W-League Report: City 1-2 Canberra

Melbourne City FC suffered its first ever Westfield W-League defeat after going down 2-1 to Canberra United at CB Smith Reserve on Saturday afternoon.

Starting XI

What happened?

After a tightly contested first-half, it was Canberra who struck only minutes after the interval when Jenna McCormick powered home the opening goal with a bullet header which crashed off the underside of the crossbar.

It was a lead which lasted all of five minutes, however, as American striker Beverly Yanez opened her goalscoring account for City in style with a stunning long range effort to level the scores.

The winner eventually came in the 82nd minute from Canberra substitute Karly Roestbakken, who swept home a neat cross from Nickoletta Flannery to put an end to City's remarkable unbeaten streak, which spanned a total of 419 days. 

It was a clash befitting of inaugural Westfield W-League edition of the Blue Ribbon Cup, as both sides displayed their title credentials in an end-to-end contest.

City began the match brightly and controlled possession throughout the opening stages. The first chance of the match fell to the lively Marianna Tabain, who forced Trudy Burke into a smart save at the near post after dancing her way past two Canberra defenders.

Erika Tymrak was at the heart of City’s attacking play and caused plenty of headaches with her directness and energy in the final third, with the American a coat of paint away from opening the scoring with a neat swivel and shot which sailed over the bar.

Canberra slowly found their groove and enjoyed some promising periods of possession without troubling Lydia Williams, but should have been ahead on the stroke of half-time when Michelle Heyman raced through on goal, yet dragged her low shot wide of the target.  

The visitors made a dream start to the second half as McCormick opened the scoring with a powerful header that beat Williams for pace, before crashing in off the underside of the crossbar.

It was the spark that City needed. After coming from behind last week to defeat Brisbane Roar, a feeling of déjà vu was in the air as American striker Yanez levelled the scores only moments later.

Jess Fishlock’s barnstorming run freed up space for her Seattle teammate to run into, allowing Yanez to pick her spot and unleash a blistering strike past Trudy Burke into the top corner to make it 1-1.

It was end-to-end action as both sides worked desperately to find a winner, until teenager Roestbakken ensured the visitors returned to the nation’s capital with an historic win.

Whats next?

City will aim to return to the winners list next week when Joe Montemurro's side takes on the Western Sydney Wanderers at Popondetta Park, before returning to Melbourne for a massive double header on Tuesday 27 December at AAMI Park. 

Match Details

Westfield W-League – Round 6

Melbourne City FC 1 (Beverly YANEZ 53’)

Canberra United 2 (Jenna MCCORMICK 48’, Karly ROESTBAKKEN 82’)

HT: 0-0

Venue: CB Smith Reserve, Fawkner.