Melbourne Victory have fallen just short of their first points in the 2023/24 Liberty A-League season, suffering a 2-1 defeat to Western United.
Coming off a loss to the Brisbane Roar last week, Victory came out the blocks firing in enemy territory.
It didn’t take long to see reward for effort, with Emma Checker getting onto the end of a cross into the box in the 15th minute and heading into the back of the net.
It was Checker’s first goal for Victory in almost 10 years, with her looping header cause for massive celebration from herself and the Victory fans in attendance.
The rest of the first half saw Victory forced to defend and act on the counter, with Lydia Williams remaining rock-solid in between the sticks.
United’s best chance in the opening half came in the 33rd minute, which was snuffed out by a great save from Williams to her right.
Victory was able to maintain their lead heading in to half-time, with Checker’s goal the only score separating the sides.
It was much of the same to begin the second half, with Victory creating plenty of attack through interceptions in the midfield.
Victory were unable to maintain the lead as the game entered the final 25 minutes. Consecutive corners for Western United saw Melissa Taranto convert from close range to level the score.
A number of close chances followed for Victory, who were looking to put themselves back in front with the pace out on the flanks from McKenzie Weinert.
Sara D’Appolonia was subbed into the game in the 73rd minute for Rachel Lowe, as Victory attempted to steal a goal in the late stages.
The final minute of regular time spelled the end of Victory’s chances. A strike from a corner saw Williams produce a massive save, of which the rebound was turned in by Keiwa Hieda.
The late goal proved to be the final blow of the match, resigning Victory to their second defeat of the season.
Western United 2 (Taranto 66′, Heida 90′)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Checker 15′)
Liberty A-League – Round 3
Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United
Sunday 4 November
Kick-off: 5pm (AEDT)
AAMI Park, Melbourne