Zimmerman's late goal sees Victory topple in-form Adelaide
Melbourne Victory have snapped Adelaide United’s three-game winning streak, edging the Reds 1-0 in a hard-fought battle at Marden Sports Complex on Friday night.
Catherine Zimmerman scored the decisive goal 12 minutes from time, heading in from close range to hand Victory just their second win of the campaign.
It was the American import’s third goal from just five appearances this season.
It was a gutsy performance and much-needed win for Jeff Hopkins’ side, who displayed great resilience to bounce back from their 6-0 loss to Brisbane Roar last weekend.
Adelaide will be disappointed with the result, squandering a handful of chances with both Fiona Worts and Maria Jose Rojas going close in both halves.
But it wasn’t to be for the Reds, who not only missed the chance to go top of the ladder but also notch a fourth-straight win, a feat never achieved in club history.
Despite the defeat, Adelaide remain in second spot on the Westfield W-League ladder, while Victory have jumped up into a share of fourth spot alongside Brisbane Roar.
Woodwork saves the Reds
It was an entertaining start as both sides were keen to attack but it was the visitors who had the best of the early chances inside 12 minutes.
First Natalie Martineau’s cross almost caught out Sian Fryer-Maclaren at the far post, but the Adelaide keeper did well to scramble back and tip the ball over the bar.
Kyra Cooney-Cross’ ensuing corner almost went directly in, with Fryer-Maclaren fumbling the ball onto to post before it bounced back into the shot-stopper’s grateful arms.
Dawber fires over as Reds rise
Adelaide were soon into their stride with Fiona Worts causing plenty of headaches and it was her cross that led to a great chance for Chelsie Dawber.
Victory keeper Gabriela Garton spilled Worts’ teasing cross into the path of Dawber who was lurking on the edge of the box.
The Reds attacker made excellent contact on her shot but couldn’t keep it down, blazing over the bar despite having plenty of goal to aim at.
Garton stands up tall to deny Rojas
The best chance of the first half fell to the Reds and their Chilean import Maria Jose Rojas 12 minutes before the break.
Rojas sprung the offside trap to latch on to a mammoth goal-kick by Fryer-Maclaren to race through and be one-on-one with the Victory keeper.
The Adelaide winger tried to dink the ball over Garton, but the shot-stopper stood tall to claim and ensure the sides went to the sheds all square.
Victory break the deadlock
It was a tight tussle for much of the second half but it was Victory who managed to edge in front thanks to Zimmerman just 12 minutes from time.
A free-kick from the right found Melina Ayres at the far post and the attacker showed great awareness to head to ball back across the face of goal.
And waiting there to pounce was Zimmerman, with the American rising highest to nod in from close range.
Desperate defending by Victory at the death
The Reds threw everything into trying to find an equaliser and went agonisingly close in the last minute.
Emily Hodgson’s cross was spilled by Garton, presenting Dylan Holmes a chance to fire a shot at goal from inside the box.
And the ball would have been destined for the back of the net only for some brave defending from Claudia Bunge who threw herself at the ball to block Holmes shot.