Melbourne Victory 1 Sydney FC 3
Sydney FC Women reversed the result of yesterday’s A-League game when they overcame Melbourne Victory by three goals to one in the W-League Grand Final at AAMI Park on Sunday.
In a high quality match of contrasting styles Sydney thoroughly deserved their win, the first time a team has come from fourth place after the home and away matches to win the championship. A crowd of 4181, dominated by Victory fans, was disappointed but kept up their support to the end and Danielle Johnson, the skipper described the occasion as ‘great fun’. Not something you often hear from a losing captain.
Victory had a good early spell but then Sydney responded with quick breaks in succession as the home team’s more measured build-up was often ended by a poor choice of pass or a turnover in a tackle.
Sydney got a goal their rapid approach play deserved after 26 minutes, but it was the result of a defensive error by Victory. Rebekah Stott was caught facing her own goal and gave a short pass back to keeper Brianna Davey, who was forced to play the ball first time with her feet and it cannoned off the onrushing Nicola Bolger and over the goal-line. There was nearly a carbon copy not long afterwards but this time Davey managed to scramble the ball away.
Victory’s equaliser came in the 40th minute after Stephanie Catley was fouled about 35 metres out. Petra Larsson sent her free kick in off the post with keeper Shamiran Khamis unable to reach the ball despite a frantic dive across goal. It was the only time the Sydney custodian was beaten and she and young Davey put on brilliant displays, assisted by their respective defences. The first half ended at one-all but Sydney looked the more menacing side.
Three minutes after the break came one of the goals of the year so far when Kyah Simon sprinted down the right wing and sent a cross over the Victory defence towards the far post. Samantha Kerr threw herself at the ball and scored with a decisive diving header. Khamis denied Victory another equaliser with a point-blank save from Enza Barilla in 59 minutes. At the other end Davey was equally brilliant in tipping over a Simon shot in 66 minutes.
The game opened up as a players tired and showed clear signs of cramp. Sydney’s Larissa Crummer had just come on as substitute, replacing Natalie Tobin when she sprinted on to a loose ball deep in the Victory half. Her speed carried her past Maika Ruyter-Hooley who brought her down, leaving referee Kate Jacewicz no option but to issue a red card as well as the penalty kick. Simon blasted the ball home then tried to quieten the home support with her celebratory gesture. Needless to say it did not work, but it was a nice piece of theatre.
Kyah Simon won the player of the match award and joked afterwards that she was disappointed that she hadn’t achieved the goal she set herself of scoring a hat-trick. She was more pleased with the team performance and the result. For Victory this proved one step too far, but showed that the team is improving year by year, despite the personnel changes which have disrupted the last part of the season. The team will have to add variety in attack and speed up its transitional play if it is to go to the next level and win the title next season. But all those who took part today can be proud of their efforts, skill and commitment. Among those enjoying the action was Matilda Sally Shiphard, who was itching to get out there to take part in the spectacle.
Match details (unofficial)
Sunday 27 January 2013
W-League Grand Final
Melbourne Victory 1 (Petra Larsson 40’) Sydney FC 3 (Nicola Bolger 26’, Sam Kerr 48’, Kyah Simon 86’)
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Local kick-off: 3.30 pm
Referee: Kate Jacewicz
Assistant referees: Sarah Ho and Allyson Flynn
Fourth official: Casey Reibelt
1. Brianna DAVEY, 2. Danielle JOHNSON, 3. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 4. Rebekah STOTT, 5. Laura SPIRANOVIC, 6. Petra LARSSON, 7. Stephanie CATLEY, 10. Jessica McDONALD (23. Jessica HUMBLE 73’), 14. Enza BARILLA, 15. Amy JACKSON, 17. Gulcan KOCA.
Unused substitutes: 9. Tiffany ELIADIS, 11.Caitlin FRIEND, 18. Cindy LAY, 20. Cassandra DIMOVSKI.
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Maika Ruyter-Hooley 85’
20. Shamiran KHAMIS, 2. Teresa POLIAS, 3. Elizabeth RALSTON, 4. Sam KERR, 7. Nicola BOLGER (13. Larissa CRUMMER 80’), 9. Caitlin FOORD, 10. Renee ROLLASON, 11. Annalie LONGO (18. Brittany WHITFIELD 90+2’), 12. Chloe LOGARZO (6. Natalie TOBIN 88’), 14. Alanna KENNEDY, 17. Kyah SIMON.
Unused substitutes: 1. Sian MCLAREN, 8. Amy HARRISON.
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil