ALW Report: Perth 1-2 City

Melbourne City was crowned A-League Women’s Premiers for the third time in Club history at Macedonia Park on Sunday evening.

A Sydney FC loss earlier in the day opened the door for us to claim the Premiers Plate, with Dario Vidosic’s side good enough to withstand the pressure and get the job done away to Perth Glory.

Team News

Dario Vidosic made just the one change to his XI from last weekend’s 3-0 win over Central Coast, Rhianna Pollicina slotting back into midfield in place of 15-year-old Shelby McMahon.

Starting XI: 88. BÁRBARA, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 5. Taylor OTTO, 13. Rebekah STOTT (C), 16. Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 14. Laura HUGHES, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 6. Leticia McKENNA, 11. Emina EKIC, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.

Substitutes: 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 3. Naomi CHINNAMA, 7. Julia GROSSO, 12. Shelby McMAHON, 24. Daniela GALIC.

What happened?

The match couldn’t have gotten off to a much better start for City, the early nerves all but settled with a goal after just eight minutes.

Pollicina received a Karly Roestbakken throw-in with her back turned to the net then took two touches to turn her defender, before unleashing a beautiful strike into the top corner from well outside the box.

Hannah Wilkinson had a great chance to double the lead 15 minutes later, but didn’t spot Emina Ekic alone at the back-post.

Perth started to build their way into the game – although didn’t create any clear chances as the City defence stayed tight at the back.

Morgan Aquino was tested in goal just before the break, only just pulling out a great reflex save to stop what could’ve been an own goal following a City set piece.

After not having much to do in the first half, Barbara was called into action just six minutes into the second.

She read the play well to come off her line as Millie Farrow was played in behind, smothering the strikers’ attempt after she was able to get through one-on-one.

Captain Rebekah Stott had a huge moment in the 57th minute, clearing the ball off the line after a Perth corner looked certain to end up in the back of the net.

While the lead remained only a goal for much of the remainder of the contest, our defence – led by Stott – remained strong and Perth never looked like finding a way through.

That lead would eventually be doubled thanks to a moment of magic from Shelby McMahon.

Just two minutes after entering the pitch as a substitute, she showcased her skillset by splitting two defenders then firing a powerful strike just inside the near post.

Perth would grab a consolation goal with a minute remaining on the clock but ultimately, all it would do was delay celebrations momentarily.

What’s next?

We’ll put our feet up and watch on from the sidelines following the international break, before beginning our Finals campaign with a two-legged semi-final tie.

Depending on the results in week one of Finals, we’ll face one of Central Coast, Newcastle Jets or Melbourne Victory.