Timely Jalocha strike hands United inaugural PS4 NPLW title

Canberra FC 0 def. by Belconnen United 1 (Nicole Jalocha 45’) 

Belconnen United claimed their seventh straight Premiership thanks to Nicole Jalocha’s goal on the stroke of half-time getting them across the line against Canberra FC.

In tough conditions at windy Deakin Stadium, both sides got off to a cagey start. Jessie Williams had a good chance for Belconnen after four minutes as Ivana Galic’s defensive header fell into her path and she raced on to the ball but her chip attempt was far too heavy and skied well over the bar. 

Bridget Wright had an early chance for the hosts too but her shot was saved well by Klara Manenica in the United goal, and the two teams both struggled to string together passes as the wind played havoc with the ball.

Chantel Jones took her place between the sticks for Canberra FC in this match rather than in midfield, where she was sorely missed as neither side could find the ascendancy. However, she did well in goals, claiming the high ball and commanding her 18-yard area well under pressure. 

Just as it looked like the sides would head into the break goalless, Jalocha pounced on a careless touch in the Canberra FC backline and raced away to beat Jones at her near post and give the visitors a one-goal lead going into the interval. 

The second half was a very similar affair to the first, particularly early, with Canberra FC pushing for an equaliser and United looking to poke back on the counter attack. 

Chloe Callaghan was looking strong up front as she pressured the home defence, while Wright and Krista Hagan were doing the same up the other end but unable to find a way through as disciplined Belconnen backline. 

Chances were few and far between as conditions made the game tough going, and with rain setting in things did not much better deep in the second half. The second half petered out scrappily and the final whistle blew to hand United the inaugural Playstation4 National Premier League Women’s Capital Football Premiership with three rounds still to play.


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