Melbourne City were defeated in disappointing fashion on Sunday evening, going down 3-1 away to Canberra United.
It was a day to forget for Dario Vidosic’s side, struggling to create chances despite controlling large parts of the contest.
The big news came in the absences rather than inclusions, both Kaitlyn Torpey and Lysianne Proulx not part of the matchday squad as the pair finalise respective international transfers.
Emina Ekic came straight back in after missing through suspension last week, while Leticia McKenna returned from injury in midfield as Bryleeh Henry shifted to the bench.
Club legend Melissa Barbieri was the other addition to the XI, replacing Proulx in goal for what was her first appearance of the season.
Starting XI: 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 3. Naomi CHINNAMA, 13. Rebekah STOTT (C), 5. Taylor OTTO, 16. Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 14. Laura HUGHES, 6. Leticia McKENNA, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 11. Emina EKIC, 24. Daniela GALIC, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.
Substitutes: 1. Sophia VARLEY (GK), 15. Kiera MEYERS, 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 19. Tijan McKENNA, 22. Bryleeh HENRY.
City began started strongly on a warm evening in Canberra, controlling the tempo of the contest virtually from kick-off.
Hannah Wilkinson had the first proper chance of the game in the 10th minute after being well-found by Rhianna Pollicina, but could only force a good save out of Chloe Lincoln.
We continued to dominate possession and it would take until the 25th minute for Canberra to fire off their first shot of the match, Barbieri having little trouble dealing with Michelle Heyman’s near-post effort.
10 minutes later though, Heyman was able to get on the end of a quick counter-attack, finding the bottom corner to open scoring against the run of play.
That lead would be doubled before we even had a chance to catch our breath, Mary Stanic-Floody finishing another rapid counter-attack to make it 2-0.
The second half followed a similar theme to the first, City holding the majority of possession and controlling the game but struggling to create any kind of clear-cut chance.
Canberra were on target once again in the 74th minute through Nikki Flannery, making it 3-0 and all but sealing the result.
Taylor Otto scored her first City goal at the beginning of stoppage time after bundling the ball across the line following a corner, but it would be little more than a consolation with the final whistle blowing a few minutes later.
City will return home to host our second game of the season at Casey Fields next Saturday against Sydney FC.