Melbourne City defeated Canberra United 1-0 in extra time in an emotionally charged semi-final
Melbourne City progressed to the Westfield W-League Grand Final after Jess Fishlock’s extra time goal secured a narrow victory over Canberra United.
The teams could not be separated after regulation time, but Fishlock’s well-placed strike in second half extra-time saw City progress to the Grand Final for the second year in a row.
A slow start to the match saw both teams probing but but reluctant to press too hard.
City’s Lauren Barnes was booked for a cynical foul on Ashleigh Sykes early, and the hosts went close from the resulting free kick but Emma Checker’s header was cleared off the line before Celeste Boureille’s follow up was blocked.
City’s first big chance came in the 23rd minute as Rebeka Storr fed Jess Fishlock with a lovely backheel into the box but the Welsh midfielder could only strike the side netting.
Erika Tymrak came close in the 29th as she struck the crossbar from close range while virtually unmarked in the area.
Kinga came close from range soon after and Ochs should have put Canberra ahead when she fired over the bar from just six yards out.
Both teams started the second half slowly as the weather seemed to take its toll, but United looked the more likely to score as they continuall probed the visiting defence.
Fishlock came within inches of breaking the deadlock as she scuffed her shot wide in stoppage time before Celeste Boureille did the same up the other end after some great work from substitute Lisa De Vanna.
Neither side could find a breakthrough in a frenetic period of stoppage time however and the ninety minutes finished scoreless.
The first big chance of extra time came in the 100th minute as Jess Fishlock was sent in behind the United defence but her goalbound strike was tipped onto the crossbar by Trudy Burke.
City broke the deadlock in the 107th minute as Fishlock raced onto a loose ball from a corner and delicately placed her shot past Burke into the corner as the defense looked on.
The visitors hung on with stoic defence for the final 10 minutes as they progressed to defend their title against the Glory in Perth next week.