Victory prove too good

Melbourne Victory have cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over Perth Glory in their Westfield W-League season opener at the Veneto Club on Saturday.

Melbourne Victory have cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over Perth Glory in their Westfield W-League season opener at the Veneto Club on Saturday.

Victory were made to work hard for the win in difficult conditions. A 15-minute enforced interval was called by the referees with a little over 20 minutes of play remaining to allow storms to pass.

The weather threatened, at least for a moment, for the game to be called off. Earlier, Caitlin Friend and Jodie Taylor had put the home side 2-0 up with goals within the space of 10 minutes either side of half-time.

When play did resume with heavy rain still a factor, Melbourne continued their territorial dominance but couldn't add to their lead.

Perth came into the match looking to avenge Melbourne's 1-1 victory over them in January that led Victory to their maiden finals campaign at Glory's expense.

But much had changed since the side's last encounter. Melbourne strengthened the roster after their breakthrough season, covering the loss of Matilda's keeper Melissa Barbieri with eight new faces including American defender Danielle Johnson.

Meanwhile, the Glory started life without three of their best talents. Young star Sam Kerr and AFC Women's Asian Player of the Year Kate Gill are on the sidelines recovering from knee reconstructions, while midfield ace Collette McCallum elected to take this season off.

Victory started well, enjoying a lot of play in the final third, with 17-year-old Stephanie Catley blasting over on 13 minutes.

Shannon May was working really hard for Perth in midfield to maintain some possession while former Victory player Ella Mastrantonio was impressive on her first outing against her old club.

With rain driving down Jodie Taylor forced a fine save out of Mackenzie Arnold in Perth's goal. A scramble ensued from the resulting corner and as Friend pounced on 38 minutes the ball deflected in off the keeper to give Melbourne the lead.

It was no less than the home side deserved and they could well have gone into the break with a two-goal cushion. Taylor was cleverly played in with a dinked through ball but didn't have the composure to finish one-on-one.

Perth's comeback chances were dealt a blow soon after the restart when Amy Jackson reacted quickest from a cross to volley home for Melbourne and make it 2-0.

With Melbourne well on top, Taylor was at it again soon after the interval. Her well-timed run and balance saw her through on goal twice either side of Jackson's goal. She did everything right but Arnold was up to the task on both occasions.

In fact, Arnold spared Perth's blushes on a number of occasions in the second half and was perhaps Glory's most effective player.

For much of the second half Taylor looked a cut above the rest for Victory and worked numerous chances in the heart of Melbourne's attack. Only some good keeping from Arnold and narrow misses prevented her from doubling her goal tally.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Friend 38, Jackson 48) Perth Glory 0