Women’s Match Report | Late Gielnik stunner secures vital win for Victory

A superb Emily Gielnik goal at the death was enough for Melbourne Victory to claim all three points in a thrilling 3-2 win against Canberra United.


Victory made a positive start, applying pressure on the home team from the opening whistle.

However, it was Canberra who would make their mark early, scoring from one of their first chances of the game.

All-time leading scorer Michelle Heyman was played in behind the Victory defence in the fifth minute, before cooly finishing into the bottom-left corner.

Canberra continued to look dangerous in the aftermath of the goal, threatening to open up a significant advantage early in the contest.

Victory though were quick to begin their fightback.

A superb lofted pass from Kayla Morrison played through Rachel Lowe in the 18th minute, before the midfielder brilliantly chipped the on-rushing goalkeeper to level the scores.

The game remained tight following the equaliser, with both sides having chances to take the lead.

As half-time neared, a 1-1 score at the break seemed inevitable.

However, Alex Chidiac seized the moment to make her mark.

In first half stoppage time, Sara D’Appolonia made a strong run down the right wing before sending a cross into the box which eventually fell to Alex Chidiac, who somehow willed the ball over the line.

A scrappy goal, but the reigning Julie Dolan medallist’s first since returning to Victory and a vital one in the context of the game.

The second half was a calmer affair, with both teams having settled into the contest.

Jeff Hopkins turned to his bench after an hour played, bringing Emily Gielnik into the action in place of Lia Privitelli.

Gielnik caused plenty of trouble for the Canberra defence, but the third goal remained elusive for Victory.

Canberra continued to hang on in the contest and were eventually rewarded for their resilience.

Heyman was the player to step up once again, equalising for the home team as the game entered its final 20 minutes.

McKenzie Weinert very nearly equalised in the next passage of play, but was unable to direct her shot on target.

Paige Zois and Rosie Curtis were also brought into the action in the final stages as Victory continued their hunt for the winning goal.

Gielnik looked the most likely scorer, finding herself in dangerous positions on several occasions.

However, a series of narrow misses seemed to have sealed her fate as having missed out on the opportunity to be the match-winner.

Gielnik though persisted and in the final stages of stoppage time conjured something rather special.

A brilliant curling effort from outside the box beat the goalkeeper and found its way just inside the far post, securing an incredible 3-2 win for Victory.

A much needed result for Hopkins’ team, who move back into the top four ahead of a huge clash with Sydney FC on Friday night.


Canberra United 2 (Heyman 5′ 70′) Melbourne Victory 3 (Lowe 18′, Chidiac 45+1′, Gielnik 90+3′)


Liberty A-League – Round 14
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
Friday 26 January
Kick-off: 5.00pm (AEDT)
AAMI Park, Melbourne