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Jan 03, 2024   |  9:54PM AET

Sydney FC Cement Top Six Spot After Canberra Draw

Sydney FC Cement Top Six Spot After Canberra Draw

Sydney FC’s Liberty A-League squad have gone five matches unbeaten, after drawing to Canberra United 1-1, in a tense encounter in front of a large festive crowd at Leichhardt Oval.

Aideen Keane’s first A-League goal of the season was cancelled out in the first half by Michelle Heyman and the game finished level.

Sydney FC 1 (Keane 22’) drawn. Canberra United 1 (Heyman 32’)

Kirsty Fenton challenges the Canberra defence.

Moments that Mattered:

22’ KEANE GOAL- Shay Hollman wins the ball after a slide tackle and it spills to Mackenzie Hawkesby. She dribbles around the United defence and releases it to Aideen Keane who nets it in the top right corner.

32’ HEYMAN GOAL- United’s captain, Michelle Heyman scores the equaliser from a Nickoletta Flannery cross.

64’ PENALTY APPEAL – Canberra appeal for a penalty after a shirt tug on Jackson in the box however the referee waves away the decision.

85’ DOS SANTOS GOAL DISALLOWED – Jynana Dos Santos converts a Hawkesby corner however it is disallowed as the referee pulls up play for a foul on the keeper.

90+ MCLEAN CHANCE- Charlotte Mclean hits the ball from a long distance causing Chloe Lincoln to intervene and tip the ball over the right post.

Zara Kruger hits one from range.

What They Said: Ante Juric: “It was one of our better performances, I was happy. We dominated with chances and we’re slowly getting there. In saying that we still want to pick up some more points, especially at home.

“Everyone’s good enough in this team to win a title. We’re extremely positive in this group that we will go a long way in the competition and today was no different.

“I thought [Dos Santos’] goal was a goal. If the ref thought the keeper did a foul it was definitely a goal, but if it was something that I missed then maybe she’s right. I thought ours was a goal.

“Today the goal we gave wasn’t our best one but I’m super proud as we didn’t concede many shots let alone many goals.”

Sydney FC were backed by a bumper crowd at Leichhardt Oval.

What they Said: Mackenzie Hawkesby

“I thought we dominated the game and created a lot of chances but we needed to put them away. Overall, it was good; we have a fair few injuries and the young ones really stepped up today. 

“I thought the changes in the second half lifted us as a team, but the keeper had a great game. We have a really good squad at the moment and I think we are in a really good place at the moment

“Leichhardt Oval was unreal. It really lifts us and I love playing on this field.”

Match Report:

The Sky Blues have played out a 1-1 draw after a spirited performance with two goals in the space of ten minutes meaning Ante Juric’s side cemented their spot in the top six.

The match began frantically as United’s midfielder, Emma Iljoski, was subbed off injured nine minutes in after she tried to defend a dangerous Sydney FC attack.

The Sky Blues looked intent to score, stretching Canberra’s defence as they entered the final third 18 times in the opening 20 minutes.

And it was Aideen Keane who netted her first goal this Liberty A-League season after a spectacular Shay Hollman tackle and Mackenzie Hawkesby assist saw the striker send Sydney FC 1-0 up.  

Jada Whyman celebrates Sydney FC’s opener.

Canberra United equalised when Nickoletta Flannery laid the ball off to Michelle Heyman, who slotted it past Jada Whyman.

United’s goal didn’t faze Ante Juric’s side, as both teams wrestled for the upper hand in a tense final ten minutes that saw the both teams share a similar number of passes and 50% of possession.

The second half didn’t start as quick as the opening 45 minutes, with two long injury interruptions restricting the flow of the game.

But that was short-lived, as dramatic end-to-end football saw both teams generate clear-cut chances.

When Jynana Dos Santos’ shot found the back of the net, the Leichhardt Oval crowd erupted but her goal was disallowed due to a foul in the box.

Sydney FC continued to press in the final minutes, most significantly, Charlotte Maclean’s solo effort from outside of the box caused Chloe Lincoln to touch the ball over the bar.

But it wasn’t enough, as the match finished 1-1.

Sydney FC will next face the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday evening. 

Jordan Thompson blocks a striker from Michelle Heyman.

Sydney FC:  1. Jada WHYMAN (GK), 3. Charlotte MCLEAN, 4. Tori TUMETH, 5. Kirsty FENTON, 13. Aideen KEANE (7. Teigan COLLISTER 46’), 14. Abbey LEMON, 15. Mackenzie HAWKESBY, 16. Jordan THOMPSON, 19. Zara KRUGER (18. Taylor RAY 59’), 20. Princess IBINI ©, 21. Shay HOLLMAN (17. Jynaya DOS SANTOS 83’).

Unused Subs: 30. Tahlia FRANCO (GK), 22. Indiana DOS SANTOS.

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Canberra United: 1. Chloe LINCOLN (GK), 3. Sarah CLARK, 5. Emma ILIJOSKI (9. Ruby NATHAN 9’, 28. Tegan BERTOLISSIO 88’), 8. Sasha GROVE, 10. Mary STANIC-FLOODY, 11. Deven JACKSON, 13. Sofia CHRISTOPHERSON (7. Maria ROJAS 88’) 17. Vesna MILIVOJEVIC, 19. Nickoletta FLANNERY (16. Madelyn WHITTALL 59’), 22. Cannon Clough, 23. Michelle HEYMAN ©.

Unused Subs: 18. Coco MAJSTOROVIC (GK). 28. Tegan BERTOLISSIO

Yellow Cards: Christopherson (46’), Thompson (70’)

Red Cards: None

Venue: Leichhardt Oval

Referee: Mikayla Ryan