Hopkins proud of Victory effort

Kyra Cooney-Cross

Melbourne Victory head coach Jeff Hopkins was proud of his side’s effort against Sydney FC as it looks ahead to the Westfield W-League Finals Series.

Victory suffered a 2-1 loss to the Sky Blues on Wednesday, falling short in its bid to win the Premier’s Plate.

A Teresa Polias free-kick and Princess Ibini penalty put Sydney ahead before Kyra Cooney-Cross’ stunning late strike for Victory.

Despite the result, Hopkins was proud of the work his team put into the contest.

“Obviously really disappointed for the team,” he said.

“To lose to two set-plays, I’d like to see them again, I think both were very, very soft decisions, looked kind of out of character to the way the game was played, it was quite a tough game, quite physical and to have a couple of decisions like that go against us was a bit disappointing.

“But in general I thought we definitely showed up today. I think we were pretty bright and for big periods of the game we were on top. They set themselves up very well defensively, most probably played a little bit different to what we expected, sat off us and made it very difficult to break them down in the middle third and in and around the goal.

“We could’ve been a little bit better in the front third, but in general I was really pleased and proud of the effort the players put in and it was just disappointing the way we ended up losing the game.”

Victory finished third on the table and will play Brisbane Roar in a Semi Final.

Hopkins said his players had already started their recovery ahead of a short turnaround.

“It’s all about recovery. We’re starting our recovery tonight. The girls are in the ice baths at the moment, stretching off, we’re back to Melbourne tomorrow, a good night’s sleep tonight and tomorrow,” he said.

“We’ll be in on Friday, we’ll have a look at Brisbane, obviously we’ve played them twice already this year with two very different games and there’s still most probably a few things that we want to prove to ourselves and put right from the last time we played them. We’re looking forward to that.”