Melbourne Victory grab late ALW win against Wanderers

Melbourne Victory have seen off the Western Sydney Wanderers with a 3-1 win, needing two goals late in the contest to seal their A-League Women victory.

Melbourne Victory boss Jeff Hopkins says his side will be ready to challenge any team in the A-League Women competition after scratching out a 3-1 win against Western Sydney.

Far from their best on Saturday, Victory looked headed for a frustrating draw before late goals for Alex Chidiac and Tiffany Eliadis carried them to victory at CB Smith Reserve.

Chidiac's strike was a thumping penalty, controversially awarded just 10 minutes from time for a Gemma Ferris challenge that appeared to win the ball while also collecting Victory striker Catherine Zimmerman in the process.

But any doubt around the result was put to bed in added time when a delightful Zimmerman run found Eliadis for the easiest of tap-ins.

Hopkins admitted the performance wasn't convincing but said it would hold them in good stead long-term, still fourth on the ALW table but still within reach of the top three.

"I'm very happy with a lot of the performance and I'm very happy with the character of the girls to keep going at the end," he told reporters.

"It was nowhere near a complete performance, so to beat them 3-1, they're a good side and in good form, gives me a fair bit of confidence that when we are we'll be ready for anyone in the league.

"We started the game really well, we got ourselves into a good lead and we were playing well but the opposition were good today, they're always a threat.

"They had an extra player in midfield and that caused us a few problems at times. We turned over the ball too much in the first half."

Goals were hard to come by for Victory, although they'd looked to be purring early in the contest with an exquisite Chidiac through-ball on four minutes cutting the defence wide open for Beattie Goad to open the scoring.

But the visitors got into the game soon after, Sophie Harding levelling the scores on 15 minutes having cut in from the left wing with a brilliant run and tucking the ball past Victory keeper Casey Dumont.

It was Goad's first ALW goal since the 2016 grand final, having played abroad until returning to the competition this season.

Chidiac was again the star of the show, her goal and assist taking her tally in each category to five for the season after her mid-week call-up for the Matildas.

Hopkins was also buoyed by the return of star striker Zimmerman, who impressed off the bench in her first game back from a broken leg suffered in round two.

"She's worked really hard to get back from what was quite a bad injury," he said.

"She's got back in record time and to come off the bench, I was really pleased for her and she made a huge contribution.

"She got in front and forced the player to play through her and was there to set Tiff up for the final goal."