Melbourne Victory is looking to secure a spot in the Westfield W-League Grand Final when it hosts Sydney FC at Epping Stadium on Saturday.
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Victory’s win over Sydney in the last round of the regular season saw it claim a home Semi-Final.
It produced its best performance of the campaign in the 3-1 win, in which Darian Jenkins scored a brace after Amy Jackson’s opener.
Jackson moved into outright third on Victory’s all-time goalscoring charts with 13, trailing only Natasha Dowie (34) and Caitlin Friend (14).
She is set to move up to outright fourth for most Westfield W-League appearances for the club with 59 if she features on Saturday.
Jenkins, meanwhile, moved onto five goals in 12 games this season with a tremendous brace.
Despite not finding the net against Sydney, Dowie became the first player in the club’s history to win the Westfield W-League Golden Boot.
The Semi-Final will be Victory’s seventh in the Westfield W-League and second in as many seasons.
It is aiming to reach its third Grand Final and first since 2013/14, when it beat Sydney in the semis on its way to the championship.
Victory is unbeaten in its past five games at Epping Stadium, including four wins.
The Westfield W-League had a week off prior to the finals due to Australia’s Olympic qualifiers against Vietnam, with Victory pair Jenna McCormick and Teagan Micah part of the Westfield Matildas’ squad, while Annalie Longo has been away with New Zealand.
Head coach Jeff Hopkins’ pre-match thoughts
“We played a game last Friday, girls had the weekend off and we did a recovery session on Monday, a few of the players went on the pitch and got a touch of the ball and then we had a good session yesterday (Tuesday) and then the girls are off again today. “We’ve got to make sure that we get them into the game really fresh because it’s going to take a big effort on Saturday and you never know how long the game is going to go as well. We’re making sure we’re getting them nice and fresh early in the week but we’ll do a tactical session tomorrow and then we’re going to train at Gosch’s Paddock, on the ground, on Friday so it’s a little bit different for the girls. Looking forward to getting them in tomorrow and just doing a bit of tactical work. The other thing is we get Jenna and Annalie back early Friday and they won’t really be able to do anything apart from some recovery and we’ll just see how they are physically before we make our mind up on the team.”
Westfield W-League 2019/20 Round 14
Melbourne Victory 3-1 Sydney FC
Saturday, February 29, 2020
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Victory clinched a finals place and a home Semi Final with its win over Sydney in the last round.
Jenkins scored a fantastic brace after Jackson’s opener and Victory claimed a deserved win despite Natalie Tobin’s late strike.
As it finished
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
Epping Stadium, Melbourne
Saturday, March 14, 2020
Kick-off: 2.00pm AEDT