Canberra United swept aside Sydney FC with a comprehensive 3-0 victory in the Westfield W-League Round 2 at McKellar Park.
Goals from Nicole Begg, Veronica Perez and Caitlin Munoz proved more than enough for the greens to claim a first win of the season.
Canberra was in control from the outset and took the lead inside ten minutes. Sykes made a penetrating run down the left flank and when her cross was cleared to the edge of the area Begg pounced to strike a fierce shot that took a deflection off a Sydney leg to loop over the head of Michelle Betos and into the back of the net. After that bright start both teams settled into a pattern with very few chances of note in the first half.
Emma Kete went close to making it two with time running out in the opening forty-five when she met a Sykes cross with a firm header but Betos was equal to the challenge and pushed the ball to safety with a decent stop. At the other end Trudy Camilleri had Melissa Maizels at full-stretch in injury time with the United custodian arcing backwards to palm a dipping drive over the bar.
Midfielder Veronica Perez almost marked a dream debut three minutes into the second stanza when she struck a howitzer from a training ground set-piece that fizzed just wide of the upright but, as it was, the Mexican wouldn’t have long to wait to mark her first match with a goal as she increased the home team’s lead in the 58th minute.
Sykes was proving to be tormentor in chief for the hosts and, shortly after creating a presentable opening for Kete, sent over a delightful cross into the danger zone. There was still plenty for Perez to do but once the playmaker had cushioned the ball past her marker with her instep there was only ever going to be one outcome as she gleefully drilled a shot low into the bottom corner.
Sydney’s Jasmyne Spencer was the main threat for the Sky Blues but her service was sporadic and she was living off scraps despite the best intentions of Leena Khamis and Teresa Polias with Maizels largely unemployed in the Canberra goal.
United increased their lead and killed off the match in the 68th minute after some wonderful play from midfielder Julia De Angelis. The youngster kept the ball in play and pinged a cross into the box which was collected by Munoz who showed all her experience to skip past her marker and thrash a shot past Betos to seal the victory.
Saturday 24th October 2015
Canberra United 3 (Nicole Begg 9’, Veronica Perez 58’, Caitlin Munoz 68’) Sydney FC 0
(McKellar Park, Belconnen)
Canberra United: 20. Melissa MAIZELS, 3. Julia DE ANGELIS (18. Rebecca KITING 84’), 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 5. Jenna MCCORMICK, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ (16. Tegan RIDING 75’), 7. Ellie BRUSH, 12. Emma KETE (8. Meg MCLAUGHLIN 64’), 13. Nicole BEGG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Emma CHECKER, 17. Veronica PEREZ
Substitutes not used: 22. Georgia BORIC
Sydney FC: 1. Michelle BETOS, 2. Elizabeth RALSTON, 3. Ellyse PERRY, 4. Sunny FRANCO (20. Lyndsay KOHLET 84’), 5. Jasmyne SPENCER, 6. Teresa POLIAS, 7. Nicola BOLGER, 10. Renee ROLLASON, 13. Trudy CAMILLERI (9. Princess IBINI-ISEI 66’), 15. Teigen ALLEN, 19. Leena KHAMIS (11. Natalie TOBIN 76’)
Substitutes not used: 18. Sham KHAMIS
Discipline: YELLOW CARDS: 4. Sunny FRANCO, 19. Leena KHAMIS (Sydney FC)
Referee: Rachel MITCHINSON