Sydney FC have qualified for a sixth consecutive Grand Final after defeating a stubborn Melbourne Victory in the Preliminary Final at Allianz Stadium.
Madison Haley’s late goal secured the win 1-0 after the Sky Blues peppered the Victory goal for most of the match.
They’ll face Western United in next Sunday’s Grand Final at CommBank Stadium.
Sydney FC 1 (Haley 89’) def. Melbourne Victory 0
Moments That Mattered:
LOWE CHANCE – 28’ – Ibini into Haley who flicks the ball onto Lowe behind the defence but Dumont is out quickly to stop Lowe’s attempt to lift the ball over her, and it rebounds off the midfielder and goes out for a goal kick.
LOWE SHOT – 57’ – Haley cushions the ball off to Lowe on the edge of the box but her shot is straight at Dumont.
HALEY SHOT BLOCKED – 61’ – Haley turns Morrison well inside the box and shoots from inside the six-yard area on a tight angle but Dumont is down quick to deny her.
HALEY JUST PAST THE POST – 69’ – Vine into Haley inside the box and she turns and hits a volley just past the post.
HALEY GOAL – 89’ – Hunter shoots from outside the edge of the box goalkeeper Dumont spills it and Haley is on hand to tap home.
What They Said: Ante Juric: “We attacked so much and we questioned whether we were going to get the goal but it was superb and we showed that emotion once the goal went in.
“A lot of our players now have another game under their belt like Charlotte and Madi which will stand us in good stead for the final.”
Natalie Tobin: “I think we were all starting to think about the Grand Final from two years ago but as soon as Madi put that one away there was a huge sigh of relief.
“Madi is such a big threat up front, along with Cortnee and Prinny as well. They did park the bus and credit to them. It was hard to get past them but Madi – I love her.”
Madison Haley: “I’d been saying all game to follow up everything and that was me sticking to the game plan.
“I knew extra time was looming and that was the perfect chance, I saw the ball fall in front of me and just had to get there and keep it low and it went in.”
Match Report: Sydney FC will look to win a record equalling fourth Liberty A-League Championship next Sunday after defeating Melbourne Victory 1-0 in today’s Preliminary Final.
American Madison Haley struck late in a match Sydney FC had dominated with Melbourne Victory stuck in their own half defending.
The Sky Blues were unable to break the deadlock for the majority of the game and had 26 shots to the visitors four.
The Victory rear guard action was finally penetrated when Haley pounced on a fumble from keeper Casey Dumont following a Sarah Hunter cross and the ball crept over the line for a deserved win.
Sydney FC: 1. Jada WHYMAN (GK), 3. Charlotte MCLEAN, 5. Kirsty FENTON, 6. Sarah HUNTER, 8. Rachel LOWE (22. Indiana DOS SANTOS 67’), 9. Madison HALEY, 11. Cortnee VINE, 12. Natalie TOBIN (C), 15. Mackenzie HAWKESBY, 19. Charlize RULE, 20. Princess IBINI-ISEI.
Unused Subs: 30 Katie OFFER (GK), 16. Deborah-Anne DE LA HARPE, 21. Shay HOLLMAN, 25. Rola BADAWIYA.
Yellow Cards: None.
Red Cards: None.
Melbourne Victory: 1. Casey DUMONT, 2. Tiffany ELIADIS (27. Rosie CURTIS 64’), 3. Claudia BUNGE, 5. Jessika NASH, 6. Beattie GOAD, 8. Alana MURPHY, 9. Catherine ZIMMMERMAN (7. Gema SIMON 90’), 11. Natalie TATHEM (17. Maja MARKOVSKI 90’), 14. Melina AYRES, 18. Kayla MORRISON ©, 22. Ava BRIEDIS (19. Lia PRIVITELLI 46’).
Unused Subs: 30. Gabriela GARTON.
Yellow Cards: Eliadis 29’, Murphy 62’
Red Cards: None
Venue: Allianz Stadium.
Referee: Isabella Blaess