Victory W-League grind out result
by Tomasz Ng:
Westfield W-League 2013/14, Round 8
3:00pm, Sunday 12 January – Lakeside Stadium, South Melbourne
Melbourne Victory FC 2
(De Vanna 47′, Friend 83′)
Canberra United FC 1
Melbourne Victory scraped an important 2-1 win over Canberra United on a perfect summer’s afternoon at Lakeside Stadium.
Lisa De Vanna opened the scoring right after halftime before Kendall Fletcher equalised after capitalising on Victory’s inability to defend a corner.
Then just when the game looked as if it could swing both ways, Caitlin Friend stuck her leg out and poked home a finish from 10 yards to give Victory all 3 points.
The game was very even from the outset, with neither side gaining a real stronghold in the game.
It was Canberra who were the first to register an effort on goal when Stephanie Ochs got on the end of a great cross-field ball from Ashley Sykes.
Ochs cut inside from the left flank and rifled a shot that had Brianna Davey beaten, but it smashed onto the crossbar.
Victory were more patient in their build up compared to Canberra and almost went ahead when Lisa De Vanna whipped in a low cross for Barilla, but the diminutive forward couldn’t tap the ball home.
It was to be the best chance of the first half, which really failed to yield any other clear cut chances.
That all changed very quickly after the break, when Victory struck an early blow.
Jess Fishlock played a wonderful through ball to De Vanna, who out paced the Canberra backline and coolly slotted a finish past Lydia Williams.
The goal sparked real life into the game and a couple minutes later Canberra had a goal ruled out for offside, with Kendall Fletcher infringing as the free kick was taken.
In the 52nd minute, Michelle Heyman then pounced on some indecision in defence for Victory and raced through on goal, only to shoot straight at Davey.
The home side never looked truly settled despite having the lead, as Canberra constantly applied pressure of their own.
De Vanna then had a golden opportunity just past the hour mark to double her tally as she got free of the defence, but instead of shooting on her left foot, she dummied a defender and cut onto her right.
The decision cost her a clear strike at goal, and Victory were made to pay soon after when they failed to deal with a routine corner.
The ball fell to Kendall Fletcher at the back post and the midfielder duly obliged by ramming the ball into the back of the net to square things up.
Neither side was able to kick on from that point until substitute Cindy Lay started to get on the ball for Victory.
The midfielder made a good run into the box in the 83rd minute, and cut the ball back towards Friend.
While it seemed like the pass was misdirected, Friend threw herself at the ball and poked it over the despairing dive of Williams to hand Victory a late lead.
It was a blow Canberra never recovered from, and while they did put pressure on the Victory defence late on, were unable to carve out any significant opportunity, and suffered their second defeat in a row.
Victory now remain three points clear at the top of the table, and have been unbeaten since their 5-1 loss to Sydney FC in Round 1.
1. Brianna Davey [GK], 3. Jessica Humble, 4. Katie Hoyle, 7. Stephanie Catley, 9. Caitlin Friend (16. Beatrice Goad +90′), 10. Jessica Fishlock, 11. Lisa De Vanna, 12. Jessica Samuelsson, 14. Enza Barilla (5. Laura Spiranovic +78′), 15. Emma Checker, 17. Gulcan Koca (6. Cindy Lay +70′)
Unused Substitutes: 20. Cassandra Dimovski [GK]
Yellow Cards: Catley 79′
Red Cards: Nil
1. Lydia Williams [GK], 2. Catherine Brown (8. Meg McLaughlin +88′), 4. Kendall Fletcher, 6. Caitlin Munoz(9. Grace Gill +73′), 7. Ellie Brush, 11. Michelle Heyman, 12. Sally Rojahn (3. Georgia Yeoman-Dale +67′), 13. Nicole Sykes, 14. Ashley Sykes, 16. Lori Lindsey, 22. Stephanie Ochs
Unused Substitutes: 20. Trudy Burke [GK]
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Kirralee Andruschak
Assistants: Laura Moya, Joanna Charaktis, Kate Jacewicz
Pitch Rating: 10/10
Game Rating: 7/10
By Tomasz Ng