Sydney FC 4-0 Canberra United
Report and EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS from Kris Goman.
Sydney FC moved seven points clear at the top of the Westfield W-League after a comprehensive 4-0 win over second placed Canberra United, who were previously unbeaten.
It’s Teresa Polias’ 150th game in the W-league, the first player to do so. Incredible really when you consider how short each season is. It really is an achievement. Another record on the line is the all-time leading goal scorer. Michelle Heyman is currently sitting at 69 goals, one behind Sam Kerr’s all-time record of 70. It looks set to be smashed and, despite being a Sydney fan, I’m hoping it’s today so I can witness it.
This is the top of the table clash. Sydney have been victorious in all their matches so far. Canberra have played five but have won three and drawn two. Still expecting this to be close with both teams in form. Sydney will have the home ground advantage of course at Kogarah Oval.
Both Sydney and Canberra are playing 4-3-3 today and the visitors kick off. The opening exchanges consist of a battle in the mid field with both team’s defence standing strong and keeping back any incursion to the final thirds until a foul gives Sydney a free kick.
Polias takes it and its headed straight back out by Canberra. Heyman gets a ball through the centre but is relieved of it by Charlotte Mclean before she can enter the box.
Canberra string together a few passes. Kendall Fletcher passes to Grace Maher who takes a shot which is headed on and provides the perfect opportunity for Heyman to run onto it in the box. Ally Green is right beside her though and bumps her off the ball so she can’t make a decent connection and it’s gathered by Jada Mathyssen-Whyman.
It’s down the other end quickly and Princess Ibini sends a ball across from the left. Mackenzie Hawkesby is not quite quick enough to connect to what would have been a dead cert. Sydney apply a lot of pressure to stay in their attacking third and are rewarded with a number of throw ins. The pressure is building with a couple of runs into the box but no shots on goal yet.
Then a corner is given to Sydney, to be taken by Polias. It lands in front of the goal for a couple of headers before it’s cleared to the left side-line.
Another wave from Sydney sees Remy Siemsen on the right evading two defenders and getting a shot away but Keeley Richards collects it safely. It’s straight back the other end for a solo effort by Nikki Flannery but her shot is under powered and goes straight to Mathyssen-Whyman.
Sydney weave down the right with a number of connected passes and a cross goes into the hand of Fletcher for a free kick near the top of the box on the right. Everyone lines up along the top of the box. Somehow everyone misses the ball in and it floats out to the left chased by Ibini. She darts between defenders to bring it in and passes back from the goal line. It goes past Siemsen and is kicked up by the Canberra defence to Hawkesby’s chest. It bounces off her chest and she volleys it in past two defenders for the first goal. 1-0 Sydney at 16 minutes in. Hawkesby runs off with her tongue out in celebration, chased by her teammates who eventually catch her for a group hug.
After a dominating ten minutes, Canberra get back into the play a bit and there’s a lot more midfield action. The defence is holding strong until Green brings the ball down the left flank and her cross is kneed out uncontrolled by Jessika Nash. The resulting corner sees the ball in and out of the box a few times until a shot by Natalie Tobin is pushed out at with a stretch by Richards for another corner.
The corner is defended well by Canberra and we’re back to a midfield battle. The rest of the half plays out with a couple of build ups by Canberra foiled by Sydney, unrelenting pressure by Sydney including a number of corners but the Canberra defence standing ultimately solid.
There’s one beautiful run down the left by Cortnee Vine from a Green pass but her pass across goal sees no one connect and is out for a goal kick. The Green / Vine connection is formidable. They are both in top form and can cause havoc at will it seems.
The next distribution by Richards is sent directly to Ibini’s thigh and she nearly scores from this mistake.
At half time there’s a substitution and Taylor-Young is off and Satchell is on for Canberra. Canberra come back rejuvenated and get some possession. They look good when they have the ball and I like their passing game. They just can’t seem to breach the Sydney defence though and it’s not long before we find Ibini running into the box and passing to Clare Wheeler for a shot on goal. It’s deflected out and Sydney have their first corner of the second half.
The corner comes across and is headed straight out the other side by Maher for another corner from the opposite post. Next corner is punched up by Richards then headed onto the top of the net by Vine. Shortly after Canberra get a rare corner but the lob is grabbed out of the air by Wyman. Canberra can’t win a trick today.
The next Sydney corner is close but eventually cleared. There is some movement around the box and a couple of blocked shots until Ibini gets a clear position at the top of the box. Her shot is deflected by Richards who is on the ground. Siemsen rushes in to kick it and it hits the top of the bar and rebounds straight down and bounces back while Siemsen rushes in and points to the goal line. Paige Satchell is able to take the ball away down the right flank towards goal. Heyman can’t connect with her cross and the Sydney defence recover to keep it out. The replay shows the ball from Siemsen clearly went in with a massive spin that bounced it back out again but the ball clearly crossed the line. The crowd rumbles when the replay is shown. The lack of VAR has cost Sydney a goal there. Siemsen is trying to argue the point with the ref who is not having it. She might regret that decision when she watches the match back later.
