W-League: Melbourne Victory 1-0 Canberra United

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A very windy day at Skilled Stadium was the venue for the second clash between Melbourne Victory and Canberra United this season. The wind gave the team running against it the advantage as it helped to keep the ball on the foot as apposed to losing touch on the ball when it is behind you.

Meeting in the first round Melbourne snatched a draw in the last few seconds, showing that they can take on top teams for a place in the finals and also put on a good show for the television cameras! This game again proved that fact.

From the outset Melbourne dominated the play with UK import Jodie Taylor having numerous chances to score. It was in the 20th minute that she succeeded. In Canberra’s defensive third the young Ashley Brown served a ball to Taylor who touched the ball onto midfielder Ella Mastrantonio who in turn acted as the wall back to the English striker to chip the keeper.

Canberra’s Sally Shipard kept moving forward to try and create something but this simply left a hole “in the hole” in front of her central defenders, which Jodie Taylor kept exploiting throughout the first stanza for Melbourne. 1-0 at half time but should have been more.

The second half saw the young and eager Melbourne side continue their high pressure in the midfield, constantly winning possession back from the hapless Canberra girls. Everything Melbourne did well Canberra seemed to do poorly. Melbourne kept great team shape the entire game, unlike Canberra. Melbourne used the wide channels constantly with great results stretching the Canberra defence; Ashley Brown and Stephanie Catley with the help of overlapping wing defender Ursula Hughson damaging Canberra time and time again.

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Both teams also had a midfielder playing in the backs. Again Melbourne with Kendall Fletcher looking comfortable while for Canberra Cian Maciejewski was caught out of position many times. It seemed Canberra had the wrong game plan and didn’t adjust within the allocated time period.

The 1-0 win to Melbourne really livens up the run home for the finals between Perth, Newcastle and Melbourne. Best for Melbourne on the day were numerous players; as mentioned Ashley Brown, Stephanie Catley, Ursula Hughson and Kendall Fletcher were all good. Jodie Taylor did well also but perhaps should have put a few more goals away. For Canberra they struggled but central defender Ellie Brush and keeper Lydia Williams kept the score respectable.

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