W-League: Canberra vs Melbourne ends 1-1

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Canberra United was at home to Melbourne Victory on Saturday which turned into a good clash between the pair. It was all Melbourne for the first five minutes but as can happen in soccer it was Canberra who scored first.

Canberra secured a corner kick which they promptly took short, surprising the Melbourne defence. The ball was crossed in, patted down in front of Caitlin Cooper who durably touched then smacked the ball towards goal taking a ricochet into the net.

Melbourne poured on the pressure with numerous shots on goal and balls into the 18yard box with a few hitting the crossbar with Canberra co-captain and keeper Lydia Williams parrying some nice saves over the top.

In the 35th minute English import Jodie Taylor showed great tenacity to keep the ball in play and was nearly rewarded with a goal, but Canberra didn’t fade also applying pressure, and without Melbourne and Matildas Captain Mellissa Barbieri (ankle injury) one would think Melbourne were at a disadvantage.

To everyone’s surprise (except Melbourne) the 15 year old keeper Brianna Davey stood tall and denied any more goals. 1-0 halftime and even though Canberra were leading Melbourne were slightly the better team.

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The second half started as the first finished – with plenty of nice football played by both sides. The centre back pairing of Ellie Brush and Caitlin Cooper were safe, reliable and steadfast for Canberra. The game looked as though the two teams were even but Canberra seemed destined to get away with the win when lo and behold with only seconds left in extra time the tallest player in the league, Maika Ruyter-Hooley nodded a corner kick into the back of the net. A 1-1 stalemate was the final result.

Best for Canberra was Sally Shipard anchoring the midfield, the sleek wing defender Ellyse Perry playing forward as much as possible and in the second half Emily Van Egmond.

Best for Melbourne was US import Kendall Fletcher, UK import Jodie Taylor upfront, Snez Veljanovska and stepping up in goal Brianna Davey. Melbourne certainly look the goods for a fourth placed finish this year. The only female coach in the league Vicki Linton should be proud of her girls.

Other results for this round were Brisbane Roar defeating Newcastle Jets 4-0 while Sydney continued their great form against Adelaide United with a comprehensive 4-1 win. Perth Glory had the bye.

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