W-League: Canberra overpower Wanderers two nil

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Canberra United’s front trio fired them to consecutive clean-sheet wins to start the W-League season on Sunday, outclassing Western Sydney 2-0 at McKellar Park.

Central to the action was again Michelle Heyman, who added her third goal in two matches and spearheaded the charge with support from Stephanie Ochs and Ashleigh Sykes.

Poor final passes meant neither side was able to make incursions in the opening quarter of an hour, but a 25th minute Canberra counter-attack freed up Heyman to continue her hot start to the season.

The league’s all-time leading goalscorer ran onto an angled Lori Lindsey through ball and, showing great determination, nipped ahead of Jessica Seaman and slid a stretching finish across Dimi Poulos.

Left-sided attacker Sykes could well have made it two just five minutes later when first she poked wide Heyman’s hold-up work before going down on the edge of the penalty area, but the foul was ruled against the 21-year-old.

Just as it seemed Western Sydney had survived a period of Canberra pressure, the home side doubled their advantage five minutes from half-time through United States U23 international Ochs.

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Heyman was key to the move, slipping her teammate into space in behind where the right-winger kept a cool head and finished through the legs of Poulos for a 2-0 lead at the break.

Victory could have been sealed within eight minutes of the restart for United when Grace Gill and Ochs combined to feed Heyman through the inside right channel, but Gill scuffed her shot on the cutback and Poulos reacted well to palm it wide.

The Wanderers ‘keeper was called upon to save her side again in the 65th minute with a strong hand pushing Sykes’ powerful drive over the crossbar.

Her teammates were unable to produce similar quality at the end other end, however, as the Canberra defence comfortably recorded back-to-back clean sheets, moving the home side equal top after a pair of impressive performances.

Canberra United: Williams (gk), Rojahn, Brush, Brown, N. Sykes, Lindsey, Fletcher, Gill, Ochs, Heyman, A. Sykes.
Bench: Burke (gk), Munoz, McLaughlin, Bisset.

Western Sydney: Poulos (gk), Allen, Cooper, Seaman, Huster, Van Egmond, Gordon, O’Neill, Carney, Cannuli, Kingsley.
Bench: Rowntree (gk), Soutar, Petinos, Baker.

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