Canberra United have recorded their second win of the season, pulling off an emphatic 2-0 victory over Adelaide United on the road at ServiceFM Stadium.
Coming into the clash as outsiders having started slow out of the blocks with just the one win to their name in the opening seven fixtures, Canberra put in an encouraging performance that would hopefully turn the fortunes of Njegosh Popovich’s squad.
It was a complete performance from the away side and despite boasting less of the possession, Canberra was the most clinical of the two which ultimately proved the difference in the contest.
Creating plenty of chances, United finished the game registering 18 shots on goal, with seven finding the target in comparison to their South-Australian counterparts who only found the target four times.
Canberra looked the more likely of the two sides to break the deadlock with Michelle Heyman and Vesna Milivojević going close to netting the opening goal of the contest in the early stages of the opening half.
Threatening to score, Heyman finally find the net just before the half-hour mark to put the travellers ahead. It would start what would be the one-two punch from the away side with Grace Maher finding the net three minutes later.
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Being 2-0 up inside the opening 35 minutes of the game, it was a lead they’d hold on to for the rest of the contest. Running out two-goal victors with neither side finding the net thereafter.
In addition to snapping their losing streak having come into the game with three consecutive losses, Canberra kept a clean sheet.
With defenders Hayley Taylor-Young, Ellie Brush, Ellen Gett, Sasha Grove, and shot-stopper Chloe Lincoln having looked vulnerable at times this season, they looked a lot more composed against Adelaide, restricting the home side to just four shots on target in what was a solid defensive display for Canberra.
Overall the two most influential performers were Heyman and Maher, with the two having been the main source of goals this season for United, thus far having both registered four goal contributions this season.
Heyman caused headaches up top finishing with a goal to her name and creating several chances throughout the afternoon. The veteran also proved valuable out of possession having recorded four recoveries to her name in what was a great overall performance for the striker.
Maher meanwhile was the most damaging player of the game, with the midfielder the driving force for her side going forward while also tracking back and putting in a shift defensively.
As well as scoring and netting the goal which ultimately proved to be the sealer and no doubt a goal of the season contender having struck from long range, Maher finished the game with 12 recoveries, two interceptions, won 80 per cent of her tackles, 89 per cent of her ground duels, 75 per cent of her aerial duels and not once was dispossessed.
Looking dangerous pushing forward and being a solid contributor out of possession, Maher at times was unplayable with the 23-year-old putting in one of her best performances of the season, continuing her stellar start to the 2022/23 campaign.
Having been competitive without coming away with any points in their past three outings, Canberra would finally walk away with some reward for effort and will be looking to keep its momentum running when it faces Newcastle and Wellington in the coming weeks.
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