Extreme heat took a toll on the W-League on the weekend and Canberra United were forced to play their match against the Western Sydney Wanderers on Tuesday night, but the break seemed to help the defending champions who pulled out a 5-0 win over the newcomers.
It was a vital game for Canberra who were sitting outside the vital top four with the last weekend being played this coming Saturday and the 5-0 victory made sure that it was all in their hands.
The Wanderers started well with Catherine Cannuli looking particularly dangerous as a playmaker and linking up well with Sarah Walsh.
Hayley Raso looked the most likely for Canberra but they started slowly looking to build up the play calmly and conserve their energy in what was still a hot day in the nation’s capital.
Just after the half hour mark Canberra United finally came alive as Raso’s effort was denied by a solid save. That was only a temporary let off as from the corner Canberra had the lead as Caitlin Cooper headed on for Ellie Brush to poke towards goal, allowing Raso a simple tap-in for the opener.
Then with one minute left in the half, Canberra United doubled their lead as Raso beat her defender and then squared for Michelle Heyman who scored her first goal in eight matches with a tap-in to give Canberra a 2-0 half-time lead.
The second half was again a tight affair but Canberra always seemed on top of things despite the occasional attack from Western Sydney.
For all that domination it took until the 74th minute for a goal to come as Raso was impeded giving Canberra a free-kick which allowed Caitlin Munoz to step up and hit a curling cross-cum-shot that dipped and evaded the keeper for a third goal.
With eight minutes to play things got worse for Western Sydney as Munoz’s corner hit Vanessa Heart who was unsighted and rolled in to the back of the net for an own goal.
Debutant Kristen Mewis made it five with one minute to play when she controlled the through ball and placed her shot perfectly to give Canberra a record win.