City leave it late to edge Canberra

A stoppage-time penalty from Emily van Egmond secured Melbourne City a 2-1 win over Canberra United.

With the match seemingly destined for a draw, the Westfield Matilda converted from the spot in the 94th minute of the contest to secure City’s first win of the Westfield W-League season.

Canberra were on track for an upset against a City side brimming with Westfield Matildas talent when Katie Stengel tucked away the opener 59 minutes into the contest.

However, City’s blushes were somewhat spared courtesy of Serbian international Milica Mijatovic’s equaliser just seven minutes later – her first goal in her debut Westfield W-League season.

Canberra spurned a late chance to take all three points when an unmarked Ashlie Crofts blazed wide from inside the box. It was a miss she would further regret as Yukari Kinga was brought down in the penalty area by Jessie Rasschaert just minutes later.

The win sees Rado Vidosic’s City side extend their unbeaten start to the season and move ahead of Canberra into third on the ladder.

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Key moments

Eager to notch their first win of the season after a frustrating draw last weekend to Newcastle Jets, Melbourne City looked to dictate terms early at McKellar Park.

They threatened inside five minutes as Kyah Simon’s header drew a sharp stop from Canberra goalkeeper Sham Khamis low at her near post. Rebekah Stott then headed high of the target from Steph Catley’s cross from the ensuing corner.

Canberra largely remained on the back foot but City had to wait until midway through the half to forge another scoring chance when Milica Mijatovic fired a shot across the face of goal after being found in space at the back post.

However, an increasingly resolute Canberra effectively stifled City for the remainder of the first-half as Kaleigh Kurtz and Nikola Orgill bossed the backline for the hosts.

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The theme looked set to continue in the second stanza as Sham Khamis was drawn into a 49th minute save to deny van Egmond’s close range strike from Rhali Dobson’s well-placed square ball.

However, Canberra also found greater impetus in their attack as Simone Charley began to threaten, her best chance coming when she fired wide from the top of the box on 55 minutes.

The hosts found the breakthrough just before the hour as Brazilian midfielder Camila drove a strike on to the cross bar from outside the box and Stengel capitalised on the rebound.

It proved the spur City needed to find their finishing touch and they levelled terms in the 67th minute through Mijatovic, who went past Khamis from Yukari Kinga’s pass and finished into an empty net.

The home side sought to reclaim their advantage with 20 minutes remaining when Charley saw a left-footed strike bounce back off the post.

Substitute Crofts volleyed high of the target at the back post, while former Canberra star Ellie Carpenter drove a shot straight at Khamis in the 77th minute.

Camila then looked to replicate her earlier strike that lead to the opening goal but could only fire over the bar in the 80th minute, before Crofts missed the chance to steal the points late when she fired high and wide in injury time.

She would come to rue the miss shortly after when Kinga was brought down by Rasschaertin in the box, leading to van Egmond netting the winner despite Khamis getting a touch on the penalty kick.

In Round 3, Canberra United are on the road against Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday, 30 November. Kick-off: 4.30pm AEDT.
Find the Match Centre here

Melbourne City host Adelaide United at John McEwan Reserve on Saturday, 30 November. Kick-off: 7pm AEDT.
Find the Match Centre here.

MATCH CENTRE: Canberra United v Melbourne City

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