Canberra United go top after routing Roar

Canberra United cruised to a 5-1 victory over Brisbane Roar in Gosford on Sunday to jump to first place in the Westfield W-League.

Ashleigh Sykes and Nickoletta Flannery picked up braces for Canberra with Steph Ochs also on the score sheet, and Emily Gielnik the solitary scorer for Brisbane.

Canberra youngster Flannery opened the scoring after 13 minutes as she turned on the edge of the box before firing low past Mackenzie Arnold in the Brisbane goal.

Brisbane looked to respond up the other end but struggled to connect in the air, and they were punished in the 28th minute as Flannery was fouled by Kaitlyn Torpey in the box and Ochs stepped up to convert the spot-kick strongly.

Katrina Gorry had a great chance with a free-kick outside the box for Brisbane but was unable to steer it on target past the half-hour mark.

A 2-0 score line at half-time was built on quickly as Canberra came out of the blocks firing, with Sykes scoring five minutes into the second half as she latched onto a great pass from Grace Maher after 50 minutes.  

It was all Canberra in the second half as Flannery netted her second just three minutes later, tucking home into an empty net after Michelle Heyman had a header cleared off the line brilliantly by Angela Beard.

And the goal rush continued in the 56th minute, as Sykes scored her second with an assist from Flannery sending her racing through on goal to finish low into the corner.

Brisbane began to look more threatening as the second half wore on, but struggled to break down a Canberra side that was now happy to sit back and look to break on the counter instead.

With United controlling the game and the time winding down, Gielnik snatched a consolation goal for the Roar at the death to steal away Trudy Burke’s clean sheet.

The win lifts Canberra United into first place on the Westfield W-League ladder, while Brisbane drop off the pace heading into the festive period.