Canberra United record first win over Sydney FC in four years

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Goals to Canberra United veterans Michelle Heyman and Ellie Brush have secured their side a 2-1 win over Sydney FC.

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Going into the match, Sydney were sitting confident on a 17-0 scoring run over Canberra after winning four out of five of their last match ups. The last time Canberra scored against Sydney was in December 2018 when they won two-nil.

Sydney was without Mackenzie Hawkesby who was out on suspension after an accumulation of four yellow cards, but was boosted by the return of Matilda’s goalkeeper Jada Whyman who hasn’t played since Christmas Eve after suffering a broken finger.

The home side had a few changes of their own, with internationals Wu Chengshu and Kennedy Faulknor both missing from the squad, leaving room for Holly Murray to make her first start of the season.

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Right away Sydney came out of the kick-off with the pressure on. Within the first 60 seconds the visitors managed to get the ball up their own end. Courtnee Vine managed to break through Canberra’s defence for a one-on-one with goalkeeper Chloe Lincoln, who only just managed to stop the shot.

The game continued with pace as Canberra worked fast to get out of danger and into their own half. Grace Jale found herself on the run before passing off to Michelle Heyman who scored from outside the box. Her strong ground ball took Whyman by surprise and rolled into the bottom-left corner of the goal.

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The intensity dropped off for the remainder of the first half as both teams battled against the heat. Learning from their previous matches in similar conditions, Canberra were content with keeping possession and conserving their energy.

After the main break, Sydney came back rejuvenated and raring to even the scores. They made one change at the break which proved to be vital, with Rola Badawiya coming on for Madison Haley.

Eight minutes later, Badawiya’s burst of energy resulted in a steal against Canberra’s defence, allowing her to score her first A-League goal.

This was the catalyst for bringing the life back into Sydney’s attack, and saw the intensity of the match pick back up going into the final minutes.

It wasn’t until the 87th minute that things swayed in favour of Canberra. A Grace Maher corner kick found Ellie Brush in front of the goals who tipped in a goal off a header to seal the game for the hone side.

Canberra will return to McKellar Park for their next match on Saturday, February 25th where they will take on the Western Sydney Wanderers. While Sydney FC will take a trip across the ditch to take on ladder dwellers the Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, 26th February.

Canberra United 2 (Heyman 4’, Brush 87’)

Sydney FC 1 (Badawiya 53’)

Stadium: McKellar Park, Canberra

Referee: Kelly Jones

Assistant Referees: Delfina Dimoski and Amber Morri

Fourth Official: Isabella Mossin

Canberra United: Chloe LINCOLN (GK), Holly MURRAY (Chloe MIDDLETON 69’), Laura HUGHES, Ellie BRUSH, Sasha GROVE, Grace MAHER, Grace JALE, Hayley TAYLOR-YOUNG (Emma ILIJOSKI 45+3’), Vesna MILIVOJEVIC, Nickoletta FLANNERY (Ellen GETT 90’), Michelle HEYMAN (C) (Grace TARANTO 90+3’)

Unused subs: Keely RICHARDS (GK)

Sydney FC: Jada WHYMAN (GK), Charlotte MCLEAN, Kirsty FENTON, Sarah HUNTER, Rachel LOWE, Madison HALEY (Rola BADAWIYA 45’), Cortnee VINE, Natalie TOBIN (C), Charlize RULE, Princess IBINI (Abbey LEMON 86’), Shay HOLLMAN

Unused subs: Katie OFFER (GK), Mary STANIC-FLOODY, Deborah-Anne DE LA HARPE,

Feature image credit: Anthony Caffery Photography

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Grace Buckmaster
Grace Buckmaster
Sports Media student at the University of Canberra. Covering Canberra United for the 2022/23 season. Women's sport enthusiast.

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