It was expected to be a tightly contested match between this season's W-League championship contenders, a battle for the prized position at the top of the table.

Instead it was a Sydney FC stampede that finished with a dejected Canberra United losing 6-1 in front of a buoyant crowd at Lambert Park.

The opening 10 minutes of the game saw a mostly even contest. Canberra pressed high to curtail the natural Sydney instinct to play it forward through the midfield.

Sydney were disciplined, keeping the ball on the ground and avoiding the allure of a long ball as they had employed this season.

As time wore on, Canberra started to show structural problems particularly when they would press and Sydney would play through and switch it wide. Canberra were left unprotected by this movement and struggled to recover and stop the inevitable cross.

Sydney also demonstrated an ability to make the right choice at the right time, holding the ball up or playing into the box immediately when a runner was tracking.

It is not often you see Canberra United being caught behind their lines by speed but the centrebacks could not keep up with Leena Khamis’ acceleration. This left frequent clean-up work for Trudy Burke in Canberra’s goals.

The pace and creativity of AFC Player of the Year Caitlin Foord positioned at left back with Georgia Yeoman-Dale complementing her on the right meant Canberra struggled to contain Sydney down the flanks.

On top of this, Kyah Simon, Nicola Bolger and Teresa Polias worked as one in the middle linking the ball with the standout Francisca Ordega and Remy Siemsen with ease.

Siemsen with a brace continued to show why she is an exciting young player to watch in 2017. It is not luck that Siemsen has netted 4 goals this season, she has a good football brain and makes smart runs into the box. Matching this with her strong physicality – a rare trait in a young player - Siemsen is a solid striker for Sydney FC.

Sydney were applying extreme pressure on Canberra in regular game play but it was a Bolger free kick that sailed through the crowded box bouncing into the net opening scoring.

Not a common sight in football, it felt like a bad omen for Canberra to concede in that manner just 15 minutes into play.

Only 10 minutes later Siemsen tapped in her first goal taking Sydney into the half looking very relaxed with a comfortable 2-0 lead.

Returning from the half everyone expected a strong Canberra rally and yet Sydney came out fast and immediately picked up from where they left off. Slipping in crosses time and again.

Canberra were exposed on the wings, and without the tenacity to get first to every ball in the box, were dealt a costly blow despite a good performance from Burke. Just 6 minutes in Kyah Simon made a run beating Burke to the ball with the tip of her toe for goal 3 while Siemsen had herself a brace not 5 minutes following.

The crowd were awed by the 4-0 scoreline but the drama was far from over.

At the 63rd minute Sydney FC’s stalwart centreback Alanna Kennedy found herself handed a second yellow card and she was sent from the field. Japan national team import Yukari Kinga converted the resulting free kick for Canberra United.

This was surely the moment that would turn the game around and Canberra will make their big comeback.

Suddenly Canberra had a notch on the scoreboard. They were facing a 10-woman Sydney side who had lost their star centreback. They had 25 minutes to get the game back. They had a fired up Lisa De Vanna raring and ready to go – the momentum was finally in Canberra’s hands.

It was not to be however as Sydney FC stunningly (and almost immediately) counter attacked and Ordega got her first goal for her new team to hand Sydney a 5-1 lead.

A defiant Lisa De Vanna worked hard to get another back for Canberra. Her ability to beat defenders and accelerate was difficult to manage and Lizzie Ralston and Polias were often slide tackling the ball out the sideline and conceding corners just to stop De Vanna’s frequent run.

So what went wrong for Canberra United?

Canberra were well and truly missing their esteemed defender and captain Ellie Brush. Brush would have offered expertise and calm in the situation. Instead United panicked as the clock kept ticking and their opportunities on Sydney’s goal dwindled.

Former Sydney FC striker Jasmyne Spencer was kept reasonably quiet by the Sky Blue backline however she was able to create opportunities via set pieces when she was fouled off the ball. Unfortunately Canberra were not able to capitalise off as many of these chances as they would have liked with a few rocketing over the crossbar.

Ultimately this game was a Sydney FC fairytale destined for the history books.

Sydney FC have never looked so seamless. Their proactive passing game was reminiscent of a warm afternoon in November 2013 when Sydney FC handed Melbourne Victory a 5-1 loss and put together a stunning 10 pass goal.

The game finished 6-1 and it left the entire W-League competition with plenty to think about. Were Canberra United not as untouchable as they so often seem? Did Sydney FC get a lucky result at home? What does this mean for my team making the finals?

Well this much we have learnt: Sydney FC are a force to be reckoned with when they work together.

Not only did the home side score 6 goals but they did this with 5 different players using multiple different methods. Set pieces, build up, counter attack.

Sydney FC are now sitting pretty at the top of the W-league table 4 points clear of Perth Glory (who have a game in hand). Sydney FC now face off against a hungry Melbourne City next Sunday in the televised match of the round at Allianz Stadium.

This will be the first women’s football team to play a standalone match at the popular grounds and both Sydney and City have PLENTY to prove so tune in to watch the carnage ensue.

Match Details

Sydney FC 6 (Nicola Bolger 16’, Remy Siemsen 25’, 56’, Kyah Simon 52’, Francisca Ordega 68’, Leena Khamis 81’)

Canberra United 1 (Yukari Kinga 65’)

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Lambert Park, Sydney

Kick-off: 4pm

Referee: Katie Patterson

Sydney FC: Sham Khamis (gk), Teresa Polias, Remy Siemsen, Liz Ralston, Nicola Bolger (Olivia Price 75’), Caitlin Foord, Francisca Ordega (Princess Ibini 80’), Georgia Yeoman-Dale, Alanna Kennedy, Kyah Simon, Leena Khamis (Natalie Tobin 90’)

Substitutes – Sarah Easthope (gk)

Cautions – Alanna Kennedy 45’, 65’

Red Card - Alanna Kennedy 65’

Canberra United: Trudy Burke (gk), Yukari Kinga, Jenna McCormick, Hayley Raso, Jasmyne Spencer (Nickoletta Flannery 68’), Grace Maher, Hannah Brewer, Celeste Boureille, Ashleigh Sykes, Emma Checker (Lisa De Vanna 60’), Steph Ochs

Substitutes: Georgia Boric (gk)

Cautions: Yukari Kinga 13’, Hayley Raso 34’