Despite a wealth of chances which included hitting the woodwork three times, the Western Sydney Wanderers fell to Sydney FC.
Despite a wealth of chances which included hitting the woodwork three times, the Western Sydney Wanderers fell to Sydney FC 3-1 in their final home match of the season at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday.
In what was Catherine Cannuli-s last ever home appearance before retirement, Wanderers fans left the park scratching their heads at the result after the Red and Black piled on the chances yet couldn-t break past Sydney-s keeper until injury time in the second half.
The match ended in fairytale fashion as Catherine Canulli scored from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game in her final home match before retirement.
The Wanderers came out of the blocks in an attacking mood, fashioning a number of opportunities with Sydney-s goalkeeping keeping the Sky Blues in the match early.
Unfortunately for the Wanderers a quick counter-attack saw them 1-0 down.
A string of saves from Wanderers’ goalkeeper Dimi Poulos, who demonstrated why she has kept Matildas’ squad member Mackenzie Arnold out of the starting side, saved the home side from a heavier defeat.
Cannuli seemed set to draw the home side level almost instantly but her seemingly goal-bound shot from the edge of the penalty was superbly finger-tipped over the crossbar by Casey Dumont.
Kingsley at the back post tested Dumont from an acute angle, and then nearly produced a goal for the ages with a long range shot from distance that seemed set to dip under the crossbar only to strike the woodwork.
With all the momentum it seemed only a matter of time until Sydney-s goal was breached and the Red and Black came close again when Uzunlar’s run hit the crossbar.
It was Sydney FC, however, that doubled their lead against the run of play eight minutes before the break with Taylor profiting from Khamis’ pass before turning a desperate challenge and scoring.
It was Wanderers custodian Dimi Poulos- turn to make an impressive save when she denied the league’s top goalscorer Taylor who very nearly lobbed the Wanderers’ custodian after latching onto an inch-perfect pass from deep.
Poulos has been one of the Wanderers best this season having pulled out a number of brilliant saves all season long, her form managing to keep Matildas keeper Mackenzie Arnold on the bench.
Taylor, however, was not to be denied and she swept home from close range at the back post.
Emily van Egmond then hit the underside of the bar with a spectacular long-range effort as the Wanderers remarkably hit the frame of the goal for a third time, the rebound bouncing off the goal line and out to safety.
It was a bitter blow for a Wanderers outfit who had been Sydney FC-s equals all afternoon but could not provide a breakthrough.
The Wanderers finally got a reward with Canulli winning and converting a penalty in the final minute of injury time.
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Catherine Canulli 95′)
Sydney FC 3 (Leena Khamis 8′, Jodie Taylor 37′, 57′)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Dimi POULOS (gk), Caitlin COOPER, Emily VAN EGMOND, Rachel SOUTAR (Jessica SEAMAN 48′), Jenna KINGSLEY (Tori HUSTER 60′), Server UZUNLAR, Catherine CANNULI, Alanna KENNEDY (Jordan BAKER 70′), Teigen ALLEN, Linda O’NEILL, Helen PETINOS,
Substitutes – Mackenzie ARNOLD (gk)
Cautions – Linda O’Neill 62′, Servet Uzunlar 69′
Sydney FC: Casey DUMONT (gk) (Sham KHAMIS 81′), Teresa POLIAS, Danielle BROGAN, Liz RALSTON, Amy HARRISON, Caitlin FOORD, Renee ROLLASON, Trudy CAMILLERI (Chloe LOGARZO 46′), Jodie TAYLOR, Emma KETE (Sam KERR 76′), Leena KHAMIS
Substitutes – Nicola Bolger
Cautions – None