The start of Melbourne Victory’s W- League campaign, started against Adelaide United at AAMI Park with a decent crowd build up for the double header with the A-League side taking on Perth Glory later that evening.
The opening few minutes saw the ladies in Navy blue dominate possession when in the 18th minute captain Natasha (Tats) Dowie almost got on the end of a stellar cross from Angela Beard. Two minutes later another chance for the Victory side with Ayres heading a cross just wide.
Melina Ayres was at it again ten minutes later but fired her shot over the cross bar which saw the game opening up with end-to-end football from both sides. Soon after, Melbourne keeper Casey Dumont was forced to save a Fanndis Fridriksdottir strike in the 33rd minute tipping it over the cross bar. A sigh of relief for the Melbourne home crowd.
The referee blows the whistle and both teams head into the dressing room goal-less but nevertheless some good football on display from both Melbourne and Adelaide.
The second half started in the same way the first ended, with both teams fighting for possession but Victory coming out on top in that battle when Christine Nairn fires her shot over the cross bar, and still Victory cannot get the ball into the back of the net. Five minutes later saw both Tats Dowie and Emily Gielnik fire their efforts wide in the 57th minute. A continuing good spell from the Victory ladies but again no goal, with an extremely promising chance for Tats Dowie following a one-on-on with Adelaide’s keeper Sarah Willacy in the 72nd. Another shot goes begging for the home side with Mindy Barbieri’s (subbed on in the 69th minute for Grace Maher) deflected shot hits the post. In the blink of an eye, the ball is on the other end of the pitch with Chelsie Dawbar’s strike sailing over the cross bar, a missed opportunity for Adelaide following a dominant spell by the home side.
A minute later and Melina Ayres hits the ball just wide in the area following a great ball from Christine Nairn. The final minutes saw both teams throwing everything at each other in a search for that elusive goal, the crowd increasing
in both number and vocal support for the home side but it ended in a scoreless draw.
While there are many who would argue how you could enjoy a scoreless draw, both sides showed very promising signs, good possession and attacking intent which hopefully continues for the rest of the season and the goals should follow.
Featured image from AUFC Women Twitter page.