History-making Victory seal Premiership after fiery win over Glory
Melbourne Victory have won their first ever Westfield W-League Premiership after defeating Perth Glory 2-1 at Dorrien Gardens on Friday night.
First half goals to Christine Nairn and Emily Gielnik sealed both the three points and the club’s second piece of silverware after their 2013-2014 Grand Final triumph.
Fans would have barely taken their seats before the first chance arrived and after two minutes both sides had gone close to opening the scoring.
Sam Kerr was particularly busy, having three efforts thwarted by Victory goalkeeper Casey Dumont within the first 10 minutes as Glory looked to nail down a place in the top four and possibly a home final.
It would be the visitors who ultimately opened the scoring after Lia Privitelli forced a turnover and swung in a dangerous cross that was met by the head of Nairn and past Eliza Campbell.
Both sides continued going hammer and tongs at each other and it was again the visitors who came up trumps when, on 35 minutes, they nabbed a second through Gielnik.
The 26-year-old was found unmarked in the box by Nairn and her low, driven shot was no match for Campbell.
Knowing that if Victory were to score three more they would drop out of the top four, Glory started the second half with real intensity.
Kerr’s persistence would finally be rewarded 55 minutes in when a clever headed ‘one-two’ with Alyssa Mautz ended with the Westfield Matilda finding the back of the net.
Rachel Hill went close before both Kerr and Gielnik went within inches of recording braces as the intensity on the pitch was matched by the crowd as they pushed the home side on.
Despite a late push from Glory, Jeff Hopkins side were able to hold on and claim a title that few tipped at the start of the season.