Melbourne Victory continued its perfect start to the Liberty A-League season with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar on Saturday.
Victory won the first three games of a Liberty A-League campaign for the first time after an entertaining contest at Moreton Daily Stadium.
Lynn Williams was the star of the show, scoring the opener and helping set up goals by Harriet Withers and Catherine Zimmerman.
Shea Connors and Larissa Crummer twice pulled Roar back within a goal, but Victory saw out a third straight win to start the season.
Victory threatened in the fourth minute, with Claudia Bunge heading a Kyra Cooney-Cross corner wide.
The visitor was turning possession over in dangerous areas and needed a fine tackle from Polly Doran to deny Brisbane a one-on-one in the ninth minute.
Roar continued to look dangerous and Victory needed a superb one-on-one stop from Casey Dumont to deny Anna Margraf after a quarter of an hour.
Instead, Victory took the lead through Williams, who scored her second goal in as many games.
The United States international got on the end of an excellent Withers cross from the right and headed powerfully past Roar goalkeeper Georgina Worth.
Victory made a dream start to the second half, doubling the lead.
Williams won possession on the left and Worth could only palm away the star’s cross, with Withers producing a first-time finish for her first Victory goal.
But Brisbane pulled one back with 25 minutes to go, Connors poking in a finish in a one-on-one with Dumont.
The impressive Alana Murphy, making her first Victory start, fired wide from 20 yards in the 70th minute.
Roar almost equalised just moments later, but Connors’ strike was ruled out for offside.
Victory sealed its win with five minutes remaining through Zimmerman’s third goal this season.
Williams did wonderfully down the right side of the area before crossing for the forward to side-foot in and make it 3-1.
Crummer pulled a goal back late on for Brisbane despite an initial save from Dumont, but Victory held on.
What they said – Withers
on the game…
“Bringing the nerves up a little bit for sure. When you get 2-0 up, we always talk that’s probably one of the most dangerous positions to be in in a game. When they got that extra one and it was 2-1, nerves went up and then 3-1 we felt good again but obviously came back. Credit to the girls. They never give up, kudos to Roar, they did well to come back and they didn’t give up either but I think in the end just super happy with all the girls’ performance – defenders, midfielders, strikers – all of them so we did really well.”
Player in focus
Williams proved her worth in her first start for the Club. The American scored the opener, had a hand in setting up the second and assisted Zimmerman’s strike in an instrumental performance.
For the first time in Club history, Victory won the first three games of a Liberty A-League season. Jeff Hopkins’ side is top of the table.
Liberty A-League 2021/22 Round 3
Brisbane Roar 2 (Shea Connors 65′, Larissa Crummer 90+4′)
Melbourne Victory 3 (Lynn Williams 36′, Harriet Withers 46′, Catherine Zimmerman 85′)
Brisbane Roar: Worth (gk); Clough, Rasschaert, Haffenden, Rankin (Foletta 73′); Gorry (Kitano 46′), Norrie (c), Hecher; Margraf (McElligott 83′), Crummer, Connors.
Melbourne Victory: Dumont (gk); Doran, Bunge, Nevin, Privitelli (c); Barbieri, Cooney-Cross; Withers (Markovski 63′), Murphy (Robers 81′), Williams; Zimmerman (Zois 90+2′).
Yellow cards: Zimmerman 18′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: Moreton Daily Stadium
Victory is back at AAMI Park in Round 4, hosting City in another Melbourne Derby on Boxing Day.