Melbourne City through to Grand Final after shootout

In a nail biting affair Melbourne City have booked their place in the Westfield W-League Grand Final against Sydney FC, beating Brisbane Roar 5-4 on penalties after extra time at AAMI Park on Monday afternoon.

Roar keeper Hayley Kopmeyer was by far the best on ground, the dreaded shootout necessary after a goalless two hours. In the end it wasn’t about the goalkeepers or strikers, it was about Angela Beard hitting the crossbar in the shootout.

As expected Melbourne City started off well, dominating the game for the first 30 minutes, Kim Little had a chance to open the scoring with a well placed shot forcing a save from Kopmeyer.

City captain Jess Fishlock went down with on her left hamstring at the half hour mark and Lisa De Vanna took her place. The change saw Brisbane Roar crawl their way back into the game following her departure.

With ten minutes left to go in the first half Angela Beard’s corner clipped the crossbar and went out for a goal kick much to the relief of City.

Before halftime De Vanna and Larissa Crummer had chances to score for Melbourne but neither took their chance.

It went in 0-0 at the break and Melbourne City looked likely.

The best chance of the game came at the 47th minute when De Vanna launched a counter attack and beautifully long balled to Catley but Kopmeyer pulled off an amazing save to keep it goalless.

City had a cluster of chances, Brisbane had their best attempt with Sofie Persson, however neither were able to capitalise. Brisbane looked the better team for the final 20 minutes of normal time.

After 90 minutes of football neither side had broken the deadlock. Brisbane elected to play in the same direction in extra time after their strong finish to the game.

City went into extra time looking more in control. They had a number of chances and in the 102nd minute Crummer’s shot was saved by Kopmeyer and De Vanna very nearly finished on the rebound but was saved again.

A tired Brisbane barely weathered the storm in extra time and City looked the stronger.

With five minutes left Little was clean through on goal but again was denied by Kopmeyer’s right arm. Moments later Amy Jackson’s curling shot was stopped dramatically again by Kopmeyer.

For the final minutes Brisbane could barely stand and were just running the game out for penalties. After two hours in the Semi Final it would indeed be penalties to decide the game.

Clare Polkinghorne, Forbes, Emily Gielnik and Amy Chapman all converted for Brisbane with Beard missing. All City players scored from the spot with De Vanna scoring the winner to send Melbourne City to the Westfield W-League Grand Final.

Melbourne City: 1. DAVEY Brianna, 4. BEATTIE Jennifer, 5. ALLEWAY Laura, 6. LUIK Aivi, 7. CATLEY Stephanie, 8. LITTLE Kim, 9. CRUMMER Larissa, 10. FISHLOCK Jessica (32’ 11. DE VANNA Lisa), 15. JACKSON Amy, 16. GOAD Beatrice, 17. TABAIN Marianna

Brisbane Roar: 1. KOPMEYER Haley, 3. CHAPMAN Amy, 4. POLKINGHORNE Clare, 6. BEARD Angela, 8. NORRIE Ayesha, 12. FOOTE Alisha (69’ 18. FORBES Maili), 13. BUTT Tameka, 14. O’BRIEN Summer, 15. BLACKBURN Ruth, 17. GIELNIK Emily, 19. PERSSON Sofie (75’ 7. MARZANO Gabrielle)

Attendance: 4941

Referee: Rebecca Durcau

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Currently studying at Deakin University in Melbourne, Clem has experience writing on AFL and has worked at Preston Leader Newspapers in Victoria. He loves reporting, spectating, discussing and playing both AFL and football.