Munoz helps Canberra sew up a finals berth | (Credit: Nick Guoth)
Canberra United regained the position of third place in its march to the Finals following a solid four-one defeat of the Newcastle Jets at Deakin Football Stadium in Round 10 action of the Westfield W-League.
Having performed well below par in their previous outing in Geelong, the Green Machine was firing on all cylinders taking a two-nil lead within the opening twenty minutes. Lest to say Jets goalkeeper, Alison Lipsher, had a lot to do with the position her team was in.
For a cross from the right by Emily van Egmond, Lipsher chose to leave her line to get to the ball. Her timing was out and Caitlin Munoz stepped in deflecting the cross over the helpless keeper and into the empty net.
While that was not overly horrendous, her discretion that led to the second was. Michelle Heyman won the ball near the right touchline. Noting Lipsher off her line she took a shot that went over the keeper and bounced back from the far upright.
That was the good news for Lipsher. The bad was that she fumbled the ball back in the direction it came, but embarrasingly over the line giving her the duboius entry on the scoresheet as an own goal.
Canberra then suffered three losses in quick succession. Midway through the half livewire midfielder Leah Blayney succumbed to a thigh strain she was carrying into the game and not long before the break Kahlia Hogg
also required to be substituted.
Then just on half-time a defensive error led the ball to fall at the feet of Tara Andrews. Having netted no less than six times this season, it was easy for the young forward to add to her tally. Newcastle were entering half-time with their heads up.
That continued into the second half and the visitors were certainly gaining the upper hand. Even though Canberra were pushing at each opportunity, Lipsher was now making up for her first half errors with some superb saves. It all looked more likely that Newcastle would score than Canberra.
Yet, as the weather began to take effect, Canberra took advantage of two pieces of brilliant finishing to end the game. First Munoz latched onto a cross from the left to hit a first time rocket past Lipsher and then van Egmond did similar, this time the supply from the right.
The heat not only effected the players, but referee Peta McCallum was struck down by heat exhaustion midway through the second half which meant that the fourth official took over in the middle.
The result essentially finishes Newcastle’s attempt at making the Finals what with games against both Brisbane and Sydney to come. For Canberra, it is Sydney next week in a match that could have all the more meaning following Brisbane's draw in Melbourne.
Canberra United 4 (Caitlin MUNOZ 4’/76’, Michelle HEYMAN 19’, Emily VAN EGMOND 87’)
Newcastle Jets 1 (Tara ANDREWS 45’+1)
Saturday, 15 January 2010
Deakin Football Stadium, Canberra
Referee: Peta McCallum
Assistant referees: Greg Taylor and Brett Woodford
Fourth official: Luke Withell
Canberra United: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 2. Caitlin COOPER, 4. Michelle HEYMAN (8. TSENG Shu-O 47’), 5. Kahlia HOGG (19. Jennifer BISSET 39’), 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH (c), 10. Emily VAN EGMOND, 11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI, 13. Nicole SYKES, 15. Sally SHIPARD, 17. Leah BLAYNEY (9. Grace GILL 22’)
Substitutes not used: 20. Jocelyn MARA (gk)
Yellow cards: Cian MACIEJEWSKI 60’
Red cards: Nil
Newcastle Jets Squad: 1. Allison LIPSHER (gk), 2. Hannah BREWER, 3. Hayley CRAWFORD (c), 4. Niki CROSS, 5. Gema SIMON, 7. Tara ANDREWS (15. Madeline SEARL 75’), 8. Amber NEILSON, 12. Melissa FEUERRIEGEL, 14. Carlie IKONOMOU, 16. Kate HENSMAN (18. Renee CARTWRIGHT 46’ (13. Thea SLATYER 57’)), 17. Alex HUYNH
Substitutes not used: 20. Alison LOGUE (gk)
Yellow cards: Alex HUYNH 16’
Red cards: Nil