It didn’t come off for them on the night but Canberra United coach Rae Dower couldn’t be prouder of her side’s performance.

United went down 1-0 to Melbourne City after extra time in a tense W-League semi-final at GIO Stadium on Sunday night.

A Jess Fishlock strike in the 107th minute was all it took for the defending champions to send Canberra packing and set up an intriguing decider against Perth Glory.

Despite the disappointment of bowing out prematurely, Dower said she was pleased with the way her team went about their play.

“Bitterly disappointed with the result but once again not with the performance,” Dower said post match.

“I thought we played very, very well again tonight.

“We were very good in lots of areas and we just couldn’t find that elusive goal.”

The home side had always looked the more likely in a tight-knit affair where chances were at a premium.

Ash Sykes was lurking all night and Steph Ochs and Yukari Kinga both managed to get away multiple attempts.

Just like the two sides’ meeting in Round 2, however, it was City goalkeeper Lydia Williams who had the greatest impact.

Canberra threw everything at their former employee yet couldn’t get it over the line, much to the non surprise of Dower.

“There was a period of possession there where some of the football was sublime and I thought we really had them on the rack there, we just couldn’t [score].

“Full credit to Lydia again, no prizes for guessing she was the player of the match, keeping them in the game with some great saves.”

Instead of mulling over the could haves in the wake of the defeat, Dower chose to focus on her team’s effort.

“I think you could genuinely say the girls left nothing out there, they tried 100%.

“I couldn’t of asked any more of the girls, Celeste [Boureille] had done 14.5 km before extra time had started.

The Canberra manager, who oversaw a semi-final exit last year against Sydney FC, pointed out how much her side had changed over 12 months, in terms of personal as well as tactically.

“I think we’ve done something a little bit different, we haven’t just gone with the same old same old, we’ve played a different style and it’s a really entertaining style.

“I think tonight for 120 minutes that’s great entertainment.

“I don’t know how much they charge at the gates for the double header but I’m pretty sure people got their money’s worth today.”

City must now travel to Perth in an attempt to defend their title while Canberra are left to rue what might have been.

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Third year Sports Media student at the University of Canberra. Interests include sports history and stats...you know, all the fun stuff.