A season resurgence under the helm of Head Coach Vicki Linton has seen Canberra United quality for its first finals appearance in four years.
Canberra United will take to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Monday afternoon to play the 2020/21 Premiers Sydney FC, both fighting for a spot in the Westfield W-League Grand Final.
With only a couple wins separating first and fourth place and a series of threats across the park, this Monday sets up for a tantalising semi-final.
Sydney will no doubt be buoyed after claiming the Premier’s Plate in their win over Melbourne Victory but their previous encounter is what got Canberra into the finals, finishing with a goalless draw at Viking Park in the final round of the regular season. Once again, the backline proved its power, with Kendall Fletcher, Lauren Keir, Emma Ilijoski and Jessika Nash deflecting many efforts, while Keeley Richards earned her second clean sheet in as many games.
Michelle Heyman, Nicki Flannery, Laura Hughes and Grace Maher had their chances up front but a steely Jada Whyman denied them on several occasions.
It’s been ten years since Sydney FC last took out the Championship, Canberra claiming their last title in the 2014/15 season when the side finished the regular season in 3rd and went on to beat Perth Glory 3-1.
Michelle Heyman, Kendall Fletcher, Grace Maher and Chantel Jones part of that historic win, returning in 2020 to bring further success to the club.
Ash Sykes sealed the game for Canberra in 2915, as Mckenzie Arnold came for a cross, but was beaten to it by Michelle Heyman, allowing Sykes to head into an empty net.
Canberra took the lead on 21 minutes as Stephanie Ochs stepped inside and curled a brilliantly placed shot off the post and into the bottom corner of the net.
Glory had the first big chance of the game as Collette McCallum knocked a great ball over the top for Caitlin Foord whose shot was brilliantly saved by Canberra goal keeper Chantel Jones.
Glory started the second half stronger and looked capable of going on to win it after their equalizer until Sykes seized the initiative.
After twice finding the net, Sykes was brought down in the box by Zadorsky to give Canberra another opportunity. But substitute Grace Gill’s spot-kick was saved by Arnold in the last play of the game.
Canberra will be out to spoil the party for Sydney again today, when they take to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium from 3pm.