Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Anna Harrington

Victory defeat arch-rivals City, ALW finals loom

Melbourne Victory have secured an important ALW derby win, beating Melbourne City 2-0 at AAMI Park. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Melbourne Victory have claimed a well-worked 2-0 win over rivals Melbourne City to take a massive step towards locking in an A-League Women finals berth.

Star striker Melina Ayres scored a penalty in the 16th minute and teed up Paige Zois for a stunning long-range goal four minutes later.

Despite the best efforts of Matildas young gun Holly McNamara, who was electric for City, defending back-to-back champions Victory delivered a professional performance to hold on for their first win in three games.

Victory sit fourth on 26 points, two behind third placed City but now with a crucial buffer on the chasing pack of Canberra (21 points), Brisbane (20) and Perth (19).

The loss strikes a hammer blow to City's hopes of competing with Sydney FC and Western United (33 points apiece) for the premiership.

After a lively start, Victory snatched the lead via the penalty spot after Emma Checker blocked a long-range Ayres shot but was penalised for handball.

Ayres stepped up and coolly drilled the penalty into the bottom corner.

Victory doubled their lead just four minutes later.

The ball ricocheted around the area and Ayres had the presence of mind to sidefoot it out to Zois outside the 18-yard box.

The young midfielder absolutely leathered the ball first-time to beat Sally James with an unstoppable strike.

Victory almost had a third in the 23rd minute when Catherine Zimmerman smashed a difficult, low, hard strike onto the post.

City should have hit back in the 29th minute when McNamara put Maria Jose Rojas through on goal but the Chilean international hit her shot straight at Casey Dumont, who made a good save.

Four minutes later, the gun goalkeeper stepped up again to deny Hannah Wilkinson.

Three minutes after the break, Victory's Beattie Goad skimmed a shot over the bar and shortly after, Dumont made two crucial saves in quick succession half, first denying Leticia McKenna then McNamara from close range.

From there, Victory were able to withstand City's weight of possession and close out the game.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.