W-LEAGUE: Victory cruise past Wanderers

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Despite the loss of coach Mike Mulvey to Brisbane Roar midweek, Melbourne Victory looked far from rattled in their 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers in the Westfield W-League.
A Jessica McDonald brace and Petra Larsson goal was enough to seal the points after going down 1-0 after a Vanessa Hart goal in the second minute of the game.

Spectators turned out in full force to bid farewell to star international Jess Fishlock who will return to the UK after her seven week stint with the Victory. Maika Ruyter-Hooley also celebrated her 50th game for the club, becoming the player to do so for the Melbourne Victory women.

The 1,257 people at Wembley Park in Box Hill broke the record for highest attendance at a Victory home game.

The game started off in the worst possible fashion for the hosts with Wanderers midfielder Louise Fors floating a wonderful free kick straight to the head of Vanessa Hart who made no mistake in putting the ball into the back of the net.

Less than a minute later, Jess McDonald took her chances with a shot at goalkeeper Thora Helgadottir, who was flexible enough to save the US international’s shot. McDonald also had a one-on-one opportunity seconds later however Wanderers defenders came to the keepers rescue.

It took 11 minutes for the hosts to find an equaliser with Petra Larsson scoring a wonderful goal, chipping the Western Sydney keeper from distance. It was the midfielders first goal for the Victory after numerous goal assists throughout the season.
The Wanderers were resistant to allow Fishlock an easy farewell with defenders bundling over the Welsh international just outside the box, much to the home crowds disappointment. Fishlock however was keen to cause more pain for the visitors by showing what she could do with the ball at her feet instead.
Nearing half time and Melbourne put their foot to the metal, albeit to no avail as Stephanie Catley played a wonderful ball into the box, only needing a touch from McDonald to put the visitors up just before half time, however she was unable to get her boot to the ball. Catley again nearly sent the crowd into raptures with a long range shot just before the half time whistle sailing agonisingly over the bar.

The hosts definitely looked the more lively at the half-time break.

It was indeed the Victory who took the first opportunity of the second half with Jessica McDonald putting the hosts 2-1 up after 52 minutes. The striker was played onto a one-on-one with goalkeeper Helgadottir after easily beating the Wanderers defender with pace and slid the ball into the net for her fifth goal for the season.
Fishlock found herself in a great position to put Victory 3-1 up after Jess McDonald played it back for the Welsh international, however her attempt at goal sailed just wide of the upright much to the disbelief of the crowd.

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She once again found herself one-on-one, this time a more difficult chance but still requiring a save from the Western Sydney goalkeeper. She had her third attempt at goal at the 77th minute mark, trying to chip the goalkeeper however floating just above the crossbar. Fishlock obviously wanting to leave Melbourne with a lasting impression.

Despite some minor scares for Melbourne, Jessica McDonald sealed the win and celebrated her brace just before full time after slotting home a close range shot.

Overall, a thoroughly deserved win for the hard working Melbourne Victory women.

Melbourne Victory: 1. Brianna Davey (gk), 2. Danielle Johnson, 3. Maika Ruyter-Hooley (c), 4. Rebekah Stott, 6. Petra Larsson, 7. Steph Catley, 10. Jessica McDonald, 14. Enza Barilla (5. Laura Spiranovic 75’), 15. Amy Jackson, 17. Gulcan Koca (23. Jessica Humble 91’), 22. Jessica Fishlock (11. Caitlin Friend 93′)

Unused Subs: 20. Cassandra Dimovski (gk)
Goals: Petra Larsson 10’ Jessica McDonald 52’ 90’
Yellow Cards: Jessica Fishlock 75’
Red Cards
: None

Sydney FC: 2. Samantha Spackman, 3. Alexandra Huynh (12. Jessica Seaman 81’), 4. Alesha Clifford, 5. Olivia Kennedy, 8. Vanessa Hart, 9. Sarah Walsh (c), 10. Servet Uzunlar (16. Linda O’Neill 78’), 11. Louise Fors, 13. Catherine Canulli (14. Trudy Camilleri 65’), 15. Teigen Allen, 20. Thora Helgadottir (gk)

Unused Subs: 1. Elizabeth Durack (gk)
Goals: Vanessa Hart 2’
Yellow Cards: Linda O’Neill 87’
Red Cards
: None

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