Flannery's last-gasp stunner ends City streak and sends Canberra top
Nickoletta Flannery hammered in a brilliant long-range goal in the final minute of injury time to gift Canberra United a 2-1 win over reigning Westfield W-League Champions Melbourne City.
The match appeared destined for stalemate after Jenna McCormick's bullet header cancelled out Michelle Heyman's opener for the hosts, until 21-year-old Flannery unleashed an unstoppable effort from distance that flew past Westfield Matildas and City goalkeeper Teagan Micah with virtually the last kick of the game.
It is two stoppage-time triumphs in as many matches for Vicki Linton's Canberra, who opened their campaign with a thrilling 4-3 win over Adelaide United last Wednesday.
But this victory should fill United with even more elation after bringing City's 17-match unbeaten run to an end at Viking Park, Canberra.
Heyman continues red-hot Westfield W-League return
United dominated the shot count 7-1 at the interval and started the second half on the front foot with Paige Satchell whipping a cross-cum-shot from the edge of the box agonisingly across the face of goal.
City then started to get a foot hold, and James had to palm away Leah Davidson's effort from outside the area and make an acrobatic parry at the near post to deny Hollie Palmer.
But the respite would come when Heyman applied an unnerring finish to put the hosts ahead on 73 minutes.
The Australian international raced onto Lauren Keir's glorious pass over the top of the City defence before curling a fantastic finish past Micah to mark four goals in the opening two matches of the campaign.
Canberra had almost shot themselves in the foot inside the opening minutes after an error from Sally James gifted City forward Margot Robinne a chance, but Robinne could only steer the United goalkeeper's wayward pass back safely into her arms.
Heyman scored a hat-trick on her Westfield W-League return in last Wednesday's 4-3 win over Adelaide United, and the 32-year-old Westfield Matilda was at the heart of Canberra's best first-half opportunities.
The first good chance arrived when Heyman released Nicki Flannery in behind the City defence only for the flying attacker to measure her shot into the side netting.
City goalkeeper Teagan Micah had to be on her toes to dive at the feet of Heyman after a neat one-two on the edge of the box saw the veteran forward with a sight at goal, while the Westfield Matildas shot-stopper was called into action again minutes later but Heyman was unable to generate any pace on her header after Kendall Fletcher's cross back across goal.
McCormick equalises with bullet header
Japanese international Chinatsu Kira, who moved to City from Urawa Reds in December, made a telling contribution from the bench when her beautifully-flighted delivery was headed home by McCormick minutes after Heyman's opener.
It was the Westfield Matildas' first goal for City.
Brisbane Roar v Canberra United
Thursday, 7 January 2021
Kick off: 7.05pm AEDT
Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory
Sunday, 10 January 2021
Kick off: 4.05pm AEDT