Melbourne City FC continued preparations for the Westfield W-League season with a 3-3 draw in a pre-season friendly against Melbourne Victory at City Football Academy on Saturday morning.
As a number of first team players have only recently joined the squad in training after completing quarantine, it was an inexperienced City line-up with a number of train-on players seeing plenty of minutes.
Sarah CAIN, Naomi CHINAMA, Rhali DOBSON, Franny IERMANO, Teagan MICAH, Lia MULDARY, Reona OMIYA, Hollie PALMER, Julia SARDO, Tori TUMETH, Harriet WITHERS.
The more experienced Victory team got off to a fast start as a shot from outside the box slid past Teagan Micah into the back of the net in just the second minute.
After being on the back foot for the early stages, City began to work it’s way into the game around the ten minute mark with Harriet Withers driving forward to win City’s first corner.
Hollie Palmer and Rhali Dobson combined nicely in the 19th minute to set up Dobson for City’s first chance of the game but the wingers shot flew over the bar.
Withers was back amongst the action moments later and went close to equalising, but her curling attempt from just outside the box was a few inches the wrong side of the post.
Victory had their second in the 27th minute when Micah slipped as she cleared the ball, leaving the Victory attacker able to comfortably put it into the back of an empty net.
City didn’t take long to respond as Franny Iermano spotted the Victory keeper off her line just 90 seconds later and found the back of the net from distance to make it 1-2.
Young Matilda Tori Tumeth was solid at the back for City and made a few crucial clearances to ensure that would remain the scoreline at half time.
The second half started a lot like the first as Victory again scored in the first few minutes before City had a chance to settle.
Although it may have been inexperienced, City’s defence held up well from this point, despite being put under a lot of pressure as Victory controlled possession.
City pulled it back to 2-3 in the 72nd minute after Tumeth found Palmer in plenty of space on the right wing before the young midfielder took a couple of touches and squared it up to Withers who finished cooly into the bottom right hand corner.
This goal gave City plenty of momentum and Dobson went close to equalising minutes later but saw her shot fly over the bar.
After this sighter at goal, she again found space in the box moments later and this time was able to finish – as her shot found its way into the back of the next via the underside of the crossbar.
Both teams pressed hard for an equaliser in the final ten minutes but neither team were able to find one as the game finished all square.
City will begin it’s campaign to go back to back when it’s W-League season kicks off on Wednesday December 30 against Sydney FC in a Grand Final rematch.