Kinga's late winner gives City Melbourne Derby bragging rights over Victory
A last-minute goal from Yukari Kinga has seen Melbourne City defeat Melbourne Victory 1-0 on Thursday night for their first Derby win since 2017.
Victory absorbed a stack of pressure from City and appeared set to battle out a goalless draw until the home side produced a moment of quality at the death.
Westfield Matildas duo Emily van Egmond and Steph Catley combined to set up Japanese World Cup winner Kinga to hand Rado Vidosic’s side a fourth straight win.
Goalkeeper Casey Dumont was superb for Victory, saving a penalty in the first half and making a number of important stops over the 90 minutes at ABD Stadium.
But there was nothing she could do to deny Kinga late on as City snapped a three-game Melbourne Derby losing streak to move to the top of the Westfield W-League ladder.
City were looking to win their first Melbourne Derby since 2017 and made the stronger start of the two sides.
First Claire Emslie wasted an excellent chance when released by Emily van Egmond as she blazed over the bar, before the latter had a great sight of goal and forced a smart save from Dumont midway through the first half.
But City's best opportunity came on 28 minutes as Ellie Carpenter swung in a cross from the right which ended with Victory’s Teigen Allen handling the ball in the area.
Van Egmond took responsibility with the penalty but was denied by a sensational save by Dumont again, who guessed right by diving to her left to beat the shot away.
The let-off seemed to give Victory a boost and they then enjoyed their best spell of the match for the next 10 minutes, but were fortunate to go to the break on level terms.
Just before half-time, Emslie found space on the left and she did superbly to cut the ball back to the penalty spot where Milica Mijatovic was waiting.
The Serbian hit a first-time shot low and hard but her goal-bound effort was brilliantly blocked by Victory defender Janna McCormick.
Kyah Simon came on at the break for Emslie and City continued to dominate possession as they searched for a way to pierce the well-structured Victory defence.
And it was the Westfield Matildas attacker who had a couple of City’s best sights at goal in the later stages.
Her shot from the edge of the box with 20 minutes left didn’t have quite enough power to trouble Dumont, before a scuffed clearance fell to Simon but her attempt from close range rolled just wide of the post.
City were piling on the pressure and went even closer just six minutes from time.
Steph Catley’s floated corner met by a glancing header by Aivi Luik which clattered onto the post before bouncing away from goal.
City’s quality eventually told inside the last minute with Japanese legend Yukari Kinga delivering Victory a killer blow.
Van Egmond and Catley combined beautifully down the left, with the latter’s sensational low cross swept in first-time by Kinga.