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Sydney FC hits Melbourne Victory for six in A-League Women

Sydney FC's Princess Ibini shoots against Melbourne Victory in their A-League Women's clash on Thursday.

Sydney FC's Princess Ibini shoots against Melbourne Victory in their A-League Women's clash on Thursday. Photo: AAP

Sydney FC’s imposing attack has put Melbourne Victory to the sword, with Princess Ibini scoring a hat-trick in a 6-3 thumping of the reigning A-League Women champions.

Matildas winger Cortnee Vine was electric, scoring one goal, assisting two others and taking Victory left back Natalie Tathem to the cleaners.

Fellow Matilda Ibini (three goals), Mackenzie Hawkesby (one goal, one assist) and Madison Haley (one goal, one assist) all fired at AAMI Park as Sydney saw off a Victory fightback to claim a comprehensive win.

Sydney sits third, three points ahead of fourth-placed Victory, which it has two games in hand on.

Victory was without goalkeeper Casey Dumont (illness) and started injury replacement and 2020-21 championship winner Gaby Garton.

Sydney opened the scoring in the 24th minute.

Charlize Rule headed a Hawkesby corner on target and Garton misjudged the flight of the ball and missed it entirely, with Ibini on hand to bundle it over the line.

Six minutes later, Vine burst away from Kayla Morrison and sent a tantalising ball into the path of Hawkesby, who nipped it away from Garton and into the back of the net.

Hawkesby’s trailing knee caught Garton in the head, forcing her concussion substitution by Miranda Templeman.

In the 36th minute, Sydney earned a penalty when Tathem needlessly clipped Sarah Hunter inside the box.

Templeman made a strong diving save from Ibini, but parried it straight back to the winger, who scored Sydney’s third.

Victory hit back in the 42nd minute when Rikke Madsen charged down Sydney goalkeeper Tahlia Franco to score.

They added a second three minutes into injury time when Beattie Goad’s cross was brilliantly met at the back post by a sliding Lia Privitelli.

Two minutes later, Hawkesby whipped in a corner and Haley rose over Jessika Nash to head home at the back post and give Sydney a 4-2 lead at the break.

Three minutes into the second half, Haley brilliantly played through Vine and, with Templeman caught off her line, the Matildas winger coolly finished into the bottom corner.

In the 60th minute, Vine got past Tathem and cut back for Ibini to complete her hat-trick with Sydney’s sixth.

Sydney received another chance from the spot in the 67th minute when Claudia Bunge was penalised for a handball, but Haley shot straight at Templeman.

Victory’s Maja Markovski added a consolation goal from the spot in the 89th after a Sydney handball.

-AAP

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