Wales captain Jess Fishlock has conjured a creative 94th minute winner to steal three points for Melbourne Victory from reigning champions Canberra.

Third-placed Canberra were hosting Victory at McKellar Park with their sights set on moving into outright first, at least temporarily, while a win for the visitors would have helped them move two points above the reigning champions.

Canberra were the more enterprising of the sides early but an early half-chance was foiled by Victoy ‘keeper Brianna Davey, who quickly came off her line ten minutes into the match to snuff out Nikki Washington’s sight on goal.

Canberra captain and central-defender Ellie Brush had to perform a similar act at the other end shortly after, toeing away a cross that almost reached Jessica McDonald in front of goal.

The quality last-ditch defending continued as Victory’s Danielle Johnson executed a timely slide on United’s Michelle Heyman ahead of a potential one-on-one chance.

A clear chance finally fell to the ever-dangerous Heyman in the 25th minute when she was slipped through by Hayley Raso, but the striker pulled her left-footed shot on the turn just wide.

In keeping with the league’s nature, Melbourne managed to fashion an opener against the run of play just after the half hour as Canberra were unable to clear a corner further than the penalty spot, from where Victory midfielder Amy Jackson smartly looped a header over the scrambling bodies and in.

The goal was Jackson’s second of the season and, combined with Brianna Davey’s reflex save-of-the-season contender from Heyman’s close range turn and shot, gave Mike Mulvey’s side a surprise lead at the break.

Their luck didn’t last long, though, with United coach Jitka Klimkova’s half-time words clearly having an influence.

Following a Canberra corner the ball fell to Matildas star Sally Shipard. The midfielder’s mishit shot from range fell fortunately for Bisset in space on the edge of the penalty area, and she proceeded to slam an unstoppable equaliser past Davey and into the top corner.

Clear-cut chances again began to dry up as the weather did the opposite throughout the middle part of the second-half.

Winger Jess Fishlock dribbled past a couple of Canberra players and almost went straight through on goal but was eventually crowded out as the game drifted into the final 20 minutes.

The crossbar then denied the hosts a lead prior to the 80th minute as electric American Nikki Washington slammed Shipard’s pass into the woodwork.

Fishlock came close to heading Melbourne into a late lead but, in the incredible late fashion that has come to typify the W-League, went one better in stoppage time.

As the match was near seconds from ending in a tight stalemate, Wales captain Fishlock was fed through the Canberra defence by Petra Larsson. The ball was almost caught in the feet of the attacker but she managed to steady while well out and lift a delightful chip over Mackenzie Arnold in the United goal.

The finish was worthy of winning any match and did just that, consigning Canberra to their third loss of the season and helping Melbourne to a temporary place in equal first.

Canberra United: Arnold (GK), Brown, Brush, Hingst, N. Sykes, Shipard, Bisset, Munoz, Washington, Heyman, Raso.

Subs: Burke (GK), Cooper, Yeoman-Dale, Woods.

Melbourne Victory: Davey (GK), Johnson, Ruyter-Hooley, Stott, Koca, Larsson, Jackson, Catley, Barilla, McDonald, Fishlock.

Subs: Dimovski (GK), Friend, Lay, Humble.

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