Canberra United has handed reigning champion Melbourne Victory a 1-0 defeat in front of a record Westfield W-League crowd of 14,068 at Etihad Stadium today.
Ashleigh Sykes converted the game’s only goal in the 29th minute, ensuring her side bounced back from a shock 3-2 defeat to Adelaide United last weekend.
It was the visitors who enjoyed the lion’s share of possession throughout the opening interval and were able to conjure the first opportunity of the half via a turnover in defence.
Central defender Lauren Barnes directed her pass across goal into the path of Ashleigh Sykes, with the American making amends for her error and intercepting the striker’s mishit effort six yards from goal.
Canberra found the breakthrough only 10 minutes later however, as Sykes followed up Michelle Heyman’s well-saved strike and buried her effort past Victory goalkeeper Cassandra Dimovski, who replaced the injured Brianna Davey.
Victory bounced back and did most of the attacking in the second half, but Lisa De Vanna and captain Steph Catley both failed to capitalise on half-chances.
Canberra continued to press forward in search of a second goal, with Heyman most notably missing a golden opportunity to double her side’s lead as Dimovski saved the Australia international’s tame effort from 18 yards.
Canberra was eager to test Dimovski from range and came close on a few occasions as Heyman and Stephanie Ochs forced the 20-year-old into a number of fine saves.
Melbourne then came agonisingly close to an equaliser on the counter prior to the hour mark.
A swift combination between Elli Reed and De Vanna saw the latter provide her American teammate with a precise cross in front of goal, only for Reid’s lunging attempt to be deflected out for a corner.
The result ensures Canberra leapfrogs Melbourne into fourth position on the table, with Victory concluding Round 7 in fifth position.
Melbourne Victory 0
Canberra United 1 (Sykes 29′)
Melbourne Victory: 20. Cassandra DIMOVSKI (GK), 2. Hannah BREWER (9. Racheal QUIGLEY 72′), 5. Lauren BARNES, 6. Gema SIMON (16. Beatrice GOAD 65′), 7. Stephanie CATLEY (C), 8. Amy JACKSON, 10. Christine NAIRN, 11. Lisa DE VANNA, Ella MASTRANTONIO, 15. Emma CHECKER, 18. Elli REED.
Unused substitutes: 30. Tori SNELLEKSZ (GK), 17. Gulcan KOCA
Yellow cards: De Vanna 48’, Mastrantonio 55′
Red cards: Nil
Canberra United: 1. Chantel JONES (GK), 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 5. Grace FIELD, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ (3. Julia DE ANGELIS 72′), 7. Ellie BRUSH, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJHAN, 13. Nicole BEGG (C), 14. Ashleigh SKYES (10. Grace MAHER 90′), 16. Tori LINDSEY, 22. Stephanie OCHS.
Unused substitutes: 20. Melissa MAIZELS (GK), 2. Catherine BROWN
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil