Sydney FC, Canberra United share spoils after 1-1 draw in A-League Women

Sydney FC’s Jordan Thompson tries to block the cross of Canberra United’s Michelle Heyman on Wednesday.

Sydney FC’s Jordan Thompson tries to block the cross of Canberra United’s Michelle Heyman on Wednesday. Photo: Getty

Michelle Heyman’s 99th A-League Women goal has helped Canberra United rally from a deficit to earn a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Sydney FC at Leichhardt Oval.

Trailing after Aideen Keane’s 22nd-minute opener, Heyman met a cross from Nikki Flannery to tie things up in the 32nd minute, bringing the ALW’s all-time leading scorer within one of a century.

Neither side was able to find a winner in the subsequent exchanges but both would consider themselves unlucky – Canberra having a penalty shout turned down and Sydney peppering the visitors’ goal with a late flurry.

“I thought we dominated the game, created a lot of chances and needed to put them away today, which we didn’t,” Sydney’s Mackenzie Hawkesby said.

Canberra remains bottom of the league despite the point, while the Sky Blues, who possess a game in hand over their rivals, moved to fourth.

The hosts were struck a blow before kickoff when Matildas attacker Cortnee Vine was ruled out with a calf strain, while the visitors were with injury headaches five minutes in when Emma Ilijoski rolled her ankle and was forced off.

That lowlighted a frenetic opening to the contest from which the hosts emerged with a 22nd-minute lead after Hawkesby sliced a ball through Canberra’s defence for Keane.

More chances for Sydney followed, but the visitors rallied and tied things when Flannery found space on the right to tee up Heyman.

Though being handily outshot by Sydney, Canberra thought it had won a penalty in the 64th minute when Deven Jackson went to ground after Taylor Ray appeared to grab a handful of her shirt.

Referee Mikayla Ryan, however, waved play on and with the ALW not utilising VAR the incident went unreviewed.

Heyman dragged a shot across the goal minutes later, but it was Sydney that finished the stronger.

“It was one of our better performances,” Sydney boss Ante Juric said.

“We dominated with chances.”


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