Canberra United kept their season alive with a 1-0 victory over fifth placed Adelaide United at McKellar Park on Sunday.
The inevitable goal came in the 55th minute for Canberra who made an attacking substitution, getting Meghan McElligott into the game for the impressive Rojas who was starting to run out of sting.
Another wave of attack was launched down the right with Sykes sending a ball into McElligott for her first touch of the game. Her shot was blocked but Carpenter finished the scraps, shooting low through Willacy’s legs.
Canberra carried on with a succession of combination plays. Sitting in the stands with her Canberra United squad mates, Natasha Prior who is out for the season after suffering a concussion last year was heard to say “This is bloody beautiful…!”
Adelaide’s best chance of the game came when Fanndis Fridriksdottir received a gimme from a rare Roestbakken error in Canberra’s backline, passing infield to an oncoming Fridriksdottir. Her shot was touched by Khamis and clanged off the crossbar.
Soon after, Khamis made another critical save on Isabel Hodgson who received a sweet ball from Heyman, then another against Veronica Latsko.
Adelaide’s late surge wasn’t enough to claim them any points in the capital, and the result keeps the race to the final four open.
Canberra’s coach Heather Garriock said after the match that the win felt good.
“We created so many chances for team goals today. It didn’t feel like a 1-0 game. We need to close out games – hence the several draws we’ve had this season which has cost us.”
However, the team is under pressure with a short turn around and will be without three players away for international duty but Garriock remains positive.
“We need to win against Victory, and we need to beat Brisbane. We can do it. That’s some of the best football we’ve seen in the W-League this season, and that’s not biased. What we’ve needed is a forward who can score 7-8 goals for the season, and score the half chances - that’s what the other teams ahead of have.”
Adelaide’ coach Ivan Karlovic was disappointed with the result.
“We did well in the first 15 mins of the game, and fell into some traps after that. I thought we dominated the second half, especially after the goal.”
“Now we go into games, and we’re expected to win, which is another challenge. For us it’s a learning curve. At this league you need to be at your best every single game. Today we weren’t at our best and we didn’t get the results.”
Adelaide plays Western Sydney Wanderers at home next week, while Canberra host Melbourne Victory at Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan on Thursday night.