By Nick Graeber-Browne
The 2018 McDonald’s Kanga Cup was officially opened on Sunday afternoon with the Opening Ceremony at the Australian Institute of Sport. The AIS track was a plethora of colour as local, interstate and international teams alike were all on display during the Team March. The teams gathered together at the AIS in front of a strong spectator crowd was a brilliant sight.
As the Team March came to an end, Chairman of Capital Football Mark O’Neill opened the tournament, directing a special thank you to the incredible team of volunteers that help the event tick. ACT Minister for Sport and Recreation Yvette Berry then welcome all teams to the capital and wished all participants the best of luck for the week before the national anthems of the nations of Singapore, New Zealand, Korea Republic and Australia were played. The Fair Play Oath and the Spectators Oath were also addressed during the ceremony as a pledge for the week ahead.
WESTON MOLONGLO OVERCOME BELCONNEN UNITED 3-1 IN KANGA CUP OPENER
At the conclusion of the opening ceremony, the first match of the 2018 McDonald’s Kanga Cup was contested between Belconnen United and Weston Molonglo in the U/16 Female Plate.
The Canberra based teams were both raring to go and it was Belconnen United who came out the stronger of the two teams, putting Weston Molonglo under serious pressure in the opening ten minutes.
Despite this it was Weston Molonglo who scored the opening goal against the run of play in the 11 minutes in courtesy of a long rage effort from Julia Bassett. Weston Molonglo started to find some good combinations and began to take over the game.
Belconnen were beginning to struggle and conceded a foul on the edge of their box and it proved costly as Bassett whipped a beautiful free kick into the back of the net to send Weston-Molonglo into the break leading 2-0.
But after the break United came out firing, forcing some strong saves in the Weston-Molonglo net. However they could not make the pressure count as Sarah Goodlace made it 3-0 in the 52nd minute with a classy finish into the back of the Belconnen net.
United responded well though and pulled a goal back with 13 minutes to play when Olivia Buyteweg scored but it was too little too late as they went down 3-1 at the final whistle of a quality game.
A brilliant match to open the tournament and hopefully a sign of things to come this week. Good luck to all teams competing in the week ahead, see you around the grounds!