Melbourne City returned to the winners list in the A-League Women’s with a 1-0 Derby win over Melbourne Victory.
Emina Ekic’s 10th-minute strike would turn out to be the sole goal on an evening where we could’ve scored plenty more.
Dario Vidosic made one change to his XI with Julia Grosso being passed fit to start for the first time in a few weeks. She came into the line-up in place of Leia Varley.
Kaitlyn Torpey was named amongst the substitutes after missing last week’s trip to Gosford, as was Bryleeh Henry after not appearing since Round 2 due to a knee injury.
Starting XI: 44. Lysianne PROULX, 3. Naomi CHINNAMA, 13. Rebekah STOTT (C), 5. Taylor OTTO, 7. Julia GROSSO, 14. Laura HUGHES, 6. Leticia McKENNA, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 24. Daniela GALIC, 11. Emina EKIC, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.
Substitutes: 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 16. Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 19. Tijan McKENNA, 22. Bryleeh HENRY.
City came out of the blocks quickly, immediately settling the better of the two teams and creating several early chances.
Ekic was involved in plenty of these moments as was Daniela Galic on the opposite side, our wingers making life tough for the Victory full backs.
The goal would come in the 10th minute and Ekic was involved in the build-up playing it to Pollicina, and then finding some space in the box to receive it back.
She lost her defender with a sharp turn shifting the ball onto her left foot in the process, before firing into the back of the net just out of reach of Lydia Williams.
It was Victory’s turn to attack immediately after, Lysianne Proulx getting up acrobatically to her right to deny Kurea Okino.
A chaotic first 15 minutes continued with Leticia McKenna the next to get a chance on goal after getting in behind the defence, but the City midfielder’s shot was straight at the goalkeeper.
Other than a few transition moments, the first half was played entirely on our terms with Vidosic’s only complaint likely being a few missed chances in front of goal.
Pollicina was strong in midfield while Galic continued to cause plenty of problems on the left wing.
Victory came out of the break looking a little better and Proulx was forced to make a great fingertip save into the post to deny Okino once again.
The introduction of Torpey off the bench breathed some life into City once again, while Henry also came on, making a long-awaited return from a knee injury.
Galic almost doubled our lead in the 83rd minute in the second phase of a corner, striking at goal after seeing the ball fall at her feet but hitting it straight at Williams.
While there were a couple of tense moments throughout the five minutes of stoppage time, City ultimately held on for a well-deserved three points.
We’ll return to AAMI Park next Thursday following Christmas for another doubleheader, this time around against Brisbane Roar.