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Mar 13, 2022   |  7:08PM AET

Post-match reaction: Hopkins

Post-match reaction: Hopkins

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Jeff Hopkins was proud of his side after a 2-1 Semi Final win over Adelaide United on Sunday.

Victory moved into a Liberty A-League Preliminary Final after a hard-fought and deserved win at Coopers Stadium.

Lia Privitelli’s opener was cancelled out by Nanako Sasaki, but Melina Ayres scored a 57th-minutre winner to set up a Derby clash against City next week.

Speaking afterwards, Hopkins discussed the game, Ayres and the Derby awaiting his side.

on the win…
“We were disappointed with a few things in the performance last time we were here. One of them was our ability to really compete and I thought even in the first half, I think we were just underdone a little bit, second half we came out, we had a chat at half-time and the girls were magnificent, absolutely brilliant. Looking at the first half, Adelaide came out really well, started well, similar to the previous game, we got a goal against the run of play and then they got back into the game, but they were generally on top I thought. The one thing we didn’t do in the first half, we played a lot of short, precise football, but we didn’t really get in behind them, we didn’t penetrate and that’s what we talked about at half-time, that we needed to just convert some of that football into chances by penetrating their last line and I thought in the second half we did that right from the word go and that put a completely different complexion on the game. I thought we looked really dangerous second half and because of the threat that we had them under all the time then they were a little bit less confident and likely to go forward. I’m really pleased with the performance, but really proud as well because we had to really dig deep in that second half and we had some great performances out of some of the players.”

on Ayres…
“She’s been working so hard to get herself back and it’s a credit to her how good she’s been. She had 20 minutes last week, was able to play I think 70 minutes today and she gives a different dimension. She holds the ball up really well, she brings other people into the game and she’s a constant threat in and around the goal so it was great to have her back. I think she only thought she had 45 minutes in her today, but I had other plans for her. She said at half-time the injury she hadn’t felt at all, which we didn’t have a worry about that, but she said her fatigue was such that she could play on and she could go as long as we wanted her to. Her attitude is fantastic.”

on responding to previous loss to Adelaide…
“I think there were a few things. I think we were pretty upset about our own performance last time. We didn’t do ourselves justice we didn’t feel and I think we’ve looked at the way we’ve been trying to play and play out from the back and through the thirds and we were a little bit more cautious in the way that we did it today. I think we didn’t really have a massive amount of time to work on that, but got another week to make a few adjustments against City next week and I’m sure we’ll be better for that as well after another week.”

on City…
“They’re a different team, it’s a different situation, they play a completely different way as well so there’s a fair bit of work for us to do. They play quite a unique style and a unique setup to any other team in the league so there’s a bit of work to do on the practice field this week before we’re ready to play against them.”