Sydney hold off Victory to boost premiership hopes
Sydney FC remain firmly in premiership contention after holding on for a nervy 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Friday.
First half goals from Taylor Ray and Chloe Logarzo temporarily lift the Sky Blues to the top of the Westfield W-League with one match remaining, while Victory remain stranded in seventh.
Sydney, seeking to keep the pressure on Premiers' Plate favourites Brisbane Roar, enjoyed the perfect start as they found the opener inside five minutes.
Caitlin Foord's cross was headed into the path of 16-year-old Ray, who marked her first start with a goal after her effort was deflected past a stranded Bethany Mason-Jones.
An unmarked Lia Privitelli spurned a chance to equalise and that miss was quickly punished by Logarzo, the Westfield Matildas midfielder superbly picking out the top right corner to put Sydney two goals ahead on the half-hour.
Natasha Dowie went close to pulling one back before half-time only for Aubrey Bledsoe to brilliantly save her curling effort.
After the break, a resurgent Victory found a way back into the contest as Privitelli headed home a corner on 49 minutes.
Buoyed by the goal, Victory pushed for an equaliser but struggled to carve out enough meaningful chances for a leveller.
The visitors successfully negotiated a late spell of pressure to move one point ahead of Roar, who visit Adelaide United on Sunday.