Canberra survive scare to shoot down Jets

Canberra United have returned to the Westfield W-League winners circle following a see-sawing 3-2 win over Newcastle Jets.

Ashlie Crofts’ first Westfield W-League goal commenced the scoring 29 minutes in for Canberra before American Simone Charley underlined her side’s early dominance with a composed counter-attacking finish in the 32nd minute.

The visitors looked to be cruising into half-time, however, two successful penalties from Tara Andrews inside the final five minutes of the half restored parity for the Jets – both won by Nikki Flannery.

The chances flew thick-and-fast in the second half for both sides, however, it was the visitors that capitalised as Elise Thorsnes slotted the winner in the 81st minute.

The win marks a perfect start on the road for Canberra this season after a win and a draw in successive home games.

By contrast, the Jets remain winless from their opening three matches with a single point to their credit.

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Key moments

Charley delivered the first clear chance 10 minutes into the contest when her first-time strike on the counter-attack clipped the outside of the near post before crossing the byline.

The American continued to threaten on the right flank and looked most likely to open accounts when she sent a left-footed strike flashing past the post on 25 minutes.

However, it was Crofts that broke the deadlock just minutes later when she cunningly followed-in Roestbakken’s initial long-range strike that bounced back off the crossbar to tap-in to an empty net at point-blank range.

The counter-attack brought reward for Charley soon after as she tucked a composed finish under the onrushing Claire Coelho in the Jets’ goal just three minutes later for her third goal of the campaign.

The Jets appeared destined for a frustrating afternoon as Nikki Flannery and Andrews pushed efforts wide in response but the duo made amends as they turned the contest on the head immediately before the half.

Flannery won a pair of penalties – drawing fouls from Kaleigh Kurtz and Roestbakken – enabling Andrews to convert from the spot in the 41st and 45th minutes with composed penalty strikes.

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The Jets brought the momentum in the second half as Roestbakken was forced to clear from her own goal line following a 53rd-minute header from Flannery.

Canberra fought their way back into the contest through the endeavour of Thorsnes – drawing a low save on the angle in the 61st minute, before the Norway striker headed wide from a corner kick two minutes later.

The Jets failed to make the visitors pay soon after as Flannery headed wide in space in the box before Libby Copus-Brown also failed to find the target with a promising opportunity.

Another chance opened for Flannery in the 72nd minute as she volleyed a flicked-on pass from Andrews well off target.

Crofts and Emma Stanbury threatened as the visitors closed as the stronger team and they ultimately found the winner with just nine minutes remaining. Thornses slotted a composed finish on the counter attack into the bottom right corner of the goal.

Canberra had chances to seal the result late but Hayley Taylor-Young and Stanbury saw late attempts saved by Coelho in the closing exchanges.

Newcastle Jets fly west to face Perth Glory in Round 4. The match at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday, 7 December kicks off at 10.15pm AEDT.
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Canberra United play host to Brisbane Roar at McKellar Park on Thursday, 5 December in Round 4. The contest kicks off at 7.30pm AEDT. 
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