Melbourne Victory are making up for lost time, dispatching Wellington Phoenix 2-0 to resume their hunt for an A-League Women's finals double chance.

Melbourne Victory Finals Hunt

  • Melbourne Victory's latest win has pushed them into a finals position.
  • They see three points behind third placed Adelaide and second placed Melbourne City with three and two games in hand respectively.
  • Wellington Phoenix is still looking for their first franchise win.

More A-League Women's news can be found on The Women's Game.

Alex Chidiac inspired the defending champions after a 19-day COVID-enforced break, providing spark and smarts to surge Victory back inside the league's top four.

The 23-year-old set up Alana Murphy and Tiffany Eliadis to score first-half goals on Friday night at WIN Stadium - two first-time A-League scorers of a very different vintage.

Murphy, just 16 and in her first A-League campaign, scored a 13th minute goal when her first-time cross flew goal-wards in the Wollongong wind, embarrassing Lily Atfield who could only flap at the ball as it crossed the line.

Ten minutes later, Eliadis, 26, steered a volley past the Phoenix captain from Chidiac's fine centre, marking her first goal in the league a decade after her top-flight debut.

Chidiac was a driving force, at times dribbling past the Nix midfield at will, and Victory will hope to squeeze their catch-up games in the next fortnight before her loan deal ends.

However, Victory didn't have it all their own way, with Wellington's Chloe Knott and Alyssa Whinham forcing Jeff Hopkins' side in to several awkward moments.

Whinham probed but couldn't quite find movement from the Phoenix forwards, while Knott tested Victory with set pieces.

Often, it was left to Victory's New Zealand international - centre-back Claudia Bunge - to keep her countrywomen out.

The stats sheet also favoured Wellington, who shaded possession and took more shots.

Teenager Ava Pritchard had the Nix's best chance to score after racing clear in an 85th minute breakaway, only to fire straight at Casey Dumont.

Victory captain Lia Privitelli ran half the length of the field in injury time, firing into the post to miss out on a goal-of-the-season contender.

Victory veteran Amy Jackson admitted the win "wasn't pretty" but coach Hopkins savoured the three points.

"It was very pleasing. We were a little bit ring rusty," he said.

The result leaves the competition's newest club still winless - and pointless since an opening weekend 0-0 draw with Western Sydney - and running out of time to record a first season success.

They might fancy their chances against the league's other winless outfit, Canberra United, when they meet next weekend.

"I believe we will definitely win," Atfield said.

"We've all worked our butts off this season ... We've now faced different scenarios. We've been up, down or level (in games).

"I have no doubt in the next few games .. we will come away with some points."

Victory have different aims, and will hope to dislodge rivals Melbourne City in the race for a top-two finish.


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