Dumont the match-winner as Victory trump City in penalty-shootout Semi Final

Melbourne Victory’s quest for the three-peat is well and truly alive after Jeff Hopkin’s side saw off arch-rivals Melbourne City in a dramatic penalty shootout at Casey Fields on Saturday afternoon.

Casey Dumont has done it again.

After her star showing in the Liberty A-League Grand Final last season, the Melbourne Victory goalkeeper came up clutch to secure her side’s place in the Preliminary Final next week.

Dumont made a string of saves to ensure the Semi Final with Melbourne City – which finished 3-3 after regular time – went to a penalty shootout, before stepping up and scoring Victory’s first spot kick and saving Katie Bowen’s first penalty in a 3-3 (1-4) win for the back-to-back Champions.


This came after Dumont had initially saved a Holly McNamara penalty in regular time to keep her side in the lead, before Hannah Wilkinson sent the game to extra time with a 97th-minute equaliser.

With the scores at 3-1 in the shootout, Wilkinson smashed the crossbar before Alana Murphy cooly slotted home the winning penalty to keep the reigning champions’ hopes alive for a Championship ‘three-peat’ – getting the job done even with only ten players.

Victory will now face the loser of tomorrow’s Semi Final between Sydney FC and Western United next weekend in the Preliminary Final.

Jeff Hopkins’ had initially come from behind – after Rhianna Pollicina opened the scoring – to take a two-goal lead thanks to a Melina Ayres hat-trick, before the City captain added her second goal to set up a grandstand finish.

McNamara had the chance to tie it with minutes to go after her cross was handled by Claudia Bunge inside the penalty box, but the Matildas attacker’s effort was saved by Dumont

However, before Dumont’s heroics, it was all about Ayres – who fired home three goals in the space of 19-minutes to will her side back into the contest.

It was a special showing from Ayres that helped turn the contest completely on its head – equalising with a penalty before scoring two clever goals to give Victory a two-goal lead.

Ayres’ hat-trick will go down in the history books, becoming only the second player in the Liberty A-League finals history to score a hat-trick after Sam Kerr did so for Perth Glory against Victory in the 2019 Semi-Finals.

City’s opener came off the back of some smart, calculated pressing, from the City attack led by Pollicina – who forced a turnover in their attacking half.

Natalie Tathem was cornered by both Pollicina and Holly McNamara, with the ball spilling to the City captain who fed through McNamara, before playing a lovely cross back to 26-year-old attacker who put the ball past Casey Dumont for the opener.

Victory responded brilliantly after the break, with Tiffany Eliadis’ header rocketing against the bar. However, they wouldn’t have to wait long after for their equaliser as Victory was awarded a penalty following a Naomi Chinnama challenge on Beattie Goad inside the box.

Ayres stepped up and buried the resulting penalty right into the bottom corner to bring the scores level.

From there, the Ayres show went into full swing. The Victory attacker linked up with Alana Murphy brilliantly before lashing an effort right into the bottom corner to give her side the lead.

The Victory spearhead, who links up with Murphy on the edge of the area before lashing a strike past a slipping Barbieri into the bottom-right corner. She was on hand again moments later to volley the ball home and seemingly seal Victory’s passage into the next round of the finals.

However, the drama was only just beginning as substitute Bryleeh Henry knocked it down to Pollicina who fired home her second and set up an incredible finish.

And when it seemed as if City’s hopes were lost after Dumont’s penalty save, Wilkinson came to the rescue nodding home a last-ditch equaliser to send the game to extra time.

During extra time, Victory went down to ten after Amy Jackson was sent from the field following a second yellow for a stamp on Pollicina. Victory held firm, sending the game to penalties under waves of City attacks and coming away with a historic win.