United down Young Matildas

Canberra United defeated Australia under-20 2-0 in their latest trial match at the AIS.

Canberra United 2 (Michelle Heyman 56-, Jennifer Bisset 77-) Westfield Young Matildas 0

Canberra United-s pre-season preparations continued apace last night as the team won their second friendly match of the year defeating the Westfield Young Matildas 2-0 in an exciting game played at the AIS thanks to goals from Michelle Heyman and Jennifer Bisset.

Having already beaten the Australian under-17 team 2-1 in a previous hit-out with a team featuring a host of triallists, last night was the first time that Head Coach Jitka Klimkova selected exclusively from the twenty players that will make up the squad for the defence of the Westfield W-League title.

Even so, there were some notable absentees with new signing Ariane Hingst, Matilda-s midfielder Sally Shipard, Grace Gill, striker Ashleigh Sykes and defenders Grace Field and Caitlin Cooper sitting out the game played across three periods of thirty minutes. Those missing gave opportunities for some of the younger squad players and newcomers to stake a claim for a starting jersey and in all it was a satisfactory performance.

As expected the Young Matildas were well organised and full of pace and youthful enthusiasm with winger Ash Brown a constant thorn in the side of the home defence. Canberra locals Meg McLaughlin and Jaline Hoek also saw action for the national team and showed up well against the more experienced Canberra United side.

United utilised the remaining fourteen members of their roster with goalkeepers Mackenzie Arnold and Trudy Burke sharing forty-five minutes each with Burke pulling off one stunning save late in the action to preserve the clean sheet. Sally Rojahn was superb in central defence, alongside Ellie Brush as United put up a rock solid wall that the youngsters found hard to penetrate.

Going forward the industrious Bisset was probably United-s stand out performer, spraying passes across field, showing excellent distribution and tackling and sliding inch perfect passes behind the retreating Australian defence before capping a fine display with the second goal.

The deadlock was broken in the 56th minute as Heyman robbed a defender on the edge of the penalty area, shrugged off the attempted challenge and blasted a low effort into the bottom corner of the net. And Canberra made it two in the final third as Bisset struck in the 77th minute.

Christine Walters was the architect, chasing a deep cross and swinging in a delightful left-footed ball into the danger zone. Heyman rose highest to meet it but saw her goal bound header blocked. The ball fell kindly for Bisset though who sent a first-time half-volley past the despairing reach of the Young Matildas ‘keeper and into the back of the net.

The visitors, who were at the AIS for a training camp, went close to stealing a response late on but Burke denied McLaughlin on the goal line when it seemed certain that Australia would score. In all this was a decent hit-out for the defending champions who face a further fixture with Australia under-17 next week before the Westfield W-League commences on 20th October.

CANBERRA UNITED: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD (20. Trudy BURKE 45-), 3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Hayley RASO, 9. Samantha WOOD (16. Catherine BROWN 23-), 10. Snez VELJANOVSKA (4. Christine WALTERS 30-, 10. Snez VELJANOVSKA 78-), 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole SYKES, 19. Jennifer BISSET