Melbourne Victory were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw with the Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday night, with the clash marking the midway point of a busy schedule.
The clash in Sydney’s West was Victory’s second game in just four days, yet the lack of recovery was nowhere to be seen early on.
Both sides made a vibrant start, with Victory’s first look at goal stemming from a Beattie Goad cross, after the winger came out of the blocks firing.
Similar to Sunday’s Melbourne Derby, Victory’s intent and high pressing game was evident from the outset – forcing turnovers and creating chances early on.
Goad again delivered 10 minutes in, with another cross which zipped past Wanderers stopper Jordyn Bloomer, also catching fellow Victory forward Lia Privitelli off guard.
A string of four consecutive corners presented Victory with the chance to break the deadlock, but Western Sydney stayed resolute and strong in defence.
25 minutes in saw the Victory with 5 shots at the Wanderers goal, while the home side were yet to conjure a single shot at Casey Dumont.
A quick breakaway saw the Victory presented with their best chance yet, but Rikke Madsen’s shot could only find the framework, after Natalie Tathem delivered a pinpoint ball across the face of goal.
While Victory had their chances, the recent theme of struggling to convert remained throughout the first half.
Western Sydney came close with a chance early in the second half, when Amy Harrison’s effort on goal from a free kick caused problems for Casey Dumont, but Sarina Bolden failed to steer her effort towards goal.
53 minutes in, Victory pounced on a giveaway from Western Sydney on the edge of their box, but Lia Privitelli was unable to find an unmarked Madsen in space.
Just two minutes later, the Dane showed her technical ability to steer a volley on target, but it wasn’t enough to get past Bloomer.
Jeff Hopkins pulled the trigger on a double change with 15 minutes to go, as Sarah Rowe and Tiff Eliadis breathed new life into a weary Victory side.
With time running out, the Wanderers broke the defensive lines, as Sarina Bolden was presented with a golden chance to upset the Victory late on – but as always, Casey Dumont was equal to it.
Ultimately, the short turn around took its toll on the Victory, who ran out of time, and legs, to take more than a point away from Wanderers Football Park.
Just two days is all Victory have to prepare for Saturday afternoon’s contest with United away in Adelaide, with the South Australians trailing the Victory by a slim two points, sitting just outside of the top four.
Wednesday night’s result is Victory’s third draw in a row, taking their unbeaten run to seven, and points tally to 15. If Victory are to cement their spot in the top four, a win on Saturday is almost crucial.
Liberty A-League 2022/23 Round 11
Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Melbourne Victory 0
Victory travel directly to South Australia in the build up to Saturday’s fixture, as they take on Adelaide United at ServiceFM Stadium from 4:00pm AEDT.