Each week we will take a look at one upcoming A-League Women's game and talk about it's context in the competition and potential as a spectacle. There is history in the making and a potential finals spot on the line when Melbourne Victory play Wellington Phoenix.
Melbourne Victory have lost their position in the top four. They have two games in hand but have been leapfrogged by Perth Glory after their dramatic win on Monday night. Perth’s win was over Wellington Phoenix, it was a dramatic and thrilling comeback with the winner arriving in the final minute, but Melbourne Victory will have watched that game with interest.
Melbourne Victory versus Wellington Phoenix
- Melbourne Victory are still without key players
- Wellington produced their best performance of the season in a close loss
- The leagues newest side is looking for their first ever win
More A-League Women's news can be found on The Women's Game.
Wellington are improving fast. They began the season with some impressive defensive displays that were not reflected on the scoreboard. Teams with more experience were eventually able to fins ways to break them down or pounce ruthlessly on errors.
Slowly, they began to find the confidence and composure to build attacks. When they went 2-0 up against Brisbane Roar in Round 7, it showed the league what they could produce. More importantly, they showed themselves.
Against Perth Glory, they took a new step in their evolution as a side. Previously, Wellington had looked impressive but tended to crumble after conceding a goal. In their last match, they conceded early, drew level and were able to take the lead.
They were unable to hold onto the win, but it was a continuation of their upward trajectory as a team and as individuals.
Melbourne Victory present the best chance for Phoenix to get their first win of their history. The defending champions have not played after two weeks of postponements. They are missing Courtney Nevin and Kyra Cooney-Cross and have been vulnerable defensively all season.
Their last game was a 1-0 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers. It showed that even a wounded Victory team is still capable of winning. The were buoyed by the debut of short term loanee Francesca Iermano who was impressive on the wing.
Maja Marjkovski was given her first chance to start this season and responded with her second goal of the campaign. Her well struck penalty proved to be decisive in the end and Victory will need her at her best against Kate Taylor and Mackenzie Barry
This match may come down to a battle of playmakers. Alyssa Whinham has scored once and assisted another in the last three games. She is creative, fast and an inventive dribbler.
.@WgtnPhoenixFC FIRE BACK 🔥— Liberty A-League (@aleaguewomen) January 31, 2022
Grace Jale latches onto a sublime Whinham through ball to the level the scores 🙌
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Alex Chidiac represents Victory’s best hope. If she can get on the ball and break up the formidable Phoenix defence it will unlock the best in Catherine Zimmerman and Markovski.
This could be a historic match. Wellington know they are capable of winning a game and will be eager to make up for letting last week slip. Victory need to win to get back into the top four and have any chance of defending the title.
Either result will be important for different reasons, and with entertaining players with everything to gain, this is the game to watch.
The full A-League Women's schedule can be found using this link.