Decisive Dowie plays down starring role as Victory edge Big Blue battle
The headlines and even the highlights will suggest that it was a Natasha Dowie finishing masterclass that decided the Big Blue, but the hat-trick hero knows it was far less straightforward.
Melbourne Victory may have conceded two goals and received a red card, but their defensive resolve deserved huge credit as they absorbed wave after wave of Sky Blue attacks.
The hosts had 64 per cent of possession, completed twice as many passes and had 11 more shots than their visitors in the rebel Female Football Round battle.
However, the difference was that quality in the final third, with sublime assists from Christine Nairn and Emily Gielnik for Dowie's first and third, while the Victory backline ensured the same sort of quality opportunities did not arrive for Caitlin Foord.
Dowie told told Fox Sports: “It was probably one of the most exhausting games I’ve ever played in.
“Credit to Sydney, they’re a great team, but it just kind of shows what we’ve got this season and I hope it continues.
“Our togetherness off the pitch is really showing on the pitch and when it got tough we really dug in and every single player gave everything today.
“I’m just so happy that I could help the girls get three points and at the minute we’re feeling good. I just want to keep this winning momentum going.”
That momentum sees them sat top of of the Westfield W-League table heading into Round 5, when they host a Western Sydney Wanderers side yet to register their first points of the campaign.
With combination of collective spirit and predatory instincts, Victory are looking a real force to be reckoned with this season.