For the third time in its four seasons in the Westfield W-League, City will play in a semi-final. Ahead of this Sunday’s clash against Western Sydney Wanderers at ABD Stadium, we take a look back at our history at this stage of the W-League finals.
2016: Melbourne City 0-0 (5-4 pens) Brisbane Roar
City’s first W-League final was a tight affair that could not be split after 120 minutes.
Co-captain Jess Fishlock left the field in the first half due to injury in what was a big blow to City. Despite chances from Steph Catley and Lisa De Vanna, City were held scoreless for the first time that season. With both teams still unable to find the back of the net in extra time, we headed towards penalties.
Penalties were locked 4-4 with Jennifer Beattie, Laura Alleway, Kim Little and Steph Catley all converting for City before Roar defender Angela Beard fired her penalty into the crossbar. De Vanna made no mistake with the next penalty, securing City a grand final berth in its first season.
2017: Canberra United 0-1 (a.e.t) Melbourne City
A year later, City found itself again in the semi-final this time finishing fourth on the table and having to travel to Canberra for the fixture.
On a hot day in the nation’s capital, kick off time had to be pushed back although temperatures were still nearing 30 degrees for the whole gruelling 120 minutes of football.
Chances were few and far between for both teams with City’s best before extra-time coming through Fishlock and Rebekah Stott.
Fishlock came close to giving City the lead in the first half of extra time but the crossbar was the only thing that kept Canberra in the game. She went one better in the 107th minute, finding the back of the net after Canberra failed to clear its lines following a corner.
Despite a tense finish, City were able to hold on and again book a place in the W-League grand final.
2018: Brisbane Roar 0-2 Melbourne City
For the third year in a row, City appeared in the W-League semi-finals, but this time had to travel to Brisbane to take on the Roar after again finishing fourth.
Unlike the last two semi-finals, this one didn’t need extra time with City having things well and truly wrapped up by the time the final whistle came around.
Facing the premiers for the second year in a row, City showed no fear in a classy performance.
Neither team could find a clear scoring chance in the first half, as both teams defences performed strongly but this all changed following half-time. Aided by a deflection, Aivi Luik’s strike from outside the box found the top corner, giving City the lead in the 66th minute. Just five minutes later the advantage was doubled. Kyah Simon played a perfectly weighted through ball for Fishlock who chipped Roar keeper Mackenzie Arnold who was able to get a hand on it but not enough to keep it out.