Longo pushes Victory closer to top four berth as Wanderers’ hopes crumble

Melbourne Victory moved one step closer to confirming their top four position and dealt Western Sydney Wanderers’ finals series hopes a crushing blow by defeating them 1-0 at AAMI Park.

Annalie Longo, who replaced the injured American international Catherine Zimmerman in Victory’s front-line, fired in a close range 43rd minute strike after Melina Ayres had headed Kyra Cooney-Cross’ ball into her path. 

Ayres kept Wanderers goalkeeper Sarah Willacy sharp while the visitors struggled to contend with Kyra Cooney-Cross’ vision and execution as Victory pressed to double their advantage. 

Despite creating the best chances – Lisa De Vanna came closest and drew a fantastic acrobatic save from Willacy – the match was evenly poised for the majority of the encounter.

But rather than inflict the knockout blow themselves, Victory remained organised and dogged to deny the Red and Black a win that would have restored the club’s faint top four hopes.

As it stands, the Wanderers will need a miracle to book an appearance in the finals series. Dean Heffernan’s side are sixth on the ladder on 10 points, six behind fourth-placed Adelaide United, who have three matches in hand. 

Victory, meanwhile, move third on seventeen points. 

Key moments