Canberra United 3-0 Wellington Phoenix
by Ryan Miller-Woods (10/12/22)
Above: Alyssa Whinham looks to get away against Canberra United. Photo: stuff.co.nz
Canberra have their first win of the season after two goals from Michelle Heyman and one from Grace Maher rewarded for a dominant performance against struggling Wellington Phoenix.
Wellington are still without a win after their first four matches of this season and despite occasional chances in the match, didn’t really threaten Canberra, and with 12 goals conceded in four games defensively things are not where they could be.
Canberra were on the front foot from the early stages.Maher was able to dispossess Wellington’s Alyssa Whinham and found Heyman whose cross found Vesna Milivojevic whose first shot bounced off Ava Pritchard and fell into the path of Maher who lifted a shot over Wellington goalkeeper Brianna Edwards and into the back of net.
Within two minutes, Laura Hughes made a great run and saw her shot from outside the box hit the post.
Maher was involved again just before the half-hour mark when she found Milivojevic in the box to cross for Heyman who had a first-time shot at goal which went past Edwards to double Canberra’s lead.
With 11 minutes until the break, Wellington had their best chance as Claudia Cicco crossed the ball into the box and found Chloe Knott whose header went wide of the goal.
Wellington came out for the second half firing as Michaela Foster made across to Pritchard whose shot went wide of the goal and soon after that very nearly got on the scoresheet, only for Sasha Grove to deny them on the line.
However, any hope that Phoenix had of getting back into the game went eight minutes into the half as Edwards’ clearance went straight to Canberra’s Milivojevic who back-heeled the ball towards Heyman. The A-League Women’s all-time record scorer hit a first-time effort into the net.
With 12 minutes remaining, it could have got worse for the visitors as their former star Grace Jale headed just wide after being found by Hayley Taylor-Young and Heyman.
Both sides had a further chance a piece to change the score. First, Foster turned outside of the box but her powerful shot went safely into the gloves of Canberra’s Keely Richards. For the home side, Grove’s effort from outside of the box was held by Edwards.
Things won’t get any easier for Wellington next weekend when they host Adelaide United. Canberra go to Perth Glory.
Teams: CANBERRA UNITED (4-2-3-1): Lincoln, Ilijoski, Hughes, Grove, Maher, Jale, McComasky, Faulknor, Milivojevic, Flannery, Heyman. Substitutes: Richards, Taranto, Taylor-Young, Christopherson, Gett.
Scorers: Maher 9’, Heyman 27’, 53’
WELLINGTON PHOENIX (4-1-4-1): Edwards, Foster, Barry, Van der Meer, Cicco, Whinham, Hassett, Knott, Rolston, Pritchard, Satchell. Substitutes: Candy, Vosper, Robertson, McMeeken, Walker.
Referee: Isabella Libri.