W-League: De Vanna sends Sydney to Grand Final

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Lisa De Vanna scored the match winner to secure Sydney FC’s passage into the W-League Grand Final as they overcame Newcastle Jets 3-2 after extra time at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday afternoon.

De Vanna was in formidable form for the Sky Blues, providing the assist for Caitlin Foord to open the scoring while her 98th minute strike sealed the victory for Sydney as they prepare to face either Brisbane Roar or Melbourne City in the grand final next week.

The 33-year-old wreaked havoc on the left wing along with her teammate Princess Ibini posted on the right wing. The pair constantly threatened Jets’ defenders Natasha Prior and Hannah Brewer, the latter given her marching orders following her last-ditch challenge on Foord in the closing exchanges of the first half.

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Following a dominant first half display the Sky Blues entered the second half without Foord who was forced off with an ankle injury during the interval.

Without Foord on the pitch they failed to match the level of performance they achieved in the first half as they allowed the 10-man Jets back into the match.

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The veteran striker continued to test the Jets’ defence throughout the second half and combined well with substitute Remy Siemsen as the duo went in search of their team’s first win over Newcastle this season.

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De Vanna’s extra time winner was her sixth goal in twelve appearances for Sydney this campaign and enough to bring her equal with Kylie Ledbrook who also managed to score her sixth goal in yesterday’s encounter.

The support provided by fullbacks Caitlin Cooper and Georgia Yeoman-Dale enabled De Vanna to dominate Sydney’s attacking third and was crucial to securing their grand final berth.

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With Foord most likely sidelined for next week’s showdown the 33-year old’s partnership with the two defenders will be vital if they want to retain their defensive shape and remain a threat in the attacking third.

The striker will need to match yesterday’s performance as the Sky Blues look to go one better this season after their grand final heartache against City last campaign.

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Samuel Greco Schwartz
Studying Journalism at UTS. Obsessed with football and a die hard supporter of Sydney FC and Liverpool FC in the EPL