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Dec 04, 2022   |  6:38PM AET

Liberty A-League report: Victory 1-0 Phoenix

Liberty A-League report: Victory 1-0 Phoenix

Melbourne Victory secured their first win of the season on Sunday afternoon, downing Wellington Phoenix 1-0 in hot conditions.

Summary

Both teams came out firing from the first minute despite the heat at Epping Stadium, with three crucial points on the line for two winless teams.

Victory looked threatening early, with two guilt-edge chances falling to Alex Chidiac and Beattie Goad within the first 10 minutes which were both narrowly kept out.

Goad looked particularly dangerous down the left wing, consistently making the most of her pace and guile to cause trouble for the Phoenix defence.

Wellington eventually settled into the contest as they stemmed the tide of Victory attacks after 20 minutes.

The conditions seemed to be taking their toll as both sets of players struggled to maintain the intensity from the start of the match.

Victory though persisted with their attacking forays and were finally rewarded very late in the first half.

Jeff Hopkins’ side earned themselves a corner in the final minute of injury time, before a pin-point delivery from Chidiac was expertly headed into the back of the net by Melina Ayres.

Victory’s first goal of the season came at a crucial moment, giving the defending Champions a well-deserved lead heading into the half-time break.

The second half continued in a similar fashion to the first, with Victory controlling the majority of possession and creating more of the chances.

Ava Briedis and Alana Murphy were both brought on at half-time as Hopkins sought to ensure his team remained fresh and energised.

Wellington though struggled to create meaningful opportunities as Victory were content to slow the pace of the game and maintain their lead.

Maja Markovski made her first appearance of the season coming off the bench with 15 minutes remaining, as Victory continued to dominate the territory battle despite the Nix’s need for a goal.

Chidiac nearly added the icing to the cake when she collected the ball and charged through the middle of the park before thundering a strike into the post with just over five minutes left.

Ultimately, Victory were able to hang onto their 1-0 lead and secure their first win of the season.

A significant result for the defending Champions who desperately needed to get their campaign up and running, and will hope that the result acts as a catalyst for a charge up the table.

Key Moment

The winning goal…

Player in focus

Beattie Goad played comfortably her best game since returning to Victory in Sunday’s 1-0 win.

Despite not registering a goal or assist, the winger was Victory’s most consistent threat and offered some much-needed attacking creativity to a team which has lacked goals early in the campaign.

Implications

Victory pick up their first points of the season and will hope to build on the result as they close the gap with their fast-starting rivals.

Result

Liberty A-League 2022/23 Round 3
Melbourne Victory 1 (Ayres 45+5′)
Wellington Phoenix 0

Next up

Victory are back on the road next week when they travel to Macedonia Park to take on Perth Glory at 7:00pm AEDT on Sunday 11th December.