Melbourne City FC have become the first Westfield W-League Champions to go back-to-back after defeating Perth Glory 2-0 on Sunday night in the W-League Grand Final.
Goals to player-coach Jess Fishlock on the stroke of half time and Beverley Yanez secured the result for City who came from 4th position on the table to secure their historic Championship.
It was a blistering start to the contest at nib Stadium as City could have taken the lead in the first minute of play. A pinpoint cross from Rebekah Stott found Beverley Yanez free at the back post as the ball fell awkwardly for the striker, nodding straight to the keeper.
It was always going to be an open contest after the last encounter between the sides and after 3 minutes, Perth had their chance to find the opener.
Sam Kerr showed why she is one of the most dangerous players in the league, motoring up the right wing to see her cutback just miss the oncoming striker.
Despite possession in Fishlock side’s favour, it was the home side that were more dangerous in the first 20 minutes, with Fishlock most notably coming to the rescue with a perfectly timed tackle in the penalty area.
City should have taken the lead however through Erika Tymrak as the forward poked her volley over the oncoming Dal Busco and the bar and she was almost made to pay for her miss moments later.
Vanessa DiBernardo then found space on the edge of the area after 34 minutes as her deflected strike had Lydia Williams sprawling, seeing the ball float just over the bar.
The sides looked to be going into the rooms at the break all level but Fishlock had other ideas. A wonderful combination on the left saw Yanez break towards goal as her cutback saw the player-coach poke home to give her side the lead.
The goal gave City the momentum after the interval and the visitors almost made it two after 56 minutes. A deep run from the midfield by Fishlock had beaten the Glory’s offside trap as the onrushing Dal Busco came up big to smother the Welsh international.
Perth looked to have used the close call as a momentum changer and the balance of play fell into their hands as they looked to generate chances through Kerr.
The striker had chances after 59 and 69 minutes with the latter effort going inches wide of the post after a free header in the six-yard box.
Kerr’s miss dealt a killer blow for the Glory as their heads dropped even further after 72 minutes. Yanez’s powerful cross sailed over the head of Dal Busco in goal, doubling City’s lead in emphatic fashion.
The home side had chances to bring one back through Kerr again, who scuffed her one-on-one with Williams, but it was to no avail as City held on to an historic victory at nib Stadium.