Melbourne City FC has secured top spot with a 1-0 Melbourne Derby win over arch rivals Melbourne Victory at ABD Stadium on Thursday night.
Following a goalless first half, it took until the final minute of regulation time for City to secure the points when Yukari Kinga met Steph Catley’s cross with an unstoppable finish.
With four wins and one draw from their opening five fixtures, Rado Vidosic’s side sits on top of the table ahead of next Thursday’s clash with Perth Glory at ABD Stadium.
Aivi Luik returned for the hosts, replacing Kyah Simon in the starting XI.
— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) December 12, 2019
In blustery conditions at ABD Stadium on Thursday night, City looked to extend their unbeaten start to the season against their fierce rivals, Melbourne Victory.
Following a short turnaround after an important win over reigning champions Sydney FC, City were eager to continue the form that saw them close out their clash against the Sky Blues.
In the team’s first clash at ABD Stadium, City started strongly, controlling possession as they worked to break through a resilient Victory defensive unit.
On the 23rd minute mark, Scottish international Claire Emslie fired her effort over the crossbar before Emily van Egmond created two chances of her own. Moments later the referee pointed to the spot following a handball, with van Egmond stepping up to the spot. Looking to repeat the heroics which saw her capitalise from the spot against Canberra, the Matildas midfielder fired low and hard only to be denied by a brilliant save from Victory shot-stopper Casey Dumont.
With scores locked at 0-0 to begin the second half, City’s attacking intent was on display from the get-go. As Victory sat deep, City continued to search for a breakthrough with Steph Catley and Ellie Carpenter working tirelessly on the wings and van Egmond, Aivi Luik and Yukari Kinga looking to pull the strings in midfield.
Kyah Simon’s inclusion at the break was a welcome boost for the hosts, with the experienced attacker having a number of chances in front of goal, looking ever-dangerous in attack.
Just as the game looked destined to end with a frustrating 0-0 following City’s attacking dominance, up stepped Japanese star Yukari Kinga. Lauren Barnes picked up the ball in her attacking half before playing it out to van Egmond who slipped through Catley whose piercing ball was met by a brilliant finish from Kinga to secure a memorable win in the last minute of regulation time.
City return to ABD Stadium on Thursday 19 December, hosting Perth Glory in Round 6 of the Westfield W-League, kick off 7:30pm.