Canberra FC topple Wanderers to advance
Canberra FC 2 (Grace Gill 29’, Chantel Jones 53’) def. Woden-Weston 1 (Cassia McGlashan 25’)
A second-half winner from Chantel Jones lifted Canberra FC past Woden-Weston and into the Playstation4 NPL Women’s Preliminary Final, in a 2-1 victory at Woden Park on Saturday.
Wanderers came into their first finals series brimming with confidence, and holding the advantage over their opponents with a win and two draws in their three matchups this season.
Both sides began tentatively in the do-or-die clash, neither wanting to make the first big move as they slowly prodded for an opening. But it would be the finals first-timers making the biggest impact early, as they took a deserved lead 25 minutes into the first half.
Cassia McGlashan finished off a good move as she fired off the crossbar and in, to give her side the upper hand early on. But that lead would only last four minutes, as the hosts struck back.
Grace Gill picked up the ball outside the area, had a look, before firing a rocket past Nat Lacey in the Woden-Weston goal to drag her side level on the cusp of the half-hour mark.
The scores remained level at the break following a testing 45 minutes, and with it all to play for in the second half.
It was Canberra FC who came out of the blocks strongest in the second stanza though, and they took the lead just eight minutes in to the half.
Chantel Jones broke through the defense of the Wanderers and poked the ball past Lacey in goals to take the lead and the momentum heading into the final 30 minutes of football.
With Woden-Weston now forced to chase the game, Mark Risteski’s side were in a position to drop back and defend their lead, and did so successfully as they repelled attacks from a desperate Wanderers side to see out the match.
The result means that Canberra FC will now meet Gungahlin United in Sunday’s Preliminary Final at Deakin Stadium, with the winner to face Belconnen United on Grand Final Day.