Melbourne Victory proved the doubters wrong and thrust themselves into a potential semi-final position after downing the in-form Western Sydney Wanderers 3-0.
In front of a healthy crowd at Marconi Stadium, the Wanderwomen gave a strong account of themselves but were caught out by a fast countering Victory side.
Steph Catley opened the scoring for the travelling side four minutes in after a defensive lapse by the Wanderers. Trudy Burke was quick off her line but Catley made no mistake with the finish.
Michele Carney broke through the Victory backline and was on to score for all money but a great last ditch challenge by Gema Simon thwarted the Wanderers’ chance.
Lisa De Vanna almost made it two in the 25th minute, flicking a ball onto the bar from a corner.
The Wanderwomen should’ve had a penalty in the 28th minute after Helen Petinos was brought down in the box by Brianna Davey. Much to the dismay of the healthy home crowd, the referee waved play on.
Shortly after, Petinos was almost the provider, crossing a teasing ball into the box but unfortunately Carney couldn’t get her head onto it.
Then, on the break against the run of play in the 38th minute Victory extended their lead. An assist by De Vanna allowed Racheal Quigley to slot the ball into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead at half time.
After the break Kendall Johnson went on a 60 metre run from left back but her right footed shot lacked power to test Davey.
In the 73rd minute, after some sustained Wanderers pressure, the Victory broke through on the counter again and De Vanna extended the lead to 3-0, impressively lobbing the ball over Burke.
Carney almost cut the lead down immediately after the goal but Davey was quick off her line to keep the Wanderers at bay.
In the 84th minute, Laura Donnelly almost had a dream debut for the Red & Black but her strike was well closed down by a Victory defender inside the box.