Melbourne City 1-1 Melbourne Victory
by Ryan Miller-Woods (15/1/23)
Above: Dramatic aerial action in today’s Melbourne derby. Photo: Keep Up.
Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory played out an enthralling draw at Casey Fields with goals by Alex Chidiac for Victory on her 24th birthday that opened the scoring before Hannah Wilkinson for City cancelled out Victory’s goal towards the end of the first half.
It could have been anyone’s match with both sides very much having their chances to have won the derby.
Early into the contest, it was a very even affair but City had the best opportunities at goal with a Hannah Wilkinson header from Rhianna Pollicina’s cross in the second minute that went into the hands of Victory’s Casey Dumont and a shot at goal from outside by Pollicina that went out for a Victory goal kick six minutes later.
Victory hit the front just before the quarter-hour mark. Katie Bowen’s attempted back pass to Karly Roestbakken was pounced on by Chidiac who then got into the box as her low left foot shot towards goal made the slightest contact with Barbieri which left the ball trickling into the net.
Daniela Galic provided a chance to level matters with 10 minutes of the half remaining when her cross found Julia Grosso at the far post whose header went over the bar.
Two minutes later, Galic was involved again by providing a great through ball to Torpey who then cut the ball back in the box for Wilkinson on the edge of the box who then had a first-time shot at goal that went past Dumont and into the bottom left corner. The Football Ferns star’s first of the season was a deserved equaliser.
Just before the first half was coming to an end, from a Victory throw-in by Beattie Goad Rikke Madsen chested down, turned and shot but her effort came agonisingly came off the crossbar.
City hit the woodwork with eight minutes remaining when the influential Galic found the feet of Grosso whose shot from outside the box hit the bar and very nearly crossed the line.
In the closing stages, the teams were City playing a tug-a-war of possession with Victory who arguably had the best opportunity of scoring a winner. Tiffany Eliadis made a great run from her own half and had all the time in the world to go one-on-one in the box with Barbieri but for some reason decided to prematurely have a shot from outside the box with the ball going well wide of the goal. And that was that.
Teams: MELBOURNE CITY (4-3-3): Barbieri, Torpey, Chinnama, Checker, Bowen, Grosso, Roestbakken, Davidson, Galic, Pollicina, Wilkinson. Substitutes: Hrehoresin, Blissett, Henry, Malone, McKenna.
Scorers: Wilkinson 37’.
MELBOURNE VICTORY (4-3-3): Dumont, Goad, Bunge, Morrison, Nash, Murphy, Kellond-Knight, Chidiac, Zois, Madsen, Privitelli. Substitutes: Templeman, Eliadis, Tathem, Rowe, Jackson.
Scorers: Chidiac 13’.
Referee: Georgia Ghirardello