Melbourne Victory’s A-League Women have been held to a draw away to Canberra United on a warm Saturday afternoon.
End-to-end football was on offer throughout the early stages, and a similar theme remained for the entire 90 minutes. It was a game where neither side managed to take full control at any stage.
Victory’s first first real look at goal came just shy of 20 minutes, when Catherine Zimmerman was unable to reach reach Melina Ayres’ squared ball.
A first glimpse as to how strong Victory’s defence would be all game was seen 28 minutes in, defending a flurry of Canberra shots to keep the game scoreless.
Nearing the break, Casey Dumont continued to show she has no plans of ending her run of good form, diving high to keep Vesna Milivojević’s shot out.
The heat struggled to get the better of high flying Beattie Goad who continued to make marauding runs right up until the whistle. Goad came close in first half stoppage time, but was unable to direct her effort at the United goal.
Victory defender Claudia Bunge was made to show her defensive quality one-on-one with Michelle Heyman, forcing the striker to turn back from goal and play to a teammate, ending a potential threat.
Brilliant link up play between Jess Nash, Beattie Goad and Tiff Eliadis set up a promising chance, a show of the chemistry Victory have built as they come closer to another Finals berth.
With 30 minutes left, a rare mistake from Casey Dumont provided Canberra United with a golden opportunity in front of goal, but Claudia Bunge was equal to it.
72 minutes in, Canberra United took the lead through Kennedy Faulkner who bundled it over the line.
Late on in the piece, Tiff Eliadis brought the game level – meeting substitute Maja Markovski’s low driven cross, making no mistake.
Canberra came close in stoppage time, with Michelle Heyman hitting both posts before the ball bounced out. Casey Dumont was again called into action, forced into a diving save during the second phase of play, requiring treatment shortly after.
Victory settled for the point, with all eyes now on Brisbane Roar at home next Sunday to cement a place in the Finals series.
Tiff Eliadis’ late goal salvaged a point for the Victory.
The midfielder was rewarded for a smart run from midfield with a pinpoint delivery from Maja Markovski, and made no mistake.
Victory bring a point back to Melbourne, and hold on to a five point buffer with the aim of securing their Finals position at home to Brisbane next week.
Liberty A-League 2022/23 Round 18
Canberra United 1 (Faulkner 72′)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Eliadis 88′)
Victory return to Melbourne host the Brisbane Roar at CB Smith Reserve on Sunday 26th March.