Credit: Emily Mogic / TWG
Leading up to this game there was plenty of news about the depletion of the Canberra United A-team through National call up, injury, studies and suspension.
All true but somewhat true for both sides with Melbourne Victory losing two key players to injury in round 2 (Louisa Bisby and Ash Brown), Steph Catley and Bri Davey both on duty with the Matildas, and not to mention Victory started the season with a significant shake up in the coaching box.
I predicted a win for Victory not because of who wasn’t playing for Canberra but because Melbourne are starting to play some good football and given the depth of the Canberra squad, I expected a great game.
From the opening kickoff Melbourne Victory seemed to have the upper hand in possession but Canberra remained composed and didn’t panic.
Jessica Fishlock quickly started to dominate almost everywhere on the field and clearly showed her skills, pace and knowledge of the game. Fishlock was sweetly set up by a beautifully weighted ball by Cindy Lay for her first goal sending the home crowd into delighted cheers.
Jessica McDonald added to the scoreline with a rocket at halftime giving Melbourne a little breathing room at the break.
Canberra quickly got to work in the second half, dominating the first 10 minutes with Munoz working the ball but not quite able to score from a couple of opportunities.
Crowd favourite and pocket dynamo Enza Barilla put the result beyond doubt in the 80th minute, cleaning up a loose ball in the goal square and ending Canberra’s undefeated streak.
Canberra definitely didn’t play their best but there’s no need to panic just yet. They’re sitting nicely in third position on the ladder and I’m sure there will be plenty of good football to come.
Melbourne Victory are at the point where they’ve got belief in themselves and their coach, they’ve recruited some talented imports who are lifting the team and I can’t wait until next week.