Canberra United will head to New Zealand for the first time this weekend looking to continue their resurgence in form when they meet Wellington Phoenix at Sky Stadium on Sunday morning (AEDT).
Having claimed two victories in succession, and scoring seven goals in the process, United will head into the match in fine fettle, only three points off the top four and closing in on the chase for finals places.
Being amongst the goals isn’t a surprise for those who have consistently watched Canberra this season, the team who had created more opportunities per game than any other in the Liberty A-League were more than likely to find their rhythm in front of goal sooner rather than later.
With Michelle Heyman having struck three times in her last two outings, the team in green are hitting form at the right time and will be confident that they can carry on from the last meeting with the Kiwis, a 3-0 win at McKellar Park righting the surprise of their maiden fixture defeat last term.
A 3-0 home loss at Viking Park last season in their inaugural clash was a massive surprise as the Phoenix claimed a first Liberty A-League win, one that definitely smarted for United.
Wellington have since returned home and, after three losses to open their account on home soil, recovered to register a first point in front of their loyal and patient fanbase in Round 9, a 1-1 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers secured thanks to a goal from Michaela Robertson.
Last week a brace of early goals against saw them slump to a 0-2 loss to Perth Glory, their seventh setback of the year, taking the tally of goals conceded by Phoenix to seventeen to date. Couple that with a struggle to score, Robertson’s goal one of only three netted in 2022/23, and it’s straightforward as to why Wellington prop up the table.
This will be only the second time that Canberra United has ventured outside of Australia to play an official match, the previous occasion being their participation in the inaugural International Women’s Club Championship in Tokyo where they met INAC Kobe Leonessa and NTV Beleza.
Having lost both those matches against the winners of the 2012 Plenus Nadeshiko League and League Cup, United will be seeking a maiden win on international soil. Don’t forget the early morning kick-off due to the time difference, with Canberra facing Wellington at 10.15am (AEDT).
Sunday 22 January 2023
Wellington Phoenix v Canberra United
(Sky Stadium, Wellington, 10:15 AEDT)
Live on Paramount+ and 10Play