively down the left. But the United defence looked solid, and Haley Kopmeyer was on hand early to snuff out any danger that came the way of the goal.
Hatch was dangerous early and had a couple of good chances, but it was Fishlock who seized the moment after 20 minutes as Kyah Simon forced a turnover not far from United’s goal.
Fishlock took the ball from the Matildas forward and raced into space, before rifling a long-range effort past Kopmeyer and into the far corner. The visitors looked to respond instantly and they did, beginning with strong pressure outside the 18-yard area.
Alanna Kennedy passed the ball back to Lydia Williams and pressure from Heyman forced a poor pass, which she picked up and tucked home past the goalkeeper to level scores.
City continued to push after the United goal, but strong defence across the line held them out under sustained pressure and a great save from Kopmeyer to deny Hatch saw the visitors reach the break locked at a goal apiece.
The hosts started the second half strongly as well, but apart from Rhali Dobson’s effort that Kopmeyer tipped wide, there were no major chances of note.
Grace Maher replaced Caitlin Munoz in midfield 10 minutes after the break in a bid to inject some more energy into the game, and she looked to work the ball around past City’s strong middle contingent.
Kopmeyer was again on hand to deny Fishlock as the game ticked over the hour mark, but she could do nothing to deny the midfielder with 10 minutes to go.
Yukari Kinga slid a delightful ball through the United defence to Fishlock, and her effort was too powerful for the outstretched Kopmeyer who could only palm it into the side netting.
After taking the lead once more City were content to drop back and soak up pressure, but Ellie Carpenter nearly brought them undone as her cross-turned-shot struck the crossbar out of reach of Williams.
The win brings City up into the top four at United’s expense ahead of their meeting with Brisbane next weekend, while Canberra have only a short turnaround before facing Sydney FC on Friday night at Allianz Stadium.