All guts, no glory in canberra

An 88th minute header from Canberra United substitute Ashleigh Sykes has stolen all three points from Perth Glory for a 1-0 victory and dashed their hopes of a finals appearance.

An 88th minute header from Canberra United substitute Ashleigh Sykes has stolen all three points from Perth Glory for a 1-0 victory and dashed their hopes of a finals appearance.

The only other chance to make the knockout stages was if Melbourne Victory was upset by Adelaide United, but the Victorians were too strong and won 2-0.

Players from both teams seemed confused when referee Kirralee Gardener awarded Canberra a free kick with just two minutes remaining in the contest, but Emily Van Egmond didn-t hesitate to put in a dangerous cross to find Sykes and set up the thrilling win.

However, the result didn-t come without controversy after Glory and Westfield Matildas striker Kate Gill scored in the 64th minute, but the goal was disallowed after Gardener deemed the Perth star had kicked the ball out of Canberra goalkeeper Lydia Williams- hands.

Perth dominated the second half after a relatively even first period, but despite numerous chances to claim the victory, they were unable to finish in the final third.

An early chance landed to star striker Sam Kerr, but the 17-year-old was unable to finish past Williams after taking a heavy touch on route to goal.

Canberra captain Ellie Brush then denied Kerr as she was through inside the 18-yard-box with a superb sliding tackle to win the ball.

Brush then was working hard at the other end of the field and nearly found the back of the net with her rocket header, only to be denied by a goal line clearance from Jaymee Gibbons.

The second half saw Perth lift the tempo as they knew what was on the line and Gill was inches away from the opener after heading Elisa D-Ovidio-s corner just wide.

Substitute Monnique Kofoed then tried to lift her teammates with an inspiring run forward, but her pass through to Gill was shot over the crossbar.

Perth-s Swedish import Alexandra Nilsson was named the Westfield Player of the Match, but her efforts weren-t enough as Gardener signalled for full-time and put an end to the Glory-s promising season.

Canberra United 1 (Ashleigh SYKES 88-) Perth Glory 0

Saturday, 29 January 2011 McKellar Park, Canberra

Referee: Kirralee Gardener

Assistant referees: Brett Woodford and Luke Withell

Fourth official: Katie Patterson

Canberra United: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 2. Caitlin COOPER, 4. Michelle HEYMAN (18. Grace FIELD 83-), 6. Caitlin MUNOZ (14. Ashleigh SYKES 66-), 7. Ellie BRUSH (c), 10. Emily VAN EGMOND, 11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI, 13. Nicole SYKES, 15. Sally SHIPARD, 16. Ellyse PERRY, 17. Leah BLAYNEY (19. Jennifer BISSET 32-)

Substitutes not used: 20. Jocelyn MARA (gk)

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil

Perth Glory: 1. Tine CEDERKVIST (gk), 3. Carys HAWKINS, 4. Samantha KERR, 5. Shannon MAY (9. Monnique KOFOED 76-), 6. Alexandra SINGER, 7. Alexandra NILSSON, 8. Tanya OXTOBY (c), 12. Kate GILL, 13. Elisa D-OVIDIO (17. Marianna TABAIN 68-), 14. Collette McCALLUM, 15. Jaymee GIBBONS (2. Stacey LEARMONT 85-)

Substitutes not used: 20. Kathleen WAYCOTT (gk)

Yellow cards: Carys HAWKINS 50-, Collette McCALLUM 61-

Red cards: Nil