Greater conviction in front of goal has seen the Melbourne Victory inflict on Canberra United the heaviest home loss in their history; the 4-2 loss is also United’s first of the season and moves the Victory above United on the W-League ladder.

In a 10 minute period that spanned the half-time break, the Melbourne Victory struck three goals to blow United out of the game. United bounced back to seize the momentum late in the game but ultimately fell short, as missed opportunities came back to hurt them.

With four different goal scorers, the match highlighted Melbourne’s attacking versatility.

The game turned the Victory’s way in the 38th minute when US import Christine Nairn was brought down in the penalty box by United defender Grace Field.

Lauren Barnes stepped up to the spot and finished with a perfect strike into the bottom right corner, giving Canberra keeper Chantel Jones no chance to save.

Captain Stephanie Catley doubled her side’s lead just five minutes later, getting onto the end of a Lisa De Vanna cross.

The Matildas striker then got herself onto the score card just minutes after the start of the second half as De Vanna got in behind the defence before catching Jones off her line with a delightful chip, leaving the home crowd in a state of shock.

Despite the three-goal deficit, United refused to give up, getting one goal back on the hour mark through American Lori Lindsey.

United could have easily had a second only two minutes later when Michelle Heyman had a one-on-one opportunity, electing to round Melbourne keeper Brianna Davey rather than shoot.
Heyman managed to evade Davey, but then lost control of the ball and saw it go harmlessly beyond the goal line for a goal kick.

That opportunity proved to be a perfect summary of United’s day, as Victory were far too clinical in front of goal finishing four of the five chances they had in the match.

Melbourne substitute Gema Simon scored her team’s fourth, knocking Ellie Brush off the ball before slotting her shot past Chantel Jones.

Canberra was rewarded for its never say die attitude with a goal in the final 10 minutes as Caitlin Munoz blasted home a finish from short range following a penalty area scuffle from a Lindsey corner.

However, the goal had little impact on the final result as the Victory ran away deserved winners.

CANBERRA UNITED: 1. Chantel Jones (GK), 5. Grace Field, 6. Caitlin Munoz, 7. Ellie Brush, 9. Grace Gill (3. Julia De Angelis 69’), 11. Michelle Heyman, 12. Sally Rojahn, 13. Nicole Begg, 14. Ashleigh Sykes, 16. Lori Lindsey, 22. Stephanie Ochs

Unused substitutes: 2. Catherine Brown, 18. Rebecca Kiting, 20. Melissa Maizels (GK)

MELBOURNE VICTORY: 1. Brianna Davey (GK), 2. Hannah Brewer, 5. Lauren Barnes, 7. Stephanie Catley, 8. Amy Jackson (17. Gulcan Koca 75’), 9. Racheal Quigley (6. Gema Simon 62’), 10. Christine Nairn, 11. Lisa De Vanna, 12. Ella Mastrantonio, 15. Emma Checker, 18. Elli Reed (Beatrice Goad 89’)

Unused substitutes: 20. Cassandra Dimovski (GK)

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