Canberra ends the Wanderers’ ALW Finals hopes with a 1-1 draw

Canberra United ensured they stayed within striking distance of the Women’s A-League Finals after a 1-1 draw with Western Sydney.

In doing so ended the Wanderers’ finals hopes, who are now seven points behind fourth-placed Melbourne Victory with just two games left in their season.

Three points ruled out earlier in the week after being found guilty of fielding an ineligible player in a 2-1 win over Sydney, things looked to be going from bad to worse for Canberra when Oliva Pryce put the hosts ahead in the 25th minute at Wanderers Football. Park on Sunday.

But a Peaches effort from Vesna Milivojevic 10 minutes later restored par that would eventually hold.

Having already indicated their intention to resume the points deduction, United are now two points behind Victory, who play Melbourne City on Monday.

It will also host the nation’s capital team Victorian next Saturday, the first of three consecutive matches against Victorian opposition to end their regular season.

Although they did manage to force two early saves by Western Sydney keeper Cham Khamis – who started in place of Jordin Bloomer after the loan spell expired, the visitors fell behind when Sophie Harding volleyed a volley across their penalty area and Price returned home.

But Milovujic hit back when he volleyed in a Grace Gill cross and volleyed a half-volley into the top corner.

Both sides, playing to keep their hopes alive in the finals, had chances to win the match from that point on. They combined for 28 shots in the game, but neither team could break the deadlock.

Grace Maher came agonizingly close to winning in the 91st minute when she curled a free kick towards goal, only for it to bounce off the crossbar and bounce back into play.

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