Melbourne City crowned W-League Champions in undefeated 2015/16 season

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Melbourne City FC have earned their place in the record books being the first team in Westfield W-League history to go through a season undefeated.

The Grand Final attracted 4206 fans at AAMI Park, the second highest crowd in a W-League Grand Final and capped off their season in style with a 2-0 win over Sydney FC at AAMI Park to claim the Championship.

As expected it was Sydney FC under the pump for the majority of the game and rightly so with City far and away the most dominant team of the season.

Ironically, Sydney FC started off the first 10 minutes well. A Kyah Simon cross managed to find Jasmine Spencer who couldn’t make anything of it in third minute. An Alanna Kennedy freekick and was then held by Brianna Davey moments later.

After the ten minute mark, City managed to shake off their nerves and a momentum shift came. Lisa De Vanna was finding the ball and skinning the Sydney FC defenders.

After 37 minutes Kim Little sent a ball through to Jennifer Beattie, who’s first shot came off the post and came straight back at her for a tap in to make it 1-0.

On the brink of half time Beatrice Goad had two opportunities in similar positions to double the lead. Little and De Vanna provided balls in however both shots were at a difficult angle and were saved by Michelle Betos, leaving the one goal separating the two at halftime.

The second half picked up where it left off with City maintaining possession well. A direct free kick was paid to City courtesy of Simon and Little made no mistake from the free kick and made it 2-0 after 55 minutes.

It could have been three for Melbourne eight minutes later when De Vanna played in Little however she hit the post.

Sydney were handed a lifeline after a dubious penalty was paid as Kennedy went down in the box, Beattie the offender getting a yellow for her troubles. The spot kick was converted by Simon to pull it back 2-1 at 69 minutes.

It was a shaky period for City and minutes later Kennedy’s cross was poor but forced Davey to knock the ball over the bar.

With eleven minutes to go Sydney were caught as De Vanna raced in with the ball on the right. It was two-on-two which turned into two-on-one and De Vanna cut the ball in to Goad who couldn’t miss to make it 3-1.

Sydney collapsed in the final ten minutes, Jess Fishlock forcing a double save from Betos and Little on the follow up.

In the fifth minute of additional time Little released De Vanna who ran half the field and finished with a chip to seal the Westfield W-League Championship with a 4-1 scoreline.

The best team all season came away with a stirring victory in front of Joe Montemurro and a strong contingent of joyous home fans.

Unfortunately the Grand Final ended on a slightly sour note with an absolute blunder from the event organisers. The presentation ceremony fell short of the occasion as the podium faced the opposite side of the fans, disappointing the large number of home support, relegated to watching the backs of heads receive their medals.

Melbourne City: 1. DAVEY Brianna, 4. BEATTIE Jennifer, 5. ALLEWAY Laura, 6. LUIK Aivi, 7. CATLEY Stephanie, 8. LITTLE Kim, 9. CRUMMER Larissa (68’ 17. TABAIN Marianna), 10. FISHLOCK Jessica (88’ . CHIDIAC Alexandra), 11. DE VANNA Lisa, 13. STOTT Rebekah, 16. BEATRICE Goad (86’ 15. JACKSON Amy)

Sydney FC: 1. BETOS Michelle, 2. RALSTON Elizabeth, 5. SPENCER Jasmyne, 6. POLIAS Teresa, 7. BOLGER Nicola (84’ 12. PRICE Olivia), 9. IBINI-ISEI Princess (63’ 4. FRANCO Sunny), 11. TOBIN Natalie (74’ 10. ROLLASON Renee), 14. KENNEDY Alanna, 15. ALLEN Teigen, 17. SIMON Kyah, 19. KHAMIS Leena

Attendance: 4206

Referee: Kate Jacewicz

 

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Clement Tito
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.

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