Victory women down Glory

Melbourne Victory’s women’s team has opened its Westfield W-League season in style with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Perth Glory at Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.

Melbourne Victory’s women’s team has opened its Westfield W-League season in style with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Perth Glory at Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.

Goals from midfielder Enza Barilla and striker Katie Thorlakson in each half sealed the win in a match the Victory dominated from start to finish.

The only sour point on the night was the sending off of substitute Selin Kuralay in the final minute of the match for two bookable offenses.

Melbourne raced out of the blocks early, immediately asserting its dominance on the game and creating two half-chances in the opening minutes.

Thorlakson had an early shot well blocked by the Glory defence, before Julianne Sitch hit a great left-foot volley from outside the penalty area that Perth goalkeeper Emma Wirkus was able to catch relatively comfortably.

Melbourne continued to dominate with much of the match being played inside the Perth half and the Glory resorting to attacking on the counter.

Perth striker Lisa de Vanna looked the most likely to score for the visitors, but despite a number of menacing runs, she lacked support and Victory keeper Melissa Barbieri was rarely tested in the opening half.

The closest the Glory came to scoring was early on when de Vanna attempted to latch onto a through ball, only to see Barbieri race off her line and arrive at the same time with the ball ricocheting out for a goal kick much to the relief of the Victory players.

The goal finally came for the home side in the 34th minute when a poor pass out of defence allowed Thorlakson to collect the loose ball. She then sent it out wide to Sitch, who showed great poise before delivering a perfect pass to the onrushing Barilla, who calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of Wirkus’ goals.

The goal seemed to spring the Glory into action with midfielder Shannon May hitting their first shot on target, although it failed to test Barbieri, as the sides headed into half-time with Melbourne deserving its lead.

The Victory didn’t slow down in the second half with forward Kara Mowbray almost scoring right from the kick off. After a brilliant run down the left flank, Mowbray attacked the box but tried to cross instead of taking the shot.

The home side continued to create chances with Kurulay shooting wide after Mowbray stepped over a superb cross from Monnique Hansen Kofoed.

Victory left-back Marlies Oostdam went close to scoring just minutes later when her in-swinging free kick from the right flank curled into the far upright with Wirkus well beaten. Mowbray had the chance to score from the follow up but blazed her shot wide.

Melbourne eventually got the second goal it deserved in the 71st minute when Thorlakson capped off a fine team move. Right-back Vedrana Popovic won the ball in the midfield before playing a fine one-two pass with Kurulay and then delivering a perfect cross along the ground for Thorlakson to easily finish.

The Glory finally threatened the goals in the final 10 minutes when midfielder Samantha Kerr unleashed a shot from outside the penalty area, but it lacked venom and Barbieri was easily able to gather.

Victory substitute striker Stephanie Catley impressed in her limited minutes with a great run down the left before firing her shot straight at Wirkus, much to the relief of the Glory shotstopper.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Barilla 34′, Thorlakson 71′)
Perth Glory 0