ALW Match Report: Western United 4-2 Canberra United

Western United A-League Women

Hannah Keane became the first player to score a hat-trick for Western United in the Liberty A-League Women, helping the Green and Black to a 4-2 win over Canberra United.

Keane scored the first after just 15 seconds – the second fastest goal in Liberty A-League history – before winning the penalty that Chloe Logarzo converted and firing in two more for herself.

The win is a sixth on the bounce for Western United and ensures the team remains atop the table with four matches to play.

Three of the best and another piece of Western United history for Hannah Keane

Western United Team News

Kat Smith was forced to make three changes to her starting XI, with Hillary Beall having departed the club and Tyla Jay Vlajnic and Jaclyn Sawicki not ready to feature having arrive back from international duty late on Thursday night.

Kathrine Larsen started in goal to make her Western United debut, while Emma Robers returned to the starting XI and Aimee Medwin lined up on the left-hand side for her first start in over a year.

There was also a first appearance on a Western United team sheet for Catherine Zimmerman, with the American taking up a place on the bench in anticipation of her Green and Black debut.

First Half

Western United got off to the most incredible start when Keane found the net with no more than 15 seconds on the clock.

It all seemed to happen in slow motion as Keiwa Hieda fielded a long ball from the kick-off which Keane then latched onto before running at the Canberra defence and slotting into the bottom right corner with her left foot.

It only got better as United stayed on the front foot and Logarzo doubled the lead from the penalty spot in the 10th minute after Keane was fouled in the box.

That duo was everywhere for the Green and Black and connected again four minutes later for a sublime third goal.

Logarzo did absolutely brilliantly to fend off some pressure, turn and swing in a perfect cross onto Keane’s head, and the American did the rest with a powerful header into the net.

Keane was in a predatory mood and just a minute later nearly completed her hat-trick in stunning style. Turning on the halfway line, the No.9 saw Coco Majstorovic off her line and tried an audacious lob, but it was just lacking an inch of height and the goalkeeper was able to make the save.

There was no let up from the home side and Majstorovic was key to ensuring the score didn’t blow out further before half-time.

The Canberra stopper made a sharp reaction save to deny Keiwa Hieda from close range before thwarting Keane twice more from almost identical scenarios.

Catching out Canberra’s defence with her pace in behind, Keane ran into two one-on-one chances in quick succession but Majstorovic was on hand to block the American both times.

Playing into the wind, Western United had complete control of proceedings but Larsen had to stay alert to deny one chance, spreading herself to intervene well off her line after a turnover in United’s defensive third.

Second Half

Canberra needed a response and came bursting out of half-time, helped by their two attacking stars Michelle Heyman and Vesna Milivojevic coming off the bench.

Pushing players forward, Canberra sought an early goal and got one through Deven Jackson, who finished a neat team move with lovely finish from outside the box.

The visitors had a miracle comeback on the mind and got forward again as Heyman broke through the defence, but United’s backline recovered in time to allow Larsen to pounce on a harmless loose ball.

Western United largely managed Canberra’s threat thereafter as they looked to exploit the wind with quick, direct balls into the final third.

The confidence in possession remained from Smith’s side and there was a massive chance to restore the three-goal advantage in quick time.

Robers slid Medwin in down the left-wing with a perfectly-weighted pass and Medwin nearly scored an audacious chip over the goalkeeper’s head.

The ball bounced back off the underside of the crossbar and Logarzo was swiftly onto the rebound but got underneath her effort to send it over the frame.

United’s fourth goal wasn’t too long in coming, though, and it was a moment of history for Keane as she struck United’s first ever Liberty A-League treble.

It came from a trademark piece of Grace Maher distribution as the United vice-captain whipped an excellent ball into Keane who control, fended off her marker and slammed a left-footed strike into the back of the net.

The only thing that would’ve made it an even more perfect afternoon would have been a debut goal from Zimmerman, and that very nearly happened as the American came off the bench and sent a shot narrowly wide of the left-hand post within minutes of entering the pitch.

United would ultimately cruise to victory but took the foot off the gas pedal right at the last minute, allowing Heyman to score with virtually the last kick of the game but there was to be no dampening of the performance and the result for Western United.