Star signings Alex Chidiac and Lynn Williams have come to Melbourne Victory’s rescue, inspiring a second-half comeback in a 2-1 Liberty A-League derby triumph over Melbourne City.
Victory looked set to be brought undone by Amy Jackson’s calamitous own goal late in injury-time in the first half before Chidiac teed up Catherine Zimmerman’s equaliser in the 65th minute and Williams tapped home the winner five minutes later.
City settled into the game quicker and arguably should have taken the lead in the 17th minute when goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri hoofed a long ball over the Victory defence but Hannah Wilkinson, one-on-one with Casey Dumont, completely skied her shot off-target.
But City were able to take the lead shortly before halftime.
Tyla-Jay Vlajnic whipped a free kick into a dangerous position and Jackson, who typically plays as a defensive midfielder but replaced injured skipper Kayla Morrison in the heart of defence, seemingly lost her bearings and powered her attempted clearing header past Dumont.
Less than a minute later, Stott forced a good save from Dumont with a header from close range.
Jeff Hopkins turned to Williams in the 60th minute and it sparked Victory, whose equaliser came five minutes later.
Chidiac, whose starting midfield pairing with Kyra Cooney-Cross understandably took time to click, went on a delightful run, overcame Emma Checker’s challenge and slipped through a wonderful ball for Zimmerman, who coolly finished past Barbieri.
In the 70th minute, Polly Doran burst down the right hand side, rode a challenge from Vlajnic and squared it to Zimmerman at the near post.
The ball skimmed off the striker’s boot but Williams was in position at the back post to tap home her first club goal.
Jackson’s rough day was compounded when she was sent off for a challenge, as the last defender, on Holly McNamara in the 88th minute but Victory held on for all three points.