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Jan 16, 2023   |  10:25AM AET

Match Report: City 1-1 Victory

Match Report: City 1-1 Victory

Melbourne City played out a thrilling 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory at Casey Fields on Sunday evening.

After conceding an early goal, Hannah Wilkinson scored her first of the season to get City back on level terms just before the break.

City continued to play its customary attacking brand of football, creating several chances across the 90 minutes but unfortunately unable to find the winner in the second half.

TEAM NEWS

In what was the squad’s third match in a week, Head Coach Dario Vidosic made two changes to the starting XI that took on Adelaide midweek.

After appearing via the bench in that win, Naomi Chinnama returned to the starting lineup, while Karly Roestbakken was also named to make her first City start.

16-year old goalkeeper Charlotte Hrehoresin joined the club on an injury replacement contract during the week and was named on the bench to replace Sally James who was out with a minor finger injury.

Starting XI: 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 3. Naomi CHINNAMA, 15. Emma CHECKER (C), 14. Katie BOWEN, 7. Julia GROSSO, 16 Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 24. Daniela GALIC, 22. 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.

Substitutes: 30. Charlotte HREHORESIN (GK), 4. Chelsea BLISSETT, 6. Leticia MCKENNA, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 25. Darcey MALONE.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Both sides created a handful of chances in the opening exchanges, but it was Victory who got the jump in the Derby, Alex Chidiac pouncing on a heavy touch from the City backline before firing it past the outstretched glove of Melissa Barbieri in the 15th minute.

After conceding that opening goal, City continued to dominate possession and control the tempo as it created several great chances midway through the first half.

Julia Grosso threatened down the left-hand side, with captain Emma Checker able to put the American into space on a number of occasions with some well-weighted balls from inside her own half.

City almost grabbed its first in the 35th minute after Daniela Galic provided a lovely cross to find Grosso at the far post, only for the header to fly over the crossbar.

It would then be Kailtyn Torpey, who was rewarded for her strong first half showing, having a hand in City’s equaliser.

Torpey received the ball on the right-hand side of the box and showed great composure and awareness, opting not to go for goal herself but instead lay the ball off to Hannah Wilkinson on the edge of the area.

Wilkinson then fired into the bottom corner for her first goal of the season.

City had a late scare before the break, with Victory striker Rikka Madsen’s long-range effort hitting the crossbar, much to the relief of Barbieri in between the sticks for the 98th time in an A-League Women fixture.

Both teams came out firing in the second half and Katie Bowen produced a vital moment for the City defence, coming up with a crucial block to deny Victory of a serious goalscoring chance in the 49th minute.

Roestbakken got through 65 minutes in her first start of the season, with Chelsea Blissett and Leticia McKenna coming on to replace her and Torpey midway through the second half to provide some fresh legs.

Grosso almost picked out the outstretched boot of Blissett who had made a back-post run in the 72nd minute, but the latter was unable to get enough purchase on the ball in order to steer it into the back of the net.

The substitutes continued to have an immediate impact for City, with McKenna this time almost firing City ahead in the 81st minute, her attempt just sailing over the crossbar.

Less than a minute later, City was inches away from a winner with Grosso involved again.

The American launched a dangerous effort towards goal from outside the box, but it ultimately hit the crossbar and City was unable to bundle it in on the follow-up.

While City continued to push for a winner in a frantic final few minutes, the Victory defence did just enough to hold on for a point, the first ever draw in ALW Melbourne Derby history.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Melbourne City will now turn its attention to a clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers at Casey Fields next Saturday at 3:00pm. Click here to get your tickets!