Canberra United in form for finals with Wanderers win

Canberra United have won their seventh straight W-League match and secured a home Semi Final as they dispatched Western Sydney Wanderers at McKellar Park on Sunday.

Goals from Caitlin Munoz, Rebecca Kiting and Ash Sykes saw the home side lock in a home semi-final against Sydney in two weeks, while the visitors saw their slim finals chances end abruptly.

A scrappy beginning saw both sides struggle to maintain control of possession, but the home side took the lead following a loose ball in midfield.

Kendall Fletcher picked up the ball and ran at the Wanderers defence, before slipping a pass through to Caitlin Munoz to finish despite Teagan Micah’s best efforts in goal after six minutes.

The Wanderers began to be pushed back by the home side, and shortly after in the 11th minute, United’s advantage was doubled following a corner.

Fletcher controlled the ball as it came out after the set piece and she whipped in a great cross to the back post for Kiting to head home from close range and make it 2-0.

While the visitors threatened sporadically, United looked to control the play as the half wore on and attacked predominantly down the left side, with Ellie Carpenter caught out by Sykes and Kete on a number of occasions.

Carpenter made her own inroads as well though, and a fantastic cross from her just after the first half drinks break saw the ball on a platter for Michelle Carney in the centre, but the forward could not connect.

Western Sydney struggled to break into the game in the second half as United continued to press them back towards their own goal.

Micah was kept busy in the Wanderers goal as the visitor’s high line saw a number of Canberra opportunities. The Western Sydney keeper could do nothing to stop Sykes from finishing clinically after Veronica Perez laid the ball off to her in the box.

Both sides appeared to tire during the half but United kept running, and time and time again Western Sydney found themselves with Canberra forwards running in behind.

Grace Gill returned to the Canberra side as she was introduced just after the hour, and put in a solid shift in the centre of the park.

Erica Halloway created the Wanderers few opportunities going forward, but the Canberra defence held clear as the half wore to a close, the visitors coming closest as a fierce strike was cleared off the line with ten minutes left in the half.

The 3-0 result will see Canberra host Sydney at McKellar Park in two weeks time in the second semi-final wile they face Adelaide next week, with the Wanderers welcoming Perth for the final week of competition as they look to avoid the Wooden Spoon.

Canberra United: 3. DE ANGELIS Julia, 4. FLETCHER Kendall, 5. MCCORMICK Jenna, 6. MUNOZ Caitlin, 7. BRUSH Ellie, 12. KETE Emma, 13. BEGG Nicole, 14. SYKES Ashleigh, 17. PEREZ Veronica, 18 KITING Rebecca, 20. MAIZELS Melissa (GK)

SUBS: 8. MCLAUGHLIN Meg, 9. GILL Grace, 16. RIDING Tegan, 22. BORIC Georgia

Western Sydney: 1. MICAH Teagan (GK), 2. COOPER Caitlin, 3. MOSCATO Carmelina, 4. O’BRIEN Chloe, 5. JOHNSON Kendall, 7. PETINOS Helen, 8. HALLOWAY Erica, 10. CARNEY Michelle, 11. WINTERS Keelin, 12. BEARD Hannah, 15. CARPENTER Ellie

SUBS: 6. SOUTAR Rachael, 9. GREY Elizabeth, 13. AMMENDOLIA Eliza, 20. MATHYSSEN-WHYMAN Jada

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Former Taswegian now living in the Capital, an intern at The Football Sack. Get in touch at @DavidJordan33 to talk football or anything Sport.