W-League | Dower pleased regardless of Canberra loss

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Canberra United coach Rae Dower says she’s happy with the start to the season despite suffering a 2-1 defeat to Melbourne City on Saturday.

United created a number of good chances but ultimately fell to two counter attack goals from City.

“I thought we probably created enough chances in the first half to win three or four games to be fair,” Dower said post-match.

“To be fair we’ve had two (training) sessions together as a full squad so for our first game the signs are very promising.”

Canberra may have lacked match-practice heading into the fixture but it didn’t seem to affect them, at times dominating the defending champions.

Canberra finished the match having amassed 20 shots compared to City’s eight with 14 of those coming from inside the box.

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Ex-United goalkeeper Lydia Williams pulled off a number of saves in an inspired performance to keep her team in the game.

Dower believes that the Matildas’ stalwart was the difference between the two sides in the end.

“To be honest the difference was probably Lydia there with those couple of saves especially in the second half, those two saves she made were world class.”

“Potentially she is probably one of the top two, three goalkeepers in the world, we knew that she was going to have a big game today.”

“That didn’t surprise us, the frequency that she does that day in day out is incredible.”

American import Jasmyne Spencer, here for her second stint in the W-League, was reflective after the match but happy overall.

“As Rae said definitely disappointed with the result,” she said post-game.

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“I think we could have at least got a point out of it, minimum. It’s a great start to the season, building on this I’m really looking forward to it.

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The former Sydney FC striker was full of praise for her teammates given their limited preparation.

“We haven’t really spent a ton of time together and some of the stuff we pulled out on the field today was amazing to see in such a short time and it’s going to be exciting to see what we can do.”

Dower put the goals conceded down to a momentary lapse in concentration, especially with the second.

“For us we switched off for a few minutes, we shouldn’t have let that long ball get played.”

Dower believed that once they feel behind, Melbourne were always going to be hard to crack,

“We probably did control a lot of ball at times and did create a lot of chances.”

“So they did very, very well to maintain their composure at the back.”

Canberra will look to bounce back against Brisbane Roar away next week while City will enjoy a week off with the bye.

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

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