After competing for the A-League Women Premiership in recent weeks, Melbourne City FC and Sydney FC will again do battle when the teams face off in a blockbuster Semi Final on Friday.
City narrowly missed out on a third Women’s Premiership after Sydney won their final game of the regular season last weekend, but will be on the hunt for a fifth Championship with a successful Finals series.
Rado Vidosic’s side temporarily forced their way into first following their 2-0 away win over Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday afternoon, comfortably accounting for the ninth-place finishers with goals either side of half-time from Rhianna Pollicina and Hannah Wilkinson.
Vidosic rested Rebekah Stott while Tyla-Jay Vlajnic and Leticia McKenna moved to the bench, allowing the trio to be fit and firing for our huge Semi Final against Sydney.
The Sky Blues came up against arguably the league’s most in-form side in Adelaide United on Sunday evening and needed at least a point to ensure their first-place finish. The travelling Sydney survived a handful of early scares to score a decisive goal through Paige Satchell in the second-half which proved enough to secure the 2021/22 Premiership.
That narrow result, in combination with our 2-1 win over Sydney just a handful of days after their 2-2 draw against fellow top four side Melbourne Victory proves that the Sky Blues are absolutely beatable, and our City girls will surely be aspiring to pull off a statement victory and progress to the Grand Final.
That aforementioned City win against Sydney was largely thanks to a blistering first-half performance from Vidosic’s side, with our wing-backs doing plenty of damage. Kaitlyn Torpey assisted Pollicina’s opener, before her defensive counterpart Tyla-Jay Vlajnic assisted her with a piercing through-ball to net City’s second in stoppage time. Sydney’s consolation goal arrived via a Princess Ibini penalty.
Whilst they struggled early in that encounter, Sydney certainly had success with exposing City’s backline in the second-half and in the earlier 2021/22 fixture between the teams with through-balls played from midfield for their rapid wingers to run onto. The tactic will be one that Vidosic will have to contend with as he considers whether to again rely on Torpey and Vlajnic to do the damage against Sydney or whether to drop them back and counter the pace of the Sky Blue attackers.
Liberty A-League Semi Final
Sydney FC vs Melbourne City FC
Friday 11 March, kick-off 7:05pm
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium