Canberra UnitedSydney FC

MATCH ANALYSIS: Sydney FC down Canberra United, move into Top 4

In muggy conditions Sydney FC continue their unbeaten run with a 3-0 win against Canberra United at Allianz Stadium. 

It was a far different result to the last time these two met in Round 3 with Canberra taking all the points in a 3-2 goalfest win.

Sydney FC – What happened? 

It was a cagey start to the match with Sydney and Canberra sharing the possession and battling it out in the midfield with plenty of physicality.

In this match the Sky Blue hosts found a way through the Canberra wings to create opportunities. Canberra Goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer did well to make Sydney work hard in the early moments but the green facade was starting to crack.

Week by week the forward combination of Princess Ibini, Remy Siemsen and Lisa De Vanna look like they are finding their rhythm and understanding. 

In this match their runs off the ball were complimentary and combined with another excellent performance from Amy Harrison, Sydney looked early the more likely team to score.

That front third combination lead to Sydney FC’s first goal with Ibini’s run down the right feeding a ball to De Vanna who made no mistake in putting it away. 

Sydney dictated this match looking calm, cool and nothing like the disorganised team they appeared in the opening rounds. The keys to their resurgence is the holding midfield partnership of the experienced Kylie Ledbrook and Teresa Polias. 

Polias breaks up the play and screens the defence while Ledbrook is the link to release the attacking players.  Together this duo has provided a midfield platform for Sydney to supply the front third.  

Sydney FC have finally found their mojo and seem to have struck a perfect balance between youthful energy and old head experience.

The addition of Caitlin Foord to the squad gives them an added edge, and with Chloe Logarzo still to return from injury after breaking her wrist, the rest of the league will wince from this scoreline.

Canberra United – What happened?

It has been a rough couple of weeks for Canberra United and this loss is puts them on the back foot when it comes to the finals race.

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MATCH ANALYSIS: Canberra defeat Wanderers 2-0

Although under pressure for a substantial portion of the match, Haley Kopmeyer, Clare Hunt and Ellie Carpenter were strong in Canberra’s defence but Sydney’s relentless pace proved too difficult to halt.

United are missing a key midfield link at the moment and it is noticeable when they look to transition.  Most of their best attacks at the moment are coming from deep – very deep through the full backs.  It has made things tough for a team that most of their goals have come in transition this season.

The loss of Ash Sykes has also been keenly felt and Nicki Flannery was meant to be a replacement.  However Canberra also lost the Young Matildas’ forward early in the game to and injury which created unexpected disruption in their attacking third. 

The result was that Michelle Heyman was left often isolated and even when she did receive the ball, the support was absent in key moments.  Heyman worked hard as a lone forward but even the chances she did have like a golden 1 v 1 opportunity in behind was foiled by a Sham Khamis save.

Canberra United need to go back to the drawing board after registering their third loss in a row but time is running out to turn around the ship.  

Up Next

Sydney FC can sit out the holiday season break comfortably after 4 wins in a row and growing confidence in their ability to knit their attack together but the W-league table is a big ol’ bottleneck so every point and every goal has become critical from here on out.  Meanwhile Canberra United have a two week break before they take on Adelaide United in a match where both sides will be desperate for three points.  

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SHELL BARRATT

Shell is TWG's Assistant Editor and Sydney FC correspondent
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