Canberra United lose first game since January 2011

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ellie Brush, pictured in a 2009 game, was one of several players absent from Saturday's game
Image: Camw.

Before a crowd of 575 on Saturday at Wembley Park in Box Hill, metropolitan Melbourne, Australia, W-League team Canberra United lost to the Melbourne Victory 0–3 in the team's first loss since January of last year.

Two of the Victory's goals came in the first half, with Canadian import Jessica McDonald and English import Jessica Fishlock each scoring for the Victory. Enza Barilla scored the third unanswered goal for the Victory in the second half.

Canberra went into the game with a depleted roster, with six players called away to participate in national team training, suspended or out because of injury, including team captain Ellie Brush, midfielder Sally Shipard, Michelle Heyman, goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, striker Ashleigh Sykes, and winger Hayley Raso. Caitlin Munoz filled in as the team's captain in Brush's absence, while Sally Rojahn and Catherine Brown each had their first United start and Grace Gill earned her first start of the season.

Victory coach Mike Mulvey is quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald following the game as saying, "It's a good win, there's no doubt about that, but it could have been a more emphatic victory. We put three in the back of the net, and it could easily have been double that." The win moved Melbourne up to second place on the ladder, and continued the team's dominance over Canberra who now have 1 win and 6 losses playing away in Victoria.

United's loss was one of three upsets in the round, with the Sydney FC losing to the Perth Glory 1–3 and the Brisbane Roar FC W-League losing to the Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1–2.

Later tonight, the team departs for Tokyo to compete in the International Women's Club Championship against some of the best women's club teams in the world including Japan's INAC Kobe Leonessa and NTV Beleza, and France's Olympique Lyonnais. Canberra's first game is against INAC Kobe Leonessa on Thursday. If they win the competition, the player bonuses would be greater than the one they received for winning last year's W-League grand final.