Spirited Canberra United turn over Sydney FC

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Canberra United ended its run of three matches without a win thanks to a passionate display that resulted in 2-0 victory over Sydney FC at McKellar Park.

Striker Rhoda Mulaudzi celebrated her birthday with a fine effort over Sydney goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe during first half stoppage time before Karly Roestbakken settled proceedings with a low-driven shot from outside the area.

Though having gained a much-needed three points, United players were left playing for something much bigger come the 75th minute mark.

Canberra defender Tash Prior was involved in a heavy collision close to the halfway line, which required the assistance of medical staff immediately.

She was eventually stretchered off the pitch nearly 10 minutes later and her departure was met by overwhelming support from her home fans.

This eventually issued 14 minutes of added time and the heart shown by the girls in green was evident with their high energy and intent to win tackle after tackle to ultimately dedicate their triumph to Prior.

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United goalkeeper Sham Khamis was a standout performer for Garriock’s side having claimed the teams first clean sheet this season and the 23-year-old mentioned the result could be the catalyst for better things to come.

“Today was a big game for us, I knew it was going to be the turning point,” Khamis said.

“The girls definitely came out and stepped up like H (Heather) said and we worked for each other, I think that was the key.”

The former Sydney FC keeper produced a fantastic one-on-one stop late in the second interval to prevent any chance of a comeback from the away outfit.

“It’s probably strange to say, but one-on-one’s are probably one of my favourites to come up against,” Khamis said.

“If I stay big, nine times out of 10 they’re just going to kick it straight into me and that’s what happened, I put my body on the line for the team.”

Garriock was overjoyed with her sides showing and the fact that her South African striker found the back of the net for the third time in five W-League matches.

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“I love that winning feeling,” Garriock said.

“I think the first 45 minutes was the best football I’ve seen from any Canberra United side that I’ve coached.

“The girls really stepped up and gelled really well and executed the game plan.

“She deserves it, she works tremendously hard.

“She’s one of those players that is very unpredictable and happy birthday to her.”

Feature Image Credit: Lawrence Atkin/Canberra United

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Michael Djordjieski
Bachelor of Sports Media graduate from the University of Canberra. Live and breath everything to do with football.