Perth Glory, Melbourne City advance to W-League Grand Final

Tim Grainey February 5, 2017 19

 

Jess Fishlock celebrates her game-winning goal in extra time to send Melbourne City to their second consecutive Grand Final. (photo by Melbourne City)

Jess Fishlock celebrates her game-winning goal in extra time to send Melbourne City to their second consecutive Grand Final. (photo by Melbourne City)

Perth Glory 5, Sydney FC 1

Perth Glory advanced to their second Westfield W-League Grand Final in three seasons with an emphatic 5-1 home victory over Sydney FC in front of 1,592 fans in NIB Stadium on Saturday, February 4. Perth Glory clinched second and the home playoff berth with virtually the final kick a week ago, with Caitlin Douglas (who did not play in the semifinal) scoring over Western Sydney Wanderers (1-0) in injury time. Sydney’s loss in Adelaide last weekend (5-2) saw the original Harbour City team surrender its hold on first and slip to third, having achieved only one point in their final three games.

In Perth, Kyah Simon (ex- Boston Breakers) scored first in the 23rd minute for Sydney FC, but Chicago Red Stars loanee Vanessa DiBernardo tied up the match nine minutes later from the penalty spot, after her Red Star teammate Alyssa Mautz was taken down in the box. Sydney FC defender Alanna Kennedy (North Carolina Courage) scored an own goal near the hour mark—her mishit clearance went over the head of Sydney goalkeeper Claire Coelho and into the net—to give Perth a lead it would never relinquish. DiBernardo, Rosie Sutton and substitute defender and six-year Glory veteran Shawn Billam scored late goals to seal the win for the Western Australian side. Sutton scored her seventh goal of the season, while Di Bernardo has six and Billam scored her first of the campaign.

For Perth, Mautz and DiBernardo (both Chicago Red Stars), Nikki Stanton and Samantha Kerr (both Sky Blue FC) and Ari Romero (ex-Houston Dash) played the entire match. For Sydney, their NWSL offseason loanees Caitlin Foord (ex-Sky Blue FC), Kennedy and Simon all played 90 minutes, while Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit) did not come off the substitutes’ bench.

Melbourne City 1, Canberra United 0

Sam Kerr, Vanessa DiBernardo and Alyssa Mautz celebrate their 5-1 win over Sydney FC in the W-League semifinals. (photo by Westfield W-League)

Sam Kerr, Vanessa DiBernardo and Alyssa Mautz celebrate their 5-1 win over Sydney FC in the W-League semifinals. (photo by Westfield W-League)

For the second straight year, Melbourne City had to go extra time in a semifinal to advance to its second Grand Final in two years, defeating 2016/17 Premiership winners Canberra United 1-0 on Jess Fishlock’s goal before a season high crowd of 5,072 in the Australian capital city on Sunday, February 5. Fishlock was promoted from assistant coach last month to manager when former manager Joe Montemurro took an assistant’s position with City’s men’s A-League side. Montermurro, who played in the National Soccer League in Australia and for minor league sides in Italy, won the Grand Final last season in charge of the City women’s side. Fishlock had two excellent chances in overtime, seeing her 100th-minute shot parried over the crossbar by Canberra goalkeeper Trudy Burke. Fishlock scored her seventh goal of the season seven minutes later, taking a deflected ball in the penalty box and slotting it home past Burke.

City will go to Perth next weekend for the Grand Final, which Perth will host for the second time in three seasons. The Glory lost to Canberra United 3-1 in their only previous Grand Final in 2014/15. City and the Glory played only once this season, with Perth winning away 3-2 in Round 8.

For City, NWSL loanees Lydia Williams (Houston Dash), Laura Alleway and Steph Catley (both Orlando Pride), Jess Fishlock, Lauren Barnes and Beverly Yanez (all Seattle Reign) played the entire match while Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City) subbed out in the 79th minute for Amy Jackson. New Zealand international Rebekah Stott—a recent Seattle Reign signing for 2017—also played the full match, while Larissa Crummer—another new Reign player for 2017—has been out of action since Round 12 with a broken foot and will probably miss the Grand Final. For Canberra NWSL loanees Hayley Raso and Celeste Boureille (both Portland Thorns) and Stephanie Ochs (Houston Dash) played the entire match while Canberra striker Jasmyne Spencer (Orlando Pride) left the game in the 78th minute for her fellow Pride striker Lisa De Vanna. Former Houston Dash defender Ellie Brush entered in the 79th minute. Former Western New York Flash forward Michelle Heyman missed the game with an ankle injury.

Grand Final

Perth Glory vs Melbourne City, 3:30 am ET (Sunday)

  • Paul Klee
    • Som Termanni

      This is too common to be sheer incompetence. They’re messing with us. Even a broken clock’s occasionally right.

  • Som Termanni

    At least Canberra let their players get their plate. https://twitter.com/CanberraUnited/status/828207854733529090

  • Som Termanni
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  • Tom F

    if the Australians learn anything from this season it’s they need to have a stronger game at midfield. Sydney was the only team that started an entire domestic squad, Burt their whole plan was their mids to almost blindly kick up field as soon as possible. it kinda reminded me of high school soccer. As a result, Sydney gave up 5 goals each in their last two games against the American mids dominated teams of Adeleide & Perth. They simple had no midfield that would try to set up plays. Same was with the only other AU dominated team, Brisbane, they only got 7th out of 9th place.
    The Matildas got as high as high as #5 in the world rankings,, but it was their strong forward lineup that pretty much put them there. They’ve since slipped in the rankings, but the recent superb play of Kellond-Knight at BUND league leaders< Turbine Potsdam, might jet them back higher again when the NT forms up again for spring action

    • Steglitz49

      Foreign legions of hired mercenaries made up of those not good enough to hack it in the rich European leagues.

      Quite fun for frolicking in the sun down under. Collect a nice shield to go with a can of beer by the barbie and getting laid in the sand.

      • Tom F

        you got to remember, Australia is the #6 team in the world(Sweden is only #8) Is was a very balanced league(‘balance; seems to be a hateful word over in Euro soccer)/ The 17 Americans playing would of made an nifty NT on their own, Good enough to make it to the top 10 as long as their coached by someone other than the name Ellis!

        • Steglitz49

          Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, HAO, Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence had other priorities but they are (or were) in their NTs.

  • GT

    They got the pictures reversed.

  • Som Termanni

    Full-match replays of the semis are up on Fox Sports Australia: http://www.foxsports.com.au/video/football/w-league/cbr-v-mcy-full-match-replay!607344.

    • guest

      full replays are (and have been since live stream was broadcast) also available at WatchESPN/ESPN3

      • Som Termanni

        Also true, but the Fox next-day replays are available to folks in the US who aren’t cable subscribers, and to folks who are geofenced out of WatchESPN/ESPN3.

  • JL

    Sydney’s end of season collapse has to be concerning. Through their first 10 games, they had the best defensive record in the league and appeared to be cruising to a premiership. Then the bye week hit and all the momentum they had came to a screeching halt.

    • Rdalford

      agree that Sydney appeared to go on vacation well before season ended

  • GT

    I think Stanton’s experience in Australia is going to keep her on the Sky Blue FC roster this year which will be much harder to make. Passion and hard work pays off.