Play continues with Canberra on the attack but once again the Sydney defence proves impenetrable until Siemsen can take a run up field. There’s some passing around the top of the box then Canberra takes back control.
Wheeler stops a foray into the box and once again Sydney are on the attack. This time it’s up the right side and the ball ends up with Vine. She brings it into the box, shoots and it just goes under the diving arm of Richards but shaves the left post to go out in a very near miss.
At 64 minutes Siemsen gets the ball about ten metres from the top of the box. She passes right to Hawkesby who flicks it back to Vine who has positioned herself just inside the box. She controls the ball and takes a snap shot that beats the keeper on the right of goal. It hits the back of the net and Sydney are redeemed and it’s 2-0. Cortnee Vine’s confidence is soaring. If she doesn’t make the Matildas squad for the Olympics, I’ll be very surprised and disappointed. I hope boss Tony Gustavsson is watching this match.
Canberra respond to adversity aggression with Flannery bringing the ball into the box and taking a shot that crossed the face of goal unchallenged.
That doesn’t last long and the ball is shortly back up with Sydney and there’s a corner to be taken from the left. It goes to the back post and Siemsen heads it. It’s grabbed and punched back down by Richards and kicked by Laura Hughes. The kick goes straight to Siemsen who pounds it through the tangle of legs and into goal and is finally vindicated with a recognised goal. She’s pretty happy about it as the score increases to 3-0 Sydney at 72 minutes.
In a similar restart, Canberra have another corner after the kick-off. It’s cleared by a Allira Toby volley. Another ball towards the Canberra goal is cut off before Heyman can get to it. The Canberra icon has had very little involvement so far in this match and is struggling to make an impact.
At 75 minutes, Sydney get a corner on the right. It comes to the back post and Siemsen heads it in for her second of the match and fourth of the season. Sydney go up 4-0.
It’s looking embarrassing now and Sydney are showing their class with Canberra unable to match it. Given this is a top of the table clash, Sydney look to have the Premiership stitched up at this stage. Brisbane may have some better answers next week but Canberra are floundering.
With eight minutes left, a ball comes straight up the field into the box for Toby to run at. Her kick connects at the same time the keeper does and Richards goes down as does Toby in their clash. Richards seems to have come off the worst and needs some treatment. Looks like the contact was in the thigh.
A late slide tackle on Keir by Siemsen gets her a yellow card and Canberra a free kick near the right side-line in their half. It’s initially taken short but for some reason is called back. Next time it goes to the maddening crowd. It’s headed over and to a waiting Rachael Goldstein who kicks through to Mathyssen-Whyman who has gathered it up without any problems.
A Canberra corner is cleared up field and Vine gets hold of it. In a solo run she avoids a defender and shoots. It’s deflected by Lauren Keir for a corner.
The corner is well managed by the Canberra defence. Richards makes a couple more saves from long shots before the end of the match. A final push by Canberra comes to naught. Sydney is victorious 4-0.
The stats come up at the end and very surprisingly Sydney’s possession is 49%. The tale is told in the territory though and that’s 59% for Sydney with 13 corners to Canberra’s 3 and 16 shots to Canberra’s 6. Shots on target: Sydney 9, Canberra 2 and balls into area: Sydney 42, Canberra 15.
Vine is the player of the match after her goal, innumerable penetrating runs and performance in defence. Well deserved.
This really was a dominating performance by Sydney and puts them well clear at the top of the table after six wins from six matches. It’s also Canberra’s first defeat of the season so the mood may be a little sombre on the bus trip back to Canberra.
Teams: SYDNEY FC: Mathyssen-Whyman, Hristodoulou, Green, Mclean, Tobin, Polias, Vine, Hawkesby, Wheeler, Ibini, Siemsen. Substitutes: Offer (GK), Lowe, Ray, Rule, Toby.
Scorers: Hawkesby 16. Vine 64. Siemsen 72, 76.
CANBERRA UNITED: Richards, Foletta, Ilijoski, Nash, Keir, Fletcher, Hughes, Maher, Heyman, Flannery, Taylor-Young. Substitutes: Jones (GK), Goldstein, Galic, Koulizakis, Satchell.
Referee: Georgia Ghiradello.
|Canberra United||6||3||2||1||11||10||11||+ 1|
|Brisbane Roar||6||2||4||0||11||4||10||+ 7|
|Melbourne Victory||6||3||1||2||13||11||10||+ 2|
|Adelaide United||6||3||1||2||10||9||10||+ 1|
|Newcastle Jets||6||1||1||4||9||12||4||– 3|
|Melbourne City||7||1||1||5||7||17||4||– 10|
|Western Sydney Wanderers||6||1||1||4||5||15||4||– 10|
|Perth Glory||3||0||1||2||2||4||1||– 2|
Top four sides qualify for the finals at the end of the regular season.
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