Veronica Latsko scored her first goal in a Sky Blues jersey to start 2020 on a high as Sydney FC raced to a thumping 4-0 win against Canberra United in a rescheduled Round 8 match.
American striker Latsko put her nightmare 2019 behind her with a 33rd-minute strike on her second start for Ante Juric’s outfit, following an ACL tear which forced her to miss the majority of the last year after undergoing knee surgery.
Remy Siemsen had already put the Westfield W-League Champions a goal to the good, with her sixth goal of the season, on 18 minutes in Sydney’s first match of 2020, some 15 days since their last fixture.
Chloe Logarzo joined the party with a stunning back-heel flick from Caitlin Foord’s cross on 49 minutes and Foord provided the service again for Sofia Huerta's late strike, as Juric was able to give Siemsen, Latsko and captain Teresa Polias some rest ahead of the Sky Blues' clash with high-flying Brisbane Roar on Thursday.
This Round 8 contest was originally scheduled for Sunday, January 5 and was postponed due to poor air quality in the nation’s capital, but the smoke had lifted at McKellar Park as the Sky Blues inflicted a fourth loss in a row on the Green Machine in their penultimate home match of 2019/20.
Canberra's Finals Series hopes hang by a thread after firing blanks in three straight matches, losing them all 4-0, and not scoring since Sunday, 22 December. Sydney climb to second place ahead of their Harbour City rivals Western Sydney Wanderers, and four points off leaders Melbourne City.
Heather Garriock’s side got off to the flying start with Simone Charley causing chaos on the right as Ashlie Crofts fired into the side-netting before former Sky Blue Leena Khamis could not quite divert the American winger’s cross towards goal at full stretch.
The visitors forced their way into the game after a quarter of an hour and began to take over with Huerta and Logarzo shooting off target from distance, before Siemsen found the net with a bullet header 10 yards out from captain Polias’ pin-point free-kick delivery on 18 minutes.
Sydney goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe was called into action with a terrific one-handed reflex save from Elise Thorsnes’ 18-yard strike on 20 minutes as Canberra searched for a response, but Logarzo kept the home side alert at the other end when her rifled effort was charged down by Kaleigh Kurtz.
The Champions showed their superior finishing standards on 31 minutes when Siemsen set Logarzo away on the left and Latkso added a crisp strike to get off the mark for the season after scoring nine goals for Adelaide United in 2018/19.
Canberra keeper Sham Khamis parried Siemsen’s effort away and Charley worked Bledsoe with a stinging drive as the teams traded blows before half-time, but Sydney pulled further away when Foord worked her magic on the right and her Westfield Matildas teammate Logarzo added an outrageous back heel to make it three.
The visitors slowed the pace down as substitution were being made as Huerta threatened on 71 minutes when she flashed a shot across the face of the hosts' goal. The United States midfielder found her shooting radar with six minutes remaining, lashing in from Foord's right-wing delivery to sign off on a dominant win for the Champions.
Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar
Thursday, 16 January 2020
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
Canberra United on bye