Newcomers Western Utd stun Victory in ALW

Western United have overcome a nervous wait for international transfer clearances to stun reigning champions Melbourne Victory 1-0 in their inaugural A-League Women game.

Star American signing Jessica McDonald scored in the 54th minute to seal a historic win over United's powerhouse rivals in brutal wind at City Vista Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

McDonald and goalkeeper Hillary Beall only received their international transfer clearances from the US shortly before the game.

Defender Tyla-Jay Vlajnic, who had been playing in Serbia recently, didn't receive her clearance in time and was replaced by Francesca Iermano.

"Little bit of drama but you've always got to have a bit of drama, I guess, in football. So why not? But it was okay," coach Mark Torcaso told reporters.

"It's definitely a relief."

Striker Hannah Keane admitted the situation was "very stressful" but United's substitutes had been raring to step up if required.

It was a deserved win for United, who handled the conditions far better than Victory, who had Matildas Alex Chidiac and Elise Kellond-Knight among their starters.

The majority of United's team hadn't played ALW before, though many had played together at NPLW club Calder United under Torcaso.

"I know there's a lot of people saying 'Western seem to have good players but a lot of them have never played at this level before - so will they be able to transition to a higher level?'" Keane told AAP.

"What I heard is a lot of people did not believe that we could but after today I think they'll change their minds a little bit."

Keane constantly threatened while Guyana defender Sydney Cummings marshalled their defence with aplomb in front of 2753 fans.

Matildas midfielder Chloe Logarzo came on as a second-half substitute for United and showed glimpses, including going close with a late free kick.

Victory dominated possession with Kellond-Knight, Chidiac and Beattie Goad impressive, but struggled to handle the wind.

"Tough conditions today. It's not the result that we wanted but it's very close to the performance we wanted," Victory coach Jeff Hopkins told reporters.

"For most of the game, until Western scored, we were on top in terms of possession, controlled possession as well, without really penetrating ... the final pass was very difficult to execute.

"It was a very messy goal we gave away."

Melina Ayres missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the 16th minute while Chidiac had an uncharacteristic miss when looking to equalise in the 61st.

"In two weeks' time we'll be finishing those ones off," Hopkins said.

Victory left-back Natalie Tathem came off in the 32nd minute after hurting her left wrist in a collision with Francesca Iermano.

She came back on but had her arm in a sling post-match and will be sent for X-rays.