Wellington record historic win as Canberra hit new low

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Against all odds Wellington Phoenix recorded their maiden A-League Women’s victory on Friday night, after two cruel comebacks denied them three points recently.

It was third times a charm as they defeated last year’s semi-finalists Canberra United 3-0 in a dominant display at Viking Park.

Despite looking the less likely of the two teams to start the match, Wellington were able to get the breakthrough goal just before the half time break and never looked back.

It adds further pain to Canberra’s season, as goal difference is all that separates them and last position.

It was United who had the first opportunity of the match, with Michelle Heyman finding Ash Sykes in the 9th minute after a piercing run.

The veteran slotted it past Wellington goalkeeper Lily Alfeld, however, the assistant flagged it for offside to deny the home side the perfect start.

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Canberra continued to push until the 19th minute when Heyman burst through the line, beating the defence only to be thwarted by Alfeld at the near post.

Despite a wealth of chances, Canberra found themselves 1-0 down in the 41st minute after some scrappy defence in the box.

The ball fell to Wellington striker Chloe Knott, who fired it past Chloe Lincoln from 12-yards to give the away side a 1-0 lead.

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Despite a few late chances for Sykes, Wellington were able to hold the lead into the half time break.

It was Canberra who started off the second half better, having an early chance via Ally Haran.

After some scrappy play in the box, it was the American who found the loose ball from close range, with only a sharp save from Alfeld, again, keeping Wellington ahead.

Yet again Canberra was punished for not converting, with Grace Jale finding space after a beautifully weighted through ball.

She made no mistake, slotting it past Lincoln from close range to give the Phoenix a 2-0 lead in the 50th minute.

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Canberra continued to push, with a Sykes shot hitting the side netting in the 54th leaving the home fans sure that they had pulled one back.

Despite a wealth of chances, an own goal via Haran looked to have finished the job for the away side, after a Wellington shot clattered into the centre defender.

It deflected onto the post, creeping in to give Phoenix a 3-0 lead in the 62nd minute.

Canberra continued to push despite the scoreboard, with substitute Allira Toby narrowly missing multiple chances to pull one back.

Grace Maher nearly did just that, with her long range effort beating Alfeld before coming off the crossbar.

A handful of chances both ways did not prove fruitful, meaning no team was able to add to the scoresheet before the final whistle sounded.

Whilst the victory still leaves Wellington at the bottom of the ladder, they now head into their next match against Adelaide United on Thursday full of confidence.

Canberra instead are away to the Western Sydney Wanderers on Tuesday night, playing for pride now rather than a finals place.

Canberra United: 0

Wellington Phoenix 3 (Knott 41’, Jale 50’ Haran OG 62’)

Stadium: Viking Park

Referee: Rebecca Mackie

Assistant Referees: Lauren Hargrave and Delfina Dimoski

Fourth Official: Caitlin Williams

Canberra United: Chloe Lincoln (GK), Emma ILIJOSKI, Ally HARAN (Allira TOBY 69th), Lauren KEIR, Mikayla VIDMAR, Grace MAHER (Alexia KARRYS-STAHL 85th), Chloe MIDDLETON (Margot ROBINNE 45th), Chelsee WASHINGTON, Sasha GROVE, Ash SYKES (Holly CASPERS 69th), Michelle HEYMAN (C)

Unused subs: Christina ESPOSITO (GK)

Wellington Phoenix: Lily ALFELD, Talitha KRAMER, Kate TAYLOR (Te REREMOANA WALKER 48th), Mackenzie BARRY, Zoe MCMEEKEN, Isabel GOMEZ (Hannah JONES 45th), Grace WISNEWSKI, Alyssa WHINHAM (Charlotte LANCASTER 90th) Grace JALE, Chloe KNOTT, Ava PRITCHAR (Saskia VOSPER 79th)

Unused Subs: Brianna Jayne Edwards

Feature Image: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire

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William Makepeace
Current Intern covering Canberra United. Sports Media student at University of Canberra who lives and breathes Football

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