Canberra United returned to the top four with a solid 2-0 win over Sydney FC at McKellar Park on Sunday.
The second half was full of drama as well. Colaprico was positioned well in front of goal early but was tackled sweetly by Jane who had returned from the African Cup of Nations.
Minutes later, McCaskill did everything but score for Sydney when she received the ball from Foord and attacked the goal. Khamis attacked the ball and blocked the shot but McCaskill regathered, shooting at an open goal but skimming the top of the crossbar.
Canberra’s second goal was a touch of Roestbakken magic when she unleashed at the top of the box after a sweet cross in from Orgill that was cleared initially.
Amy Harrison had been under pressure in her first game back in defence, but her strike from distance, low, long and strong, just evaded the left upright.
The game was paused for a lengthy delay after McCaskill collided with Tash Prior and both team medical staff and precautionary ambulance officers joined the field to treat Prior.
The game lost a lot of its sting after Prior was carried to the sideline with both sides’ attacking forays slowed down.
Despite Sydney making plenty of room in the box, their desperation to shoot wasn’t there, their decision making when faced with a pass option or a shot wasn’t what we expect from this side, and Canberra United outshone in the creativity department.
Heather Garriock was delighted with the win.
“I love that winning feeling. I think the way Canberra played was the best I’ve seen them play since I’ve coached them. I think the whole team was man of the match. Sham Khamis was outstanding. To step up and play against the team she played for last year but was ditched for an import, is credit to her.”
Khamis replied “We worked for each other. I think that’s the key.” When asked about the De Vanna save, she said “One on ones are one of my favourite things to do. Trinity, my goal keeper coach tells me to be big, and I did that.”
Canberra have a big month ahead of them. “The Wanderers is the most important thing for us coming up, then we some quick games against City and Brisbane. It’s important the players get Christmas Day with their families,” Garriock said.
Sydney coach Ante Juric was philosophical about his team’s loss. “ That’s life. We dominated again. We just didn’t put it away. In saying that, they were good on the break. We were better this week than last week, we weren’t as square.”
“For us, it’s about mentality. You keep working hard, the luck falls and it clicks. We just hope we get a bit of luck. Our unity needs to stay strong.”
“Harrison wasn’t going to start and Suitor got injured. Huge wraps for Harrison to come back and play a full game after a few knee reconstructions and play like that today.”
Both coaches wished Tash Prior well before returning to their sides to digest another big contest between these two iconic sides.