Neither W-League side was able to break the deadlock as Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United played out a goalless tie to pick up their first point of the season at AAMI Park on Sunday.
Victory’s new look midfield complemented their established defence, looking comfortable on the ball and creating a plethora of unfinished chances in the final third.
While Adelaide look like a side still learning to gel with their new players they were able to ground out an important draw, which is vital for the short season.
The chances weren’t flowing in the first half, but they did come. Victory looked comfortable on the ball for long spells and came close on a few occasions to finding a reward.
Natasha Dowie had the first glancing chance, unable to rise high enough to get a connection off Angela Beard’s cross on the 17th minute.
While Melina Aryes had two chances, the first a flying header on the end of a clinical Emily Gielnik cross, the later a result of Dowie switching the ball gorgeously to her opposite flank, for Aryes to cut in. Both chances for the youngster not hitting the target.
Adelaide were well and truly in the fight for the first half. Emma Checker lead her defensive line well, often seeing off the high press from the Victory forwards, while pumping long balls over the field to set up attacks.
For Adelaide, it was Icelandic forward Fanndis Fridriksdottir who was their most threatening player of the half. On three occasions, two around the 30th minute another on the 40th, Fridriksdottir created and found some space down the left flank, but was unable to see success from either opportunities.
The second half saw Melbourne Victory come out with an intent to break the deadlock, while Adelaide locked down in defence only threatening on the rare counter.
Once again Christine Nairn and Ayres were instrumental in Victory’s chances, combining on the 51st minute for an opportunity in the box that was hit over the crossbar by Nairn. Meanwhile Dowie was kept quiet for large spells by Checker.
The one opportunity Dowie got away from her marker saw a beautifully weighted pass from Gielnik, and a one on one with Willacy, who acted fast, smothering the ball before Dowie could get the shot off.
Victory continued to threaten but were unable to find the break through, with Barbieri’s shot going off the post and Aryes hitting another ball over the crossbar. In an otherwise frustrating half for Adelaide’s forwards, who were left isolated for large spells in the second, their best chance came late in the 80th minute.
Substitute Chelsie Dawber was able to get on the end of Heyman’s cross behind the defensive line, but again the shot went over.
The encounter saw Adelaide United glad to see the back end of the match, managing to come away with a clean sheet and a vital point.
Melbourne Victory will be ruing their missed opportunities, but showed they are real contenders if they are able to polish their finishing.
For Victory it will be a quick turn around as they meet Newcastle Jets on Thursday night in Melbourne. Adelaide have a bye in Round 2.