Melbourne Victory is looking to secure a spot in the Westfield W-League finals when it hosts Sydney FC at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.
Victory is coming off a 7-0 thrashing of the Newcastle Jets that kept it on track for a top-four finish.
Heading into the final round, Victory is third – two points adrift of second-placed Sydney and three clear of fifth-placed Brisbane Roar.
Annalie Longo scored her first goals for the club and Darian Jenkins also netted a brace against the Jets.
Natasha Dowie moved onto seven goals this season and Melina Ayres took her tally to three as Victory bounced back from its Derby loss in style, recording its biggest ever Westfield W-League win.
It also marked the perfect way to celebrate the 100th Westfield W-League appearances of goalkeeper Casey Dumont and midfielder Amy Jackson.
A draw against Sydney would be enough for Victory to secure a top-four finish, while a win would secure a home Semi Final.
Last season’s premier, Victory is bidding to reach the finals for the second straight campaign and for the seventh time in 12 Westfield W-League seasons.
Head coach Jeff Hopkins’ pre-match thoughts
on the win over the Jets…
“It was a big boost to morale, but also I think the girls have got to take a huge amount of credit for the way that they bounced back. It was a tough loss to take the week before and they took it on the chin, we worked hard, we had a really good week at training last week and came into the game with a real positive attitude. I said today it showed the toughness of the players, it showed the resilience of the group and hopefully we can take a lot out of that, not just the result, but just the way that we turned things around from one week to another. We spoke about being given an opportunity after the City game with Roar being beaten and Sydney losing as well so we were determined to make sure we didn’t waste the opportunity and the playing group were excellent. We’re really proud of them for the way they just went about the game and then obviously on top of that the quality of play, the quality of the chances we created and the quality of the finishes as well.”
on whether stakes change approach…
“I think we’re always going out there with a pretty positive approach to games so I think that’s not going to change, obviously there’s going to be a few scenarios that we might look into in the last 10 or 15 minutes depending on what’s happening, but we approach every game going into it looking to be positive, looking to win the game so nothing different there.”
on Sydney FC…
“Obviously two very influential players on the way that they play. Chloe Logarzo was a real driving force in their midfield and obviously Caitlin Foord is a world-class player so to lose those two players will definitely hurt them and most probably they’ll be a little bit easier to play against, but they’re still full of quality players. They’ve replaced them with a good young player and an experienced international as well. They’re a very good side and we’re not taking them lightly, we know it’s going to be a real tough game for us, but we’re really looking forward to it. It’s a great opportunity for us to play at Marvel as well, first time most of the girls would’ve played there, there’s a lot to look forward to this week. It’s funny how things turn out, there’s so much at stake this week for everyone. It’s a really exciting weekend of football for the W-League, the last round and still lots of different scenarios that can take place.”
Westfield W-League 2019/20 Round 1
Sydney FC 3-0 Melbourne Victory
Sunday, November 17, 2019
Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Victory and Sydney last met in the opening round.
Remy Siemsen scored a first-half brace before Shadeene Evans’ late sealer for the Sky Blues.
As it stands
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Saturday, February 29, 2020
Kick-off: 5.00pm AEDT