Canberra down Adelaide to end four-match winless run

Departing Canberra United coach Heather Garriock got her McKellar Park swansong as Canberra United prevailed 3-1 over Adelaide United on Sunday.

Leena Khamis and Simone Charley struck crucial second-half goals to secure the win for Canberra in their final home match of the season – ending a four-match losing run for the Green Machine in the process.

In the first half, Laura Hughes gave Canberra the advantage, however her opener was rubbed out by Isabel Hodgson on the cusp of half-time.

The win is the first of the calendar year for the capital club and will give them the opportunity to potentially finish their season in fifth when they travel to face Brisbane in their final match of the season next week.

For Adelaide, their ninth loss from ten games in the campaign sees them remain mired at the bottom of the Westfield W-League table.

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Key moments

Failing to score in their past four matches, Canberra looked to put their final third woes behind them early as Elise Thornses fizzed a firm volley just over the bar inside the opening ten minutes.

The Reds replied with wayward strikes from Emma Stanbury and Hodgson shortly after, however, Canberra steadily upped the pressure and found the target for the first time on 27 minutes as Thornses drew a low save from Sarah Willacy.

Leena Khamis was next to call upon the Reds shot-stopper with a strike just after the half-hour, before defender Jessie Rasschaert soon fired wide from outside the box.

Their continuing threat bore fruit on 34 minutes as Hughes broke through for the opener – the midfielder latching on to a partial Reds clearance at the top of the box before converting with a left-footed strike for her maiden Westfield W-League goal.

However, it only served to spark the Reds into action as Hodgson again drew a save from Sham Khamis on 43 minutes, before finally getting the better of the Canberra shot-stopper immediately prior to the half-time whistle.

A flying counter-attack from the visitors delivered the opportunity for Hodgson as she ran onto an inch-perfect pass from Chelsie Dawber to slot in the finish.

The attacking intent stepped up a level in the second half as Canberra’s Thornses and Adelaide’s Stanbury both drew early saves, before a litany of half-chances presented for both teams.

The hosts were looking the most likely as Hughes blazed wide after the hour and then edged ahead for the second time in the 68th minute – a strong run from Charley putting the Reds defence on their heels before the speedy winger slipped a ball into the box for Leena Khamis to put in on the turn.

With the lead restored, Canberra continued to assert themselves on the visitors and put the result to bed with ten minutes remaining through their leading goal scorer Charley.

The American attacker headed home for her fifth goal of the Westfield W-League season on the back of  a sweeping movement commenced by Karly Roestbakken’s run through the heart of the Reds formation.

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Round 13

Brisbane Roar v Canberra United
Sunday, 23 February 2020
Lions Stadium Stadium
Kick-off: 4.30pm local, 5.30pm AEDT

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  • Adelaide United have the bye

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