Canberra United 2 (Mulaudzi 57’, Carpenter 85’) def. Melbourne City 0
Canberra United defeated reigning Champions Melbourne City 2-0 thanks to second half goals from Rhoda Mulaudzi and Ellie Carpenter to start the season with a win at McKellar Park on Sunday.
New signing Mulaudzi impressed the local crowd after the striker started her Westfield W-League campaign with a goal and an assist, the first South African to score in the competition’s history.
United were somewhat fortunate to go into the break level after City defender Rhali Dobson passed up a golden opportunity to open the scoring and struck the cross bar with an uncontested header at the back post.
United’s first goal came in the 57th minute when Refiloe Jane put the ball over the City defence to put Mulaudzi through on goal and she chipped the bouncing ball past advancing goalkeeper Lydia Williams to put the home side ahead.
United continued to pile the pressure on the visiting defence with Nicki Flannery creating headaches for her opposite number down the right wing, forcing a number of corners as she drove hard towards the baseline.
City looked to have equalised with 13 minutes to play as the ball ended up in the net from close range, but the goal was waved away for offside, a decision which did not impress Rado Vidosic.
Teenage star Ellie Carpenter sealed the win with five minutes to play as Mulaudzi made a good run down the right flank, and she kept her composure to cut the ball back to Carpenter who finished calmly from six yards out.
Canberra captain and Scottish international Rachel Corsie impressed the 1,679 strong McKellar crowd with a strong performance at the back, while Nikola Orgill and Tash Prior were busy alongside her.
After the game, Irish midfielder Denise O’Sullivan thanked the crowd for their support and their role in the win.
“We just want to thank them,” she said.
“We could hear them every second of the game, they were like the 12th player for us.”
Heather Garriock praised O’Sullivan for an exemplary performance in the middle of the park and also paid tribute to the Canberra faithful.
“She can turn the ball on a dime, I think she is quality,” Garriock said.
“Wow, that [crowd] is awesome,” when told of the figure.
“We hear them all the time, and when we scored that roar from the crowd was simply unbelievable.”
Canberra United now look towards next Sunday where they face superstar Sam Kerr and Perth Glory at McKellar Park.
THE TEAMS |
Canberra United: 20. KHAMIS 5. ORGILL 4. CORSIE 3. PRIOR 6. JANE 11. O’SULLIVAN 2. HUGHES (66’) 21. CARPENTER 19. FLANNERY (77’) 9. MULAUDZI 23. JOSE ROJAS (80’)
SUBS: 17. Whittall (66’) 18. King (77’) 13. McElligott (80’)
Melbourne City: 1. WILLIAMS 3. BARNES 4. BLISSETT 5. CACERES 10. STAMATOPOULOS (53’) 11. DOBSON (82’) 13. STOTT 15. JACKSON 21 (63’). LAWSON 22. SPENCER 88. NIELSEN
SUBS: 19. Vlajnic (53’) 12. Jones (63’) 18. Medwin (82’)