Late Strike Earns Victory a Point
Gema Simon's late equaliser earns Melbourne Victory a share of the points against Sydney FC.
By Cameron Laundry
Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory played out the season's first draw to complete Round 4, in what was Matildas coach Alen Stajcic's last match in charge of the Sky Blues.
In a tense encounter, both sides controlled large portions of the match with the Sky Blues opening the scoring in the 60th minute through Jasmyne Spencer in what was her fourth goal in as many matches as she buried from close range after being found by a fantastic whipped cross from Amy Harrison.
It appeared a fitting send-off for departing head coach Alen Stajcic was on the cards until Victory found momentum towards the end of the second half, eventually equalising through Gema Simon after Christine Nairn charged to the byline and found her with a cutback with four minutes remaining to earn Victory a share of the spoils.
Neither side could find an opening in the first half in what was a real midfield battle.
Both sides had chances to score with Servet Uzunlar directing a powerful header goal bound in the 15th minute that Bri Davey did well to palm over, with Amy Harrison also proving lively down the right flank.
Victory threatened with Amy Jackson and Nairn testing Casey Dumont in the Sydney FC goal in quick succession towards the end of the half.
Jackson fired a wicked volley into Dumont’s arms before a curling Nairn free kick - that looked destined for the top corner - was tipped over, but both sides went in even at the break.
Sydney FC started the second half the livelier of the two sides as it pressured Victory’s defence time and again, and that pressure showed as Spencer slotted her fourth goal in as many matches to put Sydney FC in the ascendancy.
Melbourne wasn’t to be perturbed however, as it began dominating possession and forced Casey Dumont into a number of fine saves.
That pressure told with four minutes remaining as Simon was found unmarked in the box from a Nairn cross, slotting home from close range to earn the Victorians a share of the points.
Sydney FC’s new head coach Daniel Barrett will assume charge of his first match when Sydney FC travels to Magic Park to face the Newcastle Jets, while Melbourne Victory will host the Lady Reds at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday.
Sydney FC 1 (Jasmyne Spencer 60’)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Gema Simon 86’)
Monday October 6 2014
Lambert Park, Sydney
Local kick-off: 5pm
Referee: Kate Jacewicz
Sydney FC: Casey Dumont (gk), Teresa Polias, Alesha Clifford, Jasmyne Spencer (Olivia Price 81’), Servet Uzunlar, Nicola Bolger, Amy Harrison (Trudy Camilleri 93’), Renee Rollason, Natalie Tobin (Chloe Logarzo 74’), Teigen Allen, Samantha Johnson
Unused substitutes – Alyssa Harris (gk)
Cautions – Servet Uzunlar 51’
Melbourne Victory: Brianna Davey (gk), Hannah Brewer (Beattie Goad 81’), Lauren Barnes, Stephanie Catley, Amy Jackson, Racheal Quigley (Gema Simon 36’), Christine Nairn, Lisa De Vanna, Ella Mastrantonio (Gulcan Koca 74’), Emma Checker, Elli Reed
Unused substitutes – Cassandra Dimovski (gk)
Cautions – Amy Jackson 19’, Gema Simon 57’, Lisa De Vanna 88’
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