W-LEAGUE: Victory cruise past premiers Canberra

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Melbourne Victory cruised to their third win of the season after a well deserved 3-0 win over reigning premiers Canberra United at Wembley Park, Box Hill.

Both teams went into the game with a number of players on international duty, however it seemed Melbourne were the least affected by the changes. After an even start to the game, Victory made the most of their chances and saw themselves 2-0 up at the half time break before going on to a 3-0 victory.

International signings Jessica Fishlock and Jessica McDonald both scored their first goals in blue and white while Enza Barilla finished off what was a wonderful day for the hosts. Fishlock made the most of her one-on-one advantage after shrugging off a Canberra defender and drawing goal keeper Trudy Burke out of her line, slotting her first goal for the Victory at the 28th minute mark. McDonald found the ball at her feet after a Barilla kick into the box was deflected by two defenders who later found themselves unable to reach the US striker. Her point blank shot right on half time hitting the roof of the net and giving Melbourne some breathing space heading into the second half.

Enza Barilla took advantage of a loose ball at the 80th minute mark after Canberra failed to clear the ball from a corner, scoring Victorys third for the game. 

Melbourne were on the attack from kick-off, with Cindy Lay crossing into the box from the right hand side at the second minute mark, however the ball floating over Enza Barilla. Both teams had various long range shots throughout the game, nothing that troubled either keeper. Cassandra Dimovski made her first start for the Victory with regular keeper Brianna Davey being named for the Matildas.

Jennifer Bisset had the visitors first shot of the game at the 5th minute mark, her attempt from inside the box sailing just wide of Dimovski. Fishlock also showed signs of why she was named the FA Women’s Super League Player of the year after providing lots of run throughout the midfield. A powerful long range shot at goal at the 10th minute mark by the Welsh captain floating just over the crossbar. Lay had a terrific chance to increase the advantage at the 34th minute mark, lashing onto a long range kick which floated agonisingly close to the goals.

Melbourne looked to pick up where they left off before the break, with Fishlock playing a terrific ball into Barilla who managed to beat the keeper, her shot rolling just wide of the post at the 47th minute mark. However Canberra were determined to reduce the deficit and take some control of the game. Midfielder Grace Gill passed through to Canberra captain Caitlin Munoz who should have done better with her attempt at goal. Munoz had another terrific chance to score Canberras first with her shot rolling across the face of goal.

Fishlock stunned the crowd with a stunning shot at goal form just outside the box which required a wonderful save from goalkeeper Burke at the 66th minute mark. The resulting corner saw Jessica Humble hit the crossbar with a header, falling just short of a third goal for the Victory. Melbourne took control of the game and it was all but over after Barillas third late in the half.

With the 3-0 defeat, Canberras unbeaten run has come to an end and it seems the Victory train is well and truly in motion.
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