Sydney Smash Six In Statement-Making Win

Sydney FC 6-0 Canberra United

Report by Kieran Yap. Exclusive pitchside photos by Kris Goman (15/1/22)

Above: Canberra United goalkeeper Keeley Richards reaches for the ball under pressure. Photo: Kris Goman for Impetus.

This was always going to be a tough game for Canberra United. They are without a win as the season approaches the halfway mark and have lost many of last season’s best players. Two of them (Jessika Nash and Paige Satchell) now play for their opponents in this round, Sydney FC.

They also had to face the league leaders without Emma Illijoski due to COVID and Karly Roestbakken to Matildas duty. Sydney’s Remy Siemsen and Cortnee Vine are also with the national team in Dubai but in Satchell and Maria Cote Rojas, The Sky Blue have strong replacements.

Above: Sydney FCs New Zealand international Paige Satchell homing in on the Canberra United goal. Photo: Kris Goman for Impetus.

Rojas started things off for Sydney FC. Mackenzie Hawkesby played in the Chilean international who was fouled by Hayley Taylor-Young. Rojas dispatched the penalty herself. A calm, low bottom corner shot that Keeley Richards could not reach despite diving the right way.

Sydney FC went 2-0 up before halftime through Rojas again. Lauren Keir under-hit a back pass to gift another chance to the unforgiving striker. She may have been gifted the ball but the finish was all class. Rojas carried the ball inward, cutting across goal and lifting it over Richards and into the goal.

Any plans for a Canberra comeback were dealt a blow by Ally Green who made it 3-0 with an amazing goal. Whether it was a shot or a cross does not really matter in the end. It looked incredible.

Above: Cote Rojas – Sydney FC’s hat-trick hero. Photo: Kris Goman for Impetus.

After receiving the ball, on the touchline, Green hit a curling in-swinging ball high and long. Richards was well positioned to intercept a cross but the ball kept moving and found its way inside the far post.

Rojas made it four with another great piece of skill. Canberra United would be disappointed that one of the shortest players could score from a corner. Even unmarked and six yards out, the volley was perfectly struck. Rojas had her first hattrick for her new club and the game looked out of reach for the home side.

As Canberra struggled to find a way into the contest, Sydney hit them on the counter attack. Taylor Ray showed why she was initially selected to join the Matildas camp with a perfect long pass to Princess Ibini. The forward raced onto the ball and into the penalty area and directly towards goal.

Above: Princess Ibini (right) gets away from Canberra United’s Chloe Middleton en route to scoring Sydney FC’s fifth goal. Photo: Kris Goman for Impetus.

Chloe Middleton did her best to stop her with a lunging push, but Ibini kept balanced as she tumbled and poked the ball past Richards to make it five unanswered goals for Sydney FC.

Ibini turned provider in the closing minutes. She played a defence-splitting reverse pass to set Rachel Lowe into space. The midfielder waited for Richard to commit before calmly slotting it beyond for her first of the season.

This was a hard game to judge. Canberra United has played good football in patches this season but without the twin threats of Satchell and Nikki Flannery, they have lost much of what made them a force last season.

Grace Maher remains a top-class midfielder, she is Canberra’s creator and conductor but this season they have struggled to find her the support she needs to hurt the opposition.

Above: Rachel Lowe breaks through to score Sydney FC’s sixth goal. Photo: Kris Goman. Photo: Kris Goman for Impetus.

This game was all about Sydney though. They are without two of their best players from this season and looked just as strong if not more so.

To win 6-0 in any game is an incredible effort to do it without Siemsen and Vine is a whole new level of impressive. They have exceptional individual talent in every position and in Satchell and Rojas they have two international attackers in reserve of two others. Sydney has depth and quality that no other team is currently able to match.

We are only halfway through the season but Sydney FC looks frighteningly close to unbeatable.

Canberra United has suffered their most difficult start to a season in their history. But next week they have a winnable game. Melbourne Victory has shown they can be vulnerable to fast clinical attacks. In Ashleigh Sykes, Michelle Heyman, and Allira Toby, the side from the capital have the weapons to break their losing streak. Finals may be out of reach, but there is still hope they can have something to celebrate.

Kris Goman’s EXCLUSIVE photo gallery from Netstrata Jubilee Stadium:

Teams: SYDNEY FC (4-3-3): Whyman, Rule, Mclean, Tobin, Green, Lowe, Hunter, Hawkesby, Satchell, Rojas, Ibini. Substitutes: Johnson, Nash, Offer (GK), Prior, Ray.

Scorers: Rojas (pen) 29′, 41′, 64′. Green 62′, Ibini 83′, Lowe 88′.

CANBERRA UNITED (4-3-3): Richards, Keir, Vidmar, Haran, Taylor-Young, Washington, Robinne, Hughes, Sykes, Heyman, Toby. Substitutes: Caspers, Grove, Karrys-Stahl, Lincoln (GK), Middleton.

Referee: Isabella Blaess.

Attendance: 1,319.

Artwork: Graphics by PW

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