W-LEAGUE: Sydney defeat Melbourne to claim crown

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Sydney FC claimed the Westfield W-League crown after a hard fought 3-1 victory over Melbourne at AAMI Park.

Both the Northern Terrace and visiting Cove were in full voice and the ladies did not disappoint the 4,181 fans in attendance in a four-goal thriller.

A mix up in defence by Rebekah Stott awarded Sydney with the opening goal before a wonderful free kick by Petra Larsson sent the crowd into ruptures. Samantha Kerr caused further pain for the hosts, putting Sydney 2-1 up with a lovely diving header and the game was all but over after Simon scored the visitors third from the penalty spot.

The clash between the two blues was physical from kick off as Jessica McDonald was involved in a heavy clash just one minute in. Melbourne looked the more livelier of the two as McDonald and Petra Larsson both went close to opening the score within the first five minutes. A minute later Brianna Davey was brought down in the box by Bolger. The Victory goalkeeper looked to be struggling after the collision however recovered shortly later.

Petra Larsson ensured her named would be stamped on the game and provided the Victory forwards with many opportunities to put the hosts 1-0 up in front of the jam packed Northern Terrace. However after all of Melbournes missed opportunities it was the visitors who drew first blood after 24 minutes. A short Rebekah Stott back pass caused confusion between the defender and goalkeeper Davey and Bolger made the most of the mix up, easily slotting the ball into the back of the net.

McDonald was unlucky not to have a goal to her name after she done extremely well to get goal side of the Sydney defender, goal keeper Khamis making a lovely save from a tough angle.

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The hosts were lucky not to concede a second after 39 minutes in similar fashion as Stott failed to complete her back pass once again, Davey quicker to the ball this time round.

It was indeed Larsson who equalised for the Victory after a wonderful free kick from the Swede just outside of the penalty box. Her shot hitting the upright and deflecting into the goals at the 41st minute mark, sending both teams into the rooms at half time at 1-1.

It took only 2 minutes for Sydney to reclaim the lead after the half time break after a Samantha Kerr wonder goal. Kerr timing her run perfectly for the incoming cross and heading the ball straight past Davey in goal. The back-flip goal celebration that followed possibly greater than the goal itself.

Enza Barilla went close to a scoring Victory’s second in the 58th minute mark, however her shot from inside the box saved by Khamis. While Melbourne were looking for their equaliser, Sydney FC were keen to seal the game.

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Seconds after Barillas attempt, Simon shot fiercely at Davey who made a great save to deny the Sydney captain a goal. Melbourne were desperate to equalise and spent most of the reaming 20 minutes looking for their second goal.

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Gulcan Koca placed a wonderful flying cross in for a fast running Barilla however goalkeeper Khamis done enough to protect the 2-1 lead.

The game was all but over after 85 minutes when Maika Ruyter-Hooley brought down substitute Crummer in the penalty box. Ruyter-Hooley was sent off with a straight red card, while Simon took the penalty and cooly slotted the ball into the back of the net. She was also awarded with the player of the match medallion at the conclusion of the game. A deserved win for Sydney FC who were the better outfit on the day.


Teams:

Melbourne: Davey (GK), Johnson, Ruyter-Hooley, Stott, Spiranovic, Larsson, Catley, McDonald (Humble 73′), Barilla, Jackson, Koca

Sydney: Khamis (GK), Polias, Ralston, Kerr, Bolger (Crummer 80′), Foord, Rollason, Longo (Whitfield 92′) , Logarzo ( 85′), Kennedy, Simon.

Goals:

Melbourne: Larsson (41′)
Sydney: Bolger (24′), Kerr (47′), Simon (85′)

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