Kyra Cooney-Cross has propelled Melbourne Victory to a commanding 5-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers, strengthening their grip on a Liberty A-League Finals berth.
After providing assists for Catherine Zimmerman and Mindy Barbieri’s first-half goals, Cooney Cross grabbed a deserved goal of her own in the 58th minute before Zimmerman and Courtney Nevin added further strikes to complete a dominating display at AAMI Park.
The win allowed Jeff Hopkins’ side move back into third place on the table and, with a game in hand on their nearby rivals, the defending ALW champions have now won four straight games without conceding a goal.
It represents their longest run of clean sheets in club history.
Stuck on just three goals in 10 games, Wanderers remain anchored near the bottom of the league in eighth place.
It didn’t take long for Victory to open the scoring on Saturday with Cooney-Cross getting down the flank and sending in a cross that Zimmerman, on her second attempt, fired past Sarah Langman.
Punishing the Wanderers’ Bryleeh Henry for a miss moments prior, the hosts made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute when Cooney-Cross collected a knocked-down long ball and sliced a perfectly weighted through ball for Barberi to run onto and convert.
Starting on the wing for the second straight game, the 19-year-old’s performance was comfortably her strongest of the 2021-22 season and she got a goal of her own when she seized on an under-hit headed clearance, rounded Langham and fired home in the 58th minute.
Denied a penalty seconds prior, Zimmerman lashed a venomous volley home on the hour mark, before Nevin’s cross-turned-shot sailed over the head of the Wanderers keeper to complete the hammering in the 63rd minute.
Making matters worse for Wanderers, Danika Matos was carried off late with an apparent ankle injury.