Melbourne Victory bounced back to winning ways in the Liberty A-League, beating the Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0 on Sunday.
Maja Markovski’s second-half penalty was enough to grab an important three points at CommBank Stadium.
After back-to-back losses, Victory – without Commonwealth Bank Matildas Kyra Cooney-Cross and Courtney Nevin – responded to return to winning ways.
Victory almost opened the scoring after 60 seconds as Alex Chidiac’s corner hit the crossbar.
In what was an otherwise uneventful opening 20 minutes, no-one was able to get on the end of a lovely Catherine Zimmerman cross, while MelindaJ Barbieri tried to catch Wanderers goalkeeper Sarah Langman off her line.
Zimmerman was needed at the other end to keep Victory level, making an excellent last-ditch tackle on the half-hour mark.
After Chidiac was fouled to begin the second half, Barbieri was unable to make the most of a 20-yard free-kick, which appeared to be tipped wide by Langman.
Victory created another decent opportunity in the 53rd minute, Markovski shooting off target after a Polly Doran cross from the right.
Chidiac was inches away from a spectacular opener just after the hour-mark.
The midfielder, whose corners were causing regular problems, hit the post with a stunning long-range strike.
A heavy touch from Chidiac after a Zimmerman pass denied the midfielder another shooting opportunity in a one-on-one with Langman.
Victory was awarded a penalty with 16 minutes remaining after a cross from Francesca Iermano – on her Liberty A-League debut – struck the hand of Rosie Galea.
Markovski stepped up and converted brilliantly into the top corner for her second goal of the season, her celebration a tribute to Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Fine work from Langman denied Zimmerman in a one-on-one late on as Victory closed out an important three points.
What they said – Markovski
on her penalty…
“I practice those a lot and I was confident to step up and I’m glad I could score the winner. More importantly, we kept a clean sheet and got the three points to take home. We really needed to win that game and it was a good game.”
on the goal celebration…
“We take the mickey at training a bit with the goal celebration, I said to the girls if I scored we’d do it because it’s just funny.”
Player in focus
Markovski made her first Liberty A-League start and the striker impressed. Her hold-up play was excellent and she dispatched the winning penalty brilliantly.
Victory sits third on the table after bouncing back to winning ways.
Liberty A-League 2021/22 Round 7
Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Melbourne Victory 1 (Maja Markovski 74′ pen)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Langman (gk); Apostolakis (Allen 81′), Hunt, Cooper (c), Matos; Copus-Brown (Collister 69′), Price; Halloway, Crofts (Steinmetz 69′), Gallagher (Galea 46′); Henry.
Melbourne Victory: Dumont (gk); Doran, Bunge, Jackson, Privitelli (c); Barbieri, Chidiac, Murphy; Zimmerman, Markovski, Iermano (Eliadis 84′).
Yellow cards: Hunt 47′, Galea 61′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: CommBank Stadium
Victory is next scheduled to be in action against Canberra United at Viking Park on Sunday, January 23.