Football: Bizarre red card mars Wellington Phoenix women's drought-breaking victory over Canberra United

Wellington Phoenix have snapped their women's A-League losing streak and returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Canberra United at Porirua.  

Despite a bizarre second-half red card to goalkeeper Rylee Foster, a double from Mariana Speckmaier saw the Phoenix in little danger of losing a fifth straight game, notching their first win of 2024.  

That victory will be marred by Foster's dismissal, after a controversial decision from referee Molly Godswell.  

Rylee Foster is issued a red card against Canberra.
Rylee Foster is issued a red card against Canberra. Photo credit: Getty Images

As Canberra lined up a corner at 0-2 down, an off-the-ball challenge saw Sofia Cristopherson fall to the ground, with Godswell not hesitating to send Foster from the field.  

The Phoenix will argue natural justice was served, as replacement goalkeeper Brianna Edwards saved the resulting penalty and preserved the clean sheet, but they will wait with bated breath for further punishment towards Foster, if the incident is deemed foulplay. 

Earlier, Wellington appeared to open the scoring in the first half, when Rebecca Lake headed the ball into Canberra's net, but Kate Taylor was deemed to have fouled rival keeper Chloe Lincoln and the goal was disallowed.  

Lincoln wouldn't be saved a second time, as Speckmaier opened the scoring before the break, as a ball down the left from Isabel Cox played the Venezuelan international through on goal.  

Nine minutes later, Speckmaier had her second, heading past Lincoln at the back post to double the advantage.   

Now sixth on the table, the Phoenix women can continue to climb the A-League, when they travel to face Newcastle Jets next Sunday, but they could drop to seventh before then, should Central Coast Mariners overcome the Jets later on Sunday. 

Wellington Phoenix 2 (Speckmaier 2) Canberra United 0