Victory wins maiden W-League title

A three-minute siege from Melbourne Victory delivered two goals and a first ever W-League premiership with a 2-0 win against the Brisbane Roar at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday.

Lisa De Vanna's clever 38th-mintue strike was followed just moments later by a thunderbolt from American Lauren Barnes to put Victory on course for its inaugural national women's league premiership.

Victory out-thought and out-hustled Brisbane to dominate long spells of the match and make its half-time advantage a winner.

Brisbane's persistence in playing the ball out from defence continuously invited pressure from a Victory attack that relentlessly employed a full-field press.

And it was that constant pressure that eventually paid off when Welsh midfielder Jess Fishlock combined with De Vanna for a clever one-two through the left-side of the penalty area to create the opening goal.

De Vanna had earlier tested Roar goalkeeper Nadine Angerer with a shot from similar distance and angle, finishing neatly with a left-footed shot past the FIFA women's world player of the year.

With Roar reeling, it was another nervous attempt to clear defensive lines that led to Barnes' stunning strike.

A deflected cross by De Vanna from the right flank bounced into the path of Barnes, who timed her left-footed volley from the top of the area to perfection.

New Zealand midfielder Katie Hoyle went to work defending the lead, breaking up Brisbane attacks with a mix of tough tackles and strategic fouls.

Brisbane's only genuine look at a lifeline came early in the second half when Victory goalkeeper Brianna Davey saved well from Hayley Raso.

Victory looked the more likely side to score as the match wore on, with Gulcan Koca heading wide of the post after a pin-point De Vanna cross in the 59th minute.

In a passage that summed up Brisbane's day, Beattie Goad nearly scored a third Melbourne goal in the 87th minute when an errant pass across the backline from Roar defender Laura Alleway went straight to the feet of the 16-year-old midfielder. Goad hit a first-time shot but it crashed into the crossbar.

Fishlock was awarded the medal for best-on-ground for a performance typical of her style. Fouled continuously through the game, Fishlock rode every heavy hit to remain the Victory's driving force.

"Hard work wins you these games and they worked hard again today," Victory coach Dave Edmondson said.

"It was a little bit surprising (the tactical battle) but we looked at their strengths from two weeks ago… with the players they've got, we knew what they would want to do and we did our best to ensure they couldn't do that.

"I think if Brisbane had changed too much it might have played into our hands even more. It was an interesting game tactically and we felt comfortable throughout most of it to be honest."

"I didn't have to say a great deal at half-time. The focus was still there and the players were experienced enough to know that (at 2-0) the game wasn't done yet."

The match was Edmondson's last in charge of the Victory before leaving to take up a position with Bristol Academy in the English women's league.

"I think the future looks fantastic for Victorian women's football," he said.

"I think there's potential, if it's looked after properly then Victorian women's football can be what Queensland has been for the last 10 years."

Roar captain Elise Kellond-Knight said her team failed to adjust to Melbourne's full-field press.

"Melbourne came out to ruffle our feathers a bit," she said. "We couldn't play our typical style, it really did put a spanner in the works. We couldn't get settled, and those two goals really set the tone of the game."

"We went in with a full press for the second half but unfortunately things didn't go our way.

"Melbourne worked out how we played and there weren't ways to counteract that…we weren't creative enough up front."

"We didn't know how good a team they were… they really showed today how fantastic they can play."

This story Victory wins maiden W-League title first appeared on WA Today.