Sydney FC 4 (Vine 74’, 114’, Rojas 90’+1’, Hunter 97’) def. by Melbourne City FC 2 (Wilkinson 22’, 58’)
Sydney FC have staged an unbelievable comeback to book a place in the Liberty A-League Grand Final for the fifth year in a row after defeating Melbourne City 4-2 at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
The Sky Blues were 2-0 down with 15 minutes to play but late goals from Cortnee Vine and Cote Rojas took the game to extra-time where Sarah Hunter and Vine again sealed the deal.
The Grand Final will now take place on Sunday 27th March at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in a 4.05pm kick off against one of either City, Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United, once they have played off.
Moments That Mattered:
LOWE CHANCE – 10’ – Freekick from Ray falls to Lowe who takes touch in front of Barbieri inside the six-yard box but her shot doesn’t have the power to beat the keeper.
WHYMAN SAVE – 20’ – Vljanic shot from inside the box and Whyman acrobatically dives full length to stop it going in the top corner.
WILKINSON GOAL – 22’ – Vljanic crosses the ball which Tobin tries to cut out but the ball is pounced on by Wilkinson who slots it past Whyman.
SIEMSEN CHANCE – 38’ – Ibini heads the ball down to Siemsen to rush at goal and shoot but Heatley gets a late block to deny her.
WILKINSON GOAL – 58’ – Stott plays in McKenna who crosses to the near post where Wilkinson gets to the ball first to slot home.
VINE GOAL – 74’ – The impressive Green drives forward, gets to the byline and lifts a left foot cross to Vine who smashes a header into the corner.
VINE HITS THE BAR – 82’ – Vine is placed clear by a superb ball from Green and the striker bears down on goal but her shot bounces off the bar and over.
VLJANIC SENT OFF – 88’ – Vine goes clear form a ball over the top, beats the keeper and is brought down from behind in front of an open goal
ROJAS GOAL – 90’+2’ – A ball comes back into the box from the left hand side and falls to Rojas. She takes a touch and slots the ball into the corner to take us to extra time!!!
HUNTER GOAL – 96’ – Hawkesby’s right wing corner is met by Hunter who heads home to give the Sky Blues a 3-2 lead.
VINE GOAL – 113’ – A quick, long goal kick from Whyman from a City attacking play puts Rojas on the break wide left. She spots Vine unmarked and on the right side, finds her and the Matilda makes no mistake finishing past a stranded Barbiero
BARBIERI SENT OFF – 115’ – Goalkeeper Barbieri handballs outside the box as Vine tries to lob her and is sent from the field to leave the visitors with nine.
What They Said: Ante Juric: “It was an epic encounter. I wasn’t surprised because City are excellent and it went back and forth and we came back from 2-0 which was nice.
“I’m real happy and proud of everyone. I just want these girls to win the Grand Final so much and I’ll try and do everything I can to get them there.”
Cortnee Vine: “I wanted to be a game changer when I came on. I know our team is the fittest in the league and I knew we’d run over them and that’s what we ended up doing.
“I just wanted to get on and score and change the game and I think I ended up doing that.”
Sydney FC’s Liberty A-League squad have produced one of the finest comebacks in the club’s history to book a place in the Grand Final in two week’s time.
Two-nil down with 15 minutes to play, the Sky Blues seemed dead and heading for a preliminary final, however the girls pulled off a remarkable turnaround all three substitutes getting on the scoresheet.
Cortnee Vine pulled one back with a fine header, before City were reduced to 10 when Vljanic was sent off for a professional foul on Vine who had an open goal.
It appeared that had saved City but Cote Rojas popped up in injury time to level things and take it to a final 30 minutes.
Sydney FC dominated the extra time with Sarah Hunter scoring her first goal for the club with header from a corner before Vine wrapped up the win.
In more misery for City they finished the game with nine players when keeper Melissa Barbieri was sent off for a handball outside the box.
Sydney FC: 1. Jada WHYMAN, 3. Charlotte MCLEAN, 5. Ally GREEN (4. Jessika NASH 118’), 8. Rachel LOWE (6. Sarah HUNTER 64’), 10 Remy SIEMSEN (9. Maria ROJAS 64’), 12. Natalie TOBIN, 14. Paige SATCHELL (11. Cortnee VINE 46’), 15. Mackenzie HAWKESBY, 18. Taylor RAY, 19. Charlie RULE, 20. Princess IBINI.
Unused Subs: 30. Katie OFFER (GK).
Yellow Cards: Juric 60’, Whiteside 89’.
Red Cards: None.
Melbourne City FC: 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 5. Tori TUMETH, 6. Leticia MCKENNA (4. Chelsea BLISSETT 90’), 7. Winona HEATLEY (20. Caitlin KARIC 90’), 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY (2. Marisa VAN DER MEER 65’), 10. Rhianna POLLICINA (1. Sally JAMES (GK) 116’), 13. Rebekah STOTT (16. Meisha WESTLAND 71’), 15. Emma CHECKER, 17. Hannah WILKINSON, 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 19. Tyla Jay VLAJNIC.
Yellow Cards: Westland 86’, Vidosic 95’.
Red Cards: Vljanic 88’, Barbieri 116’.
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Referee: Gina Ghirardello