W-League: Victory title defence back on track

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Melbourne Victory have claimed the first win of its Westfiled W-League championship defence with an entertaining 5-3 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Broadmeadows Valley Park on Sunday.

After receiving a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle United Jets to open the season last weekend, the champs bounced back in resounding fashion against a disappointing Wanderers.

Despite conceding an early goal, Victory were hardly troubled all day as they cruised to their first three points of the year in their opening home game of the new campaign.

The win proves the Victory will once again be a force to be reckoned with after doubts were raised following the loss to the 2013/14 wooden-spooners.

American import Christine Nairn was the star of the show setting up all but one of Victory’s goals in a standout performance. New recruit Racheal Quigley got on the end of two of those assists to bag a double that opens her account for the Victory.

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Two goals by Keelin Winters weren’t enough for the Wanderers who are still in search of a win this campaign.

A tense opening burst into life in the tenth minute when Winters opened the scoring for Western Sydney in spectacular fashion.

Winters dispatched a perfectly placed free kick on the edge of the box that flew past the diving Victory keeper Breanne Davie into the top corner of the net.

The game was back on level terms in the 20th minute when Amy Jackson headed home a corner whipped in by Nairn.

The match remained tight with possession swinging both ways. That all changed 25 minutes into the game as Quigley handed Victory the lead with a delightful chip effort that left Wanderers ‘keeper Trudy Burke stranded.

The tidy finish from Quigley was made possible by being fed in by Nairn who was quickly endearing herself to her new home fans with a great first half performance.

The match was there for the taking for both sides going into the sheds at half time but that quickly faded as the home side took control of the game with a devastating seven-minute spell to open the second 45.

Quigley bagged her second just two minutes into the half before Lisa De Vanna got her name on the scorers list in the 52nd minute after she finished the good work of Nairn.

It looked as though Western Sydney were right back in the contest just shy of the hour mark when Winters bagged her second of the day after being set up with a superb ball in by Hannah Beard.

Substitute Gulcan Koca ended any faint chances of a Wanderers comeback in the 74th minute, reclaiming Victory’s three-goal buffer as Koca slotted the ball into an empty net after Nairn’s shot on goal fell invitingly to her feet.

Wanderers claimed a consolation goal late in the game through Michelle Carney thanks largely to a defensive error from Emma Checker.

Carney still had work to do and managed to get the ball past Davies in goal which proved to be the last kick of the afternoon.

The win was a strong statement from the Victory after last week’s disappointing start to the year.

It only gets better for the Victory who will welcome in American recruits Lauren Barnes and Eli Reed this week, potentially making their return and debut respectively in Round 3 away to Canberra United.

Western Sydney has now conceded nine goals in just two games after a 4-1 opening day loss to Canberra and will be out to put a halt to its worrying start to the season next weekend in a derby clash against Sydney FC.

Melbourne Victory 5 (Amy Jackson 20’, Racheal Quigley 24’, 47’, Lisa De Vanna 52’, Gulcan Koca 74’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Keelin Winters 12’, 56’, Michelle Carney 93’)
Sunday 21 September 2014
Broadmeadows Valley Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 3pm

Referee: Casey Reibelt

Melbourne Victory: Brianna Davey (gk), Hannah Brewer, Stephanie Catley, Amy Jackson, Racheal Quigley (Gulcan Koca 69’), Christine Nairn, Lisa De Vanna (Tiffany Eliadis 76’), Ella Mastrantonio, Emma Checker, Beatrice Goad (Gema Simon 59’), Maika Ruyter-Hooley

Unused Substitutes: Cassandra Dimovski (gk)

Western Sydney Wanderers: Trudy Burke (gk), Caitlin Cooper, Jessica Seaman, Helen Petinos (Jordan Baker 83’), Rachael Soutar, Grace Henry, Keelin Winters, Michelle Carney, Hannah Beard (Rhianna Pollicina 76’), Demi Koulizakis, Chloe O’Brien

Unused Substitutes: Sham Khamis (gk), Tia Gavin

Cautions: Helen Petinos 71’

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