The Western Sydney Wanderers were left scratching their heads after a dominant performance went unrewarded as they were downed 3-0 by an uninspiring Melbourne Victory.
Football can be a funny game sometimes and it proved to be one of those days for the Red & Black as they searched for a maiden home win of the campaign.
While struggling at home, the Wanderers’ away form has been delightful stringing together results that a top-of-the-table side would be proud of.
With another strong crowd on hand the script didn’t go exactly to plan with Steph Catley nabbing an early goal for the visitors but from that point on the match was controlled by the home team.
It was a domination the likes of which hadn’t been seen in a home performance this season and it should have been rewarded when Helen Petinos rounded Victory keeper Brianna Davey.
About to tap into an empty net, Petinos was suddenly sent flying by Davey who connected heavily with the winger’s legs. The crowd went up as one but the delight soon turned to anger as the certain penalty was not awarded by the referee who was still at the half way line.
An outrageous decision which turned the game.
The damage was compounded only minutes later when a counter-attack led by Lisa De Vanna saw Rachael Quigley slot home a second for Melbourne.
Credit to the young Wanderers squad as they did not give up; instead pushing numbers forward to try and catch a goal back.
It almost happened too as a Petinos cross was only an inch away from being headed home by Michelle Carney while Keeling Winters, Laura Donnelly and Kendall Johnson also came close.
Johnson’s chance in particular was impressive. The left back, who has made a habit of creating spectacular goal-scoring opportunities, started with the ball in her own half before dribbling past player-after-player in a 60 metre run down the field.
Unfortunately the resulting shot was saved by Davey. Not long after Carney had another penalty shout waved away.
While chances were being lined up by the Red & Black, Melbourne were holding on for dear life until, at the death one more counter-attack saw De Vanna seal the win.
It was a cruel score for the young Wanderers who deserved better but the quality performance did not go unnoticed by the crowd who lined the pitch at the fulltime whistle to show their appreciation.
The Red & Black return home in Round 12 when they host Brisbane Roar at Sportingbet Stadium in Penrith.