Arriving at McKellar Park on Tuesday night, the crowd and the players were greeted by similar conditions from the last time these teams met with lightning and rain all around. After a 30 minute delay the match did kick off and the fans watched an entertaining match of football in spite of its lack of goals.

Having already finished Premiers and with a home semi-final on Sunday to prepare for, key Victory players Natasha Dowie, Christine Nairn and Emily Gielnik started the match on the bench.

Ashleigh Sykes started for Canberra United and Ellie Carpenter was a late withdrawal from due to illness with Taren King taking her place in the starting line up.

Melbourne started strongly with some good play by the midfield only for Ayres to be caught offside. Unfortunately, Lia Privitell was injured in a tackle early in the match and had to be replaced with Gielnik entering the field in the 15th minute.

Photo by Rachel Bach (@bythewhiteline)

Canberra started to take control of the half with a few shots on goal including a header by Rhoda Mulaudzi following a great cross from Sykes and Jane taking a shot from distance. The Canberra defence was also working hard to contain the Victory with some great defending by Rachel Corsie. Neither team really tested the keeper in the scoreless first half.

With the rain coming down the players took the field for the second half. Again Canberra had a number of attacking opportunities but were unable to really challenge Casey Dumont. The match opened up with both team trying to score the elusive goal and Canberra brought on Rojas to assist with their attack.

Canberra had the best chance of the match when Rosie Galea shot from range hitting the crossbar. Nairn and Dowie entered the match for Victory in the last half hour of the match and while their presence clearly lifted Victory, and created some great combination play they were unable to get any clear shots on goal.

The Canberra crowd were willing a goal to materialise as the cheer went around the stands and Olivia Price almost delivered only for her shot from distance to be stopped by a great save from Dumont. Dumont pulled up quickly after the save and was holding her leg, but coach Jeff Hopkins had no concerns in press afterwards.

At the end of the match, Victory were awarded the Premiers plate by Greg O’Rourke with their focus now moving to Sunday semi-final against Perth.

Victory captain Natasha Dowie spoke in press of the opportunities a rest for her brought for others in the side.