Canberra United are the Westfield W-League 2014/15 Champions after stunning hot favourites Perth Glory 3-1 in the Grand Final at nib Stadium on Sunday.

Glory won the league by 10 points in a record-breaking season but it was the underdogs who were the better side in the deciding game on a hot afternoon in Perth.

Nicole Begg & Ash Sykes. Photo Credit: Michael Washbourne

American import Stephanie Ochs put Canberra ahead after 20 minutes with a stunning left-foot strike as several of Glory’s most experienced players, including Kate Gill and Collette McCallum, lost the composure which had defined the club’s season.

McCallum equalised in the 63rd minute with a sensational free kick from 22 yards to give the home side hope of winning a maiden W-League champions.

But a frantic four minutes of football, headlined by a brace from Ashleigh Sykes, saw Canberra snatch the contest back to claim their second W-League championship in four years.

Glory won the premiership with the most points and goals scored in a single W-League campaign but Jamie Harnwell’s side looked a shadow of the outfit which had conquered all before them this season.

Canberra stalwart Michelle Heymann had the first genuine chance of the match when she found space on the right but pushed the ball wide of goal.

It was a telling moment in the match as it signalled Canberra was here for the contest and Perth looked shaky.

An uncharacteristic mistake by McCallum in her side’s attacking half saw Canberra rush the ball forward and after a solid build-up it was soon with Ochs about 20 yards out.

Ochs then fired a curling shot which ricocheted off the far post and into the back of the net to put the visitors ahead and silence the parochial Perth crowd of 2671 people.

The goal sparked more life into Canberra as Glory players dropped their heads in disbelief and frustration at conceding an early goal.

The frustration was clear on the face of Perth winger Caitlin Foord who twice warned by referee Kate Jacewicz as the first half came to a close.

Perth came out after the break clearly fired up and emotions ran high when goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold pulled off a brilliant save to deny Heyman what seemed a certain goal in the 59th minute.

McCallum then scored after Gill was brought down on the edge of the box, successfully curling the ball past the wall and Canberra goalkeeper Chantel Jones.

Perth was back in the match and with the crowd behind the team it seemed inevitable that the ladies in purple would triumph.

Enter Sykes.

The 23-year-old pounced on a cleverly chipped ball from her teammate, outsprinting Glory defender Shelina Zadorsky to put the visitors back in front.

Less than a minute later Glory midfielder Marianna Tabian was brought down in the box and Gill stepped up to take the penalty.

The Golden Boot winner has not missed a penalty all season but kicked it straight into the arms of Jones.

Canberra then took the ball forward and Ochs crossed the ball in from the right, Heymann kept the ball alive as Arnold swooped before Sykes headed it into the back of the net to seal the result.

Canberra United 1 (Ochs 20’, Sykes 75’, 78’) defeated Perth Glory 1 (McCallum 63’)

Perth Glory: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD (GK), 2. Sarah CARROLL, 4. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Alanna KENNEDY, 9. Caitlin FOORD, 12. Kate GILL, 13. Elisa D’OVIDIO, 14. Collette MCCALLUM, 15. Shelina ZADORSKY, 17. Marianna TABAIN

Glory substitutes: 3. Carys HAWKINS, 7. Gabrielle MARZANO, 8. Shawn BILLAM, 16. Thia EASTMAN, 18. Gabrielle DAL BUSCO (GK)

Canberra United: 1. Chantel JONES (GK), 2. Catherine BROWN, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 10. Grace MAHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole BEGG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 16. Lori LINDSEY, 22. Stephanie OCHS

Canberra substitutes: 3. Julia DE ANGELIS, 5. Grace FIELD, 9. Grace GILL, 15. Tegan RIDING, 20. Melissa MAIZELS (GK)

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