Frantic finish sees Canberra and Perth share the spoils

A frenetic final ten minutes of play between Canberra United and Perth Glory saw both sides score within a minute, as the Green Machine cancelled out Perth’s opener to secure a 1-1 draw at Viking Park on Sunday afternoon.

In an otherwise uneventful contest highlighted by some excellent goalkeeping at either end, Perth looked to have snatched all three points when Elizabeth Anton scored in the 86th minute of play.

But just one minute later Canberra substitute Hayley Taylor-Young found an equaliser, blasting a strike off the post and in to earn her side a point in sweltering conditions at Viking Park.

Paige Satchell and Michelle Heyman were busy up front for the hosts as Canberra enjoyed the majority of possession early but Perth held firm, showing solidity in defence as they grew into the contest.

Perth crafted just one genuine first-half sight on goal but it proved the best opportunity for either side in the opening stanza, as Marianna Tabain failed to finish a well-worked team move from close range, denied by an excellent stop from Canberra stopper Chantel Jones.

The second half began with Perth under the pump and ‘keeper Lily Alfeld thrived under pressure, pulling off a number of saves to keep the Green Machine at bay.

The contest looked to be drifting toward its conclusion before it burst into life in the final minutes when Anton lashed a strike into the back of the net, handing Perth a sniff of victory.

But Taylor-Young had other ideas, equalising before Perth could catch their breath to ensure the game which seemed destined for a draw ultimately finished in that manner, after a frenetic final ten minutes of play.

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Key Moments

Heyman header a rare first-half sight on goal 

An excellent, well-weighted ball from Emma Ilijoski set the challenge for Heyman to rise above Elizabeth Anton and head the ball toward goal.

Heyman managed the initial task of making contact with the header but her resulting effort went high, wide and away from danger.

Foletta creates space but can’t hit the target

Michelle Heyman found Foletta with a ball across the edge of the box and the Canberra defender turned a decent opportunity into a great one with her determined attack on the ball and quick touch into space.

Suddenly Foletta found herself in an acre of space and the defender looked to take advantage with a left-footed shot, but the strike fizzed wide of the mark.

Tabain spurns best chance of the half

After a neat bit of play from the visitors, Tabain found herself one-on-one with Jones with the goal seemingly at her mercy.

Kat Jukic started the move, back-heeling the ball to release Hana Lowry into attack.

Lowry fed the ball to Caitlin Doeglas who crossed into a dangerous area; Tabain touched the ball down and poked a shot toward Jones but the Canberra custodian stood tall, getting a vital glove on the strike to deny Perth an opener.

Alfeld racks up a number of quick-fire stops to keep Canberra goalless

After Jones’ heroics in goal for Canberra in the first half, Glory stopper Alfeld stepped forward to make a series of similarly important stops around the hour mark of the contest.

Alfeld kept Nicki Flannery, Grace Maher and Heyman at bay with three saves from a variety of distances to keep her side in the contest.

Anton thinks she’s won it for Perth

An 86th-minute strike from a defender to put her side one goal to the good; the dream impact Anton could have hoped for in the contest as she put Perth in the lead.

The chance came from a deflected Lowry strike and Anton made no mistake with her effort, putting the ball past Jones into the bottom corner to put Perth into manic – but brief – elation.

Taylor-Young with the instant reply

Canberra have proved their late-show proficiency time and again this season, and after Perth took the lead the Green Machine did what they do best once again.

Taylor-Young was the hero for the hosts, cutting into the box and firing a shot past Alfeld; the ball hit the post and dribbled along the line, Heyman thrashed the ball into the back of the net for good measure as Glory’s lead instantaneously slipped away.

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