The mid-week to begin Round 3 was billed as the first blockbuster showing in Canberra’s WNPL and it did not disappoint! After five goals and a game-winner two minutes before the final whistle, Canberra Olympic took the maximum return of points against Belconnen United at the AIS on Wednesday night.
The protegees of Nicole Begg would probably feel like they deserved their win, based on the number of chances created, but they struggled against the well prepared Blue Devils who contained the free-scoring Olympic well.
Olympic dominated the game for the first half-hour, testing Jaya Murphy’s reflexes on a couple of occasions. The home team were forced to call on their Liberty A-League Women player Ashleigh Sykes to make the difference. In 90 seconds, just past the half-hour mark, the striker scored twice, once from each foot, to put her team ahead.
Five minutes before half-time though, a clumsy challenge from Sarah Johnston on Olivia Bomford offered Talia Backhouse the opportunity to bring her team back into the contest from the spot kick. The visitors’ captain was not about to turn down the opportunity and rifled the penalty into the corner.
The second half was a cagey affair, until this 75th minute and a free-kick from a distance from Leah Carnegie that surprised substitute ‘keeper Janet King and snuck between the ‘keeper and her crossbar.
Olympic threw all care to the wind and pushed to get the points. They were rewarded with a penalty at the 88th minute. The experienced Ali Cook, Olympic’s penalty expert, took on the responsibility and offered her team a third win in a row to start the season with a beautifully struck effort.
Despite the loss, the Blue Devils can keep their heads high. Their defensive solidity and constant threat in transition were nothing short of impressive. No doubt these two teams are contenders for the trophy.