Melbourne City storm to W-League Grand Final victory

Melbourne City secured a dominant 4-1 win over Sydney FC to be crowned Westfield W-League champions at AAMI Park on Sunday. 

There were two goals in each half for City who were deserving winners on the day much to the delight off the majority of the 4,206 spectators.

Jennifer Beattie scored on the half-hour mark, and Scottish compatriot Kim Little added a second before the break. Kyah Simon pulled one back for the Sky Blues from the penalty spot, but late strikes from Beattie Goad and Lisa De Vanna rounded out the scoring.

City made two changes to their semi-final line-up bringing in Lisa De Vanna for Marianna Tabain, while Rebekah Stott returned from New Zealand international duty in place of Amy Jackson. Key midfielder Jess Fishlock also lined up for City after surprisingly passing an eleventh-hour fitness test. Sydney FC made no changes to their side which edged Canberra United a week earlier.

Gallery: Grand Final match action

Any suggestion of a timid opening to the match soon dissipated, with the contest boasting good intensity and half openings at either end. De Vanna always seemed likely to get in behind the defence, while her left-sided counterpart Jasmyne Spencer looked similarly dangerous with her searing turn of speed.

Just past the half-hour mark, City grabbed the breakthrough they were missing in last week’s epic semi-final against Brisbane Roar. Kim Little swung a cross to the fat post and Beattie bundled the ball over the line at the second attempt.

Little could have had her second assist when she released Goad five minutes before the break, but the teenager could find no power in her shot. Within minutes Goad was at it again, after De Vanna played a delicious ball to the right, and while the shot this time had power, Sky Blues goalkeeper Michelle Betos was up to the task.

City had started the second half in confident fashion controlling possession with trademark assuredness. In truth, it was little surprise that the advantage was soon doubled. Little fired in a classy curling near-post free-kick from 25 metres, and Betos could do little more than get a finger on it.

Spencer continued to look lively and the American blazed over on two occasions under pressure. City’s Little then struck the near post from an acute angle and the visitors were teetering

However, the Sky Blues were handed a lifeline with Jennifer Beattie adjudged to have bundled over Alanna Kennedy on a corner, and Simon duly converted the spot-kick

Kennedy then forced Davey into tipping a long-range shot over the crossbar and suddenly the game seemed in the balance.

But Goad put the contest out of reach with City’s third 11 minutes from full time. The teenager converted past the exposed Betos after the chance was laid on by De Vanna, who had been released by yet another exquisite Little pass.

City looked a chance to add a fourth in the dying minutes as Sydney chased the game. Notably, Betos made a stunning double stop with five minutes remaining.

Typically it was De Vanna who added the punctuation mark with the Australian captain finishing a blistering run with a cool lofted finish past Betos deep into injury time.

Melbourne City 4 (Jennifer Beattie 32’, Kim Little 54’, Beattie Goad 79’, Lisa De Vanna 95’)

Sydney FC 1 (Kyah Simon 69’ pen)