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Carpenter scores controversial goal as Canberra draw with Wanderers

Play the whistle or the unwritten rules?

Canberra United star Ellie Carpenter went with the former and earned her side a 2-2 draw against the Western Sydney Wanderers at Spotless Stadium on Friday.

Ellie Carpenter scored the controversial goal against the Wanderers.

Ellie Carpenter scored the controversial goal against the Wanderers.Credit:Jamila Toderas

Carpenter controversially scored when Wanderers goalkeeper Jada Whyman went down injured but the United teenager played the whistle and struck into an empty net on 52 minutes.

The goal divided opinion on social media while former Matildas striker and match commentator Sarah Walsh was torn.

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"Youve got to play the whistle. Is it in the spirit of the game? Maybe not," Walsh said on the Fox Sports broadcast.

But Carpenter said she had no regrets after the game: "I just saw a tackle and an open goal and went for it and shot and it went in. A goal is a goal and it got us up at the time."

Canberra had the rub of the green all night and goalkeeper Sham Khamis was extremely lucky to avoid a straight red card when she took down her sister Leena in the first half.

Wanderers midfielder Lo'eau LaBonta hit an absolute belter from the ensuing free-kick which beat everyone but the woodwork from 25 metres.

Leena Khamis squared the ledger in her 100th W-League game thanks to some beautiful footwork from Elizabeth Addo who provided the assist on 58 minutes.

United looked to have pinched it when Rhoda Mulaudzi forced an own goal from Servet Uzunlar in the 85th minute but moments later Kylie Ledbrook found the equaliser.

Canberra coach Heather Garriock said Carpenter acted well within her rights but was left frustrated her side couldn't take the win against a team that had lost all five games this season.

"Were in the front third and when Ellie picks up the ball at her feet she's going to shoot for goal, I don't think it's controversial at all, it's sport," Garriock said.

"It's a missed opportunity tonight… our final pass just wasn't quality enough. To concede with five minutes left is just not good enough.

"We panicked and we can't be like that. When you're up 2-1 with five minutes to go you need to control the tempo and we didn't do that, again.

"The positives out of the game are the amount of opportunities we created were exceptional but there's no use dominating if you can't put ball in the back of the net.

"It's a draw and it feels like a loss."

Garriock did admit her goalkeeper could have been shown a red.

"I think [Sham] was a bit lucky to stay on the pitch but in saying that it just goes to show the grit of her wanting to be the best every game and shows she takes no prisoners," Garriock said.

Leena said it was a brutal contest but didn't weigh into whether her sister should have been dismissed.

"Look she came out like she does and I attacked the ball like I do and that's just part of football, doesn't matter if she's my sister or not, she's on the other team," Leena said.

"I'm just happy we came away with a point, it was a tough game all round, both teams really battled."

There were chances at the death for both teams to steal the win but neither side could find the killer blow.

AT A GLANCE:

Canberra United 2 (Ellie Carpenter 52m, Servet Uzunlar OG 85m) drew Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Leena Khamis 65m, Kylie Ledbrook 87m)

Eamonn Tiernan is a sports reporter with The Canberra Times

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