Melbourne Victory dwell on second half performance against Wellington in a stalemate

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It was looking good for Melbourne Victory until two late goals from Wellington Phoenix denied the visitors all three points.

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Enter the last 15 minutes in regular time, Melbourne Victory looked set to claim the win against Wellington Phoenix. The hosts, however, changed all that.

Two goals in the last 24 minutes for the Phoenix completed the comeback from 2-0 down at half-time.

Victory head coach Jeff Hopkins was left disappointed in his side’s 2-2 draw in the final game of the A-League Women’s regular season.

“We didn’t play with any quality in that second half, I was very, very happy with the first-half,” he said.

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Hopkins has every right to be happy with Melbourne’s first-half performance.

They started very strong with Alana Murphy executing a perfect free-kick over the Nix wall and into the bottom-right corner past Nix keeper Bri Edwards four minutes in.

In the 26th minute, Melina Ayres struck the ball brilliantly into the top-right hand corner to double Victory’s lead, no chance for Edwards to make what would have been a top-notch save.

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The visitors dominated the first-half, constantly holding the ball and applying pressure to Wellington’s backline.

The second-half was a different story, the hosts were able to control possession and create chances of their own.

Hopkins doesn’t understand how Victory have come away with a point rather than the three.

“Really, really disappointing with the way the game went, we gave away two ridiculous goals,” he said.

A poor back-pass from Melbourne captain Kayla Morrison to keeper Casey Dumont was intercepted and allowed Phoenix striker Ava Pritchard to score in front of an empty net.

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Right before the full-time whistle, Dumont failed to punch the ball clear out of-her area and Pritchard capitalised again as she tapped the ball into the back of-the net for her second-goal of the match.

From what would have been a certain spot in the finals series, it now leaves the defending champions relying on results to go their way in order to progress to the final four.

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Hopkins didn’t want this to happen, saying that his side were in the driving-seat to make the finals series.

“If we put in a good performance and we won games, we can guarantee ourselves into the final,” he said.

But that’s not the case, Victory now need rivals and third-placed Melbourne City to beat fifth placed Canberra United to book a ticket to the top-four.

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It’s not a situation you want to be in but that’s football, things can change really quickly and it could be the case for the reining A-League Women holders.

Featured image credit: Melbourne City FC 

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Nick Jensen
Nick Jensen
Journalism Student at Massey University Wellington and a passionate Football Fan, covering the Wellington Phoenix Men and Women for the 2022/23 season.

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