Sydney FC have claimed a comfortable 2-0 win against rivals Melbourne Victory in the Big Blue on Saturday at Cromer Park to claim their first win of the 2022/23 Liberty A-League season.
Reigning Premiers Sydney FC cruised past the Champions Melbourne Victory in a dominant attacking display as new U.S. recruit Madison Haley scored on debut to open the scoring for the Sky Blues.
A Kayla Morrison own goal would seal the 2-0 victory in this Grand Final rematch on the stroke of half time as Sydney FC continue their unbeaten record against the Victory at Cromer Park.
Sydney FC 2 (Haley 41’, Morrison (OG) 45+3’) def Melbourne Victory 0
Moments That Mattered:
VINE GOES CLOSE 3’ – Sarah Hunter plays Cortnee Vine through on goal from deep in midfield but Victory keeper Casey Dumont makes herself big to save one-on-one.
VINE CLOSE AGAIN 15’ – Madison Haley turns her marker in midfield and slips Vine in on goal but Dumont is alert again to smother the winger’s outside the foot effort.
HAWKESBY COMES CLOSE 28’ – Haley turns her defender again down the right wing and crosses for Mackenzie Hawkesby but Jessika Nash’s last-ditch clearance prevents the midfielder from tapping in.
HALEY GOAL 41’ – Haley picks up the loose ball outside the box then drives past two Victory defenders and rounds the goalkeeper to produce a powerful finish into the roof of the net past two Victory defenders on the goal line.
MORRISON OWN GOAL 45+3’ – Princess Ibini drives past her defender down the left wing and provides a dangerous cross into the box which Kayla Morrison clears onto Dumont for the own goal.
HAWKESBY GOES CLOSE 71’ – Sydney FC captain Nat Tobin carries the ball out from the back and plays Hawkesby through on goal from midfield but Dumont is out quickly to deny the hosts a third.
Sarah Hunter is flattened by Murphy
What They Said: Madison Haley: ““It was really nice for me to actually finally have a game … it’s one thing to do it in training and it’s another thing to do it against opposition so again it looked really good today and hopefully we can keep going from here.
“When I was on the field I was very focused but it was really nice coming off the field and getting serenaded … I’m super glad we were able to get the win and everyone’s having a great time, getting their signatures and all the kids are out and that’s what it’s about, getting people excited and young girls excited to play.”
Both teams opened the first half with determined attitudes as the match began in frantic fashion amongst the warm conditions at Cromer Park in Sydney.
Cortnee Vine provided a constant threat down the right wing and could have opened the scoring on two occasions in the 3rd and 15th minutes but the 24-year-old Matilda had her efforts sharply saved by Victory keeper Casey Dumont in one-on-one situations.
The hosts continued to push forward as Mackenzie Hawkesby came close to tapping home in the 28th minute inside the box but Victory defender Jessika Nash prevented the midfielder through clearing Madison Haley’s low cross with a last-ditch lunge.
Haley, on debut for Sydney FC, provided a strong physical presence up front throughout the match and would open her Sky Blues account four minutes from half time as she finished ruthlessly into the roof of the net after rounding the on-rushing Dumont.
Sydney FC would double their advantage just seven minutes later as Princess Ibini glided past her marker down the left wing to cross dangerously into the area – with Victory centre-back Kayla Morrison mistiming her clearance onto Dumont – who inadvertently turned the ball into her own net heading into the break.
In the second term Ante Jurić’s side would continue to probe as Remy Siemsen returned in the 70th minute for the harbourside club – the first time after her stint overseas with AIK in Sweden.
Just a minute on from her substitution, Nat Tobin dribbled out from the back into midfield to slip midfielder Hawkesby through on goal, but Dumont was out quickly to keep the score at 2-0.
In the 77th minute, 20-year-old Abbey Lemon came on for her Sky Blues debut as the Young Matilda and Sydney FC junior caused havoc down the right wing late in the game.
Centre-half pairing Charlotte Mclean and Tobin were composed in defence to snuff out any Victory advances as the Sky Blues smartly saw-out the remainder of the match to earn their first win of the new campaign before next Saturday’s Sydney Derby against the Wanderers.
Sydney FC: 1.Jada WHYMAN (GK),3. Charlotte MCLEAN, 5. Kirsty FENTON, 6. Sarah HUNTER, 9. Madison HALEY (14. Abbey LEMON 77’), 11. Cortnee VINE (10. Remy SIEMSEN 70’), 12. Natalie TOBIN, 15. Mackenzie HAWKESBY (2. Mary STANIC-FLOODY 90+3’), 19. Charlize RULE, 20. Princess IBINI-ISEI, 21. Shay HOLLMAN.
Unused Subs: 30. Katie OFFER (GK), 16. Deborah-Anne DE LA HARPE.
Yellow Cards: Hawkesby 43’, Charlotte Mclean 63’
Red Cards: None
Melbourne Victory: 1. Casey Dumont (GK), 2. Tiffany Eliadis, 3. Claudia Bunge, 5. Jessika Nash, 6. Beattie Goad, 9. Catherine Zimmerman (22. Ava Briedis 24’), 10. Alexandra Chidiac, 14. Melina Ayres, 18. Kayla Morrison, 21. Elise Kellond-Knight, 23. Emily Kos (8. Alana Murphy 57’).
Unused Subs: 20. Miranda Templeman (GK), 16. Paige Zois, 27. Rosie Curtis.
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Venue: Cromer Park
Referee: Georgia Ghirardello