An Ashleigh Sykes penalty was what finished off the Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Wednesday afternoon.

It was a first half that Victory had the upper hand of, despite some early pressure from Canberra, that saw Michelle Heyman stretchered off injured.

The Canberra captain fell awkwardly on her right ankle and seemed to be in some pain, but returned to the bench in high spirits to the relief of Canberra coach Raeanne Dower and Matilda’s coach Alen Stajcic.

Despite early chances falling to Celeste Boureille and Yukari Kinga it was the Victory who took the lead after the half hour.

Christine Nairn picked the ball up at the top of the box and slipped an inch perfect ball to Natasha Dowie who in turn tucked it past the oncoming Trudy Burke in goal, kissing the ball off the upright.

Dowie could have had a second 13 minutes later but wasn’t able to beat Burke a second time, who stood tall and parried the ball out for a corner with a strong left hand.

Victory coach Jeff Hopkins would have been delighted the first half performance but his sides good work was undone seven minutes into the second half.

Hannah Brewer’s long ball in wasn’t dealt with by Nairn and Nicky Flannery smashed the ball into the bottom corner of the net from 18 yards.

Canberra had all of the running in the early part of the second half with Victory dropping further and further back despite the best efforts from Nairn and Dowie.

The match turned into a very open affair with players fatiguing quickly due to the Melbourne heat.

Chances fell to both teams but no one could capitalise and take the lead.

Yet the game was decided late on after Nairn was pinged for handball in the box in the 87th minute.

With a wall of boos directed at her, Ashleigh Sykes converted the penalty and finished the game off.

Substitute Jasmyne Spencer could have made it three late on but two was enough for Canberra.

No doubt devastated with the result Victory are still without a win this season after nine rounds, and will search for their first win in next weeks clash against Brisbane.

Melbourne Victory 1 (Dowie 30′)
Canberra United 2 (Flannery 52′, 89′ Sykes (P))

Melbourne Victory: 20. MASON-JONES Bethany (GK), 2. NATOLI Alexandra, 5. GUMMER Alexandra, 6. MARTIN Annabel, 9. DOWIE Natasha, 10. NAIM Christine (C), 13. SPIRANOVIC Laura (78′), 15. TARANTO Adriana, 16. JOHNSON Samantha, 17. KOCA, Gulcan, 25. WHITE Karia (63′)
Substitutes: 1. HENNINGER, BIANCA (GK), 7. PRIVITELLI Lia (63′), 8. NORRIE Ayesha, 11. BARBIERI Melindaj (78′)

Canberra United: 1. BURKE Trudy (GK), 2. KINGA Yukari, 4. HUNT Clare (61′), 5. McCORMICK Jenna, 10. MAHER Grace, 11. HEYMAN Michelle (C)(13′), 12. BREWER Hannah, 13. BOUREILLE Celeste, 14. SYKES Ashleigh, 19. FLANNERY Nickoletta (56′), 22. OCHS Stephanie
Substitutes: 8. RASO Hayley (56′) , 9. SPENCER Jasmyne (13′), 15. CHECKER Emma (61′)

 

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Passionate Football writer, commentator, but most importantly fan.