A hat-trick from captain Talia Backhouse and a double from in-form striker Bessie Riethmuller saw Belconnen United cruise into the Federation Cup Semi-Finals, and a showdown with the Canberra United Academy, following a convincing 5-0 win over Tuggeranong United under the floodlights at Kambah 2.
Both teams had won their respective NPL season opening matches on the weekend prior to this fixture with Riethmuller bagging a debut hat-trick for the Blues Devils as they crushed Gungahlin United, and it didn’t take the striker long to make her mark in this encounter.
Belconnen started on the front foot and had Tuggeranong back-pedalling from the get-go, so it was little surprise when they hit the front on the quarter hour mark. Keira Bobbin broke away down the right channel, outpacing her marker and supplying a square ball for Riethmuller who tapped into the empty net.
Three minutes later and Scott Conlon’s team were two-up as Backhouse finished off a superb driving run from Pearl Tein who advanced unchecked for miles before freeing Backhouse who confidently slipped a composed finish past the advancing Sammy Emms in the hosts goal.
There was a killer third five minutes before the break as Riethmuller turned Olivia Hicks off a throw from Lisa Cary and drilled a low effort past the Tuggeranong goalkeeper at her near post. Taken off midway through the second half, after hitting the post, there as to be no successive hat-trick for Riethmuller, but there would be for Backhouse.
The skipper met an Isabella Hindmarsh corner to nod home from inside the six-yard box just before the hour and hammered home her third after a slaloming solo run from Hattie Cram had teed her up ten minutes later.
Over at the AIS, the Canberra United Academy made their way into the last four as they defeated tough opposition in West Canberra Wanderers, a goal in the second half from Tamara Cochrane earning the Academy a hard-fought 2-1 success.
In the first -half the Academy had opened the scoring when new signing Madison Sawkins found a way past Emily Pearce in the Wanderers goal just past the quarter-of-an-hour mark of the contest, Sawkins netting her first goal in competitive football for the greens.
As she did in the Round 1 NPL defeat at home to Tuggeranong United though, it was Nikita Perry who was to drag her team back into the fixture, levelling matters just five minutes after the resumption of play with another tidy finish that home goalkeeper Eliza Evans was unable to repel.
But, it was the Academy who would progress, Cochrane restoring their lead only three minutes after the equaliser and teeing up a semi-final showdown with Belconnen United.
Women’s Federation Cup
Wednesday 5 April
Tuggeranong United 0 Belconnen United 5 (Riethmuller 15’, 40’, Backhouse 18’, 58’, 68’)
Canberra United Academy 2 (Sawkins 16’, Cochrane 53’) West Canberra Wanderers 1 (Perry 50’)
Thursday 6 April
Gungahlin United v ANU WFC (Gungahlin Enclosed, 18:30)
Wednesday 12 April
Canberra Croatia v Canberra Olympic (AIS Grass, 18:30)