In the final week of the 2016-17 Westfield W-League season, things got a bit wild as teams battled to either earn the final playoff spot or finish the season strong. Four teams remain in post-season as Canberra United take top of the table, Perth Glory come close in second, Sydney FC slips to third, and Melbourne City sneak their way into fourth.
Melbourne and Newcastle face off for final playoff spot
First up for the weekend was arguably the most important of the four matches. With the last playoff spot up for grabs, last year’s champions Melbourne City knew it was do or die. The match was exciting from the start, with both City and the Newcastle Jets eager to find themselves still playing next weekend. There were plenty of chances on both sides, but there were no goals for either team by the end of the first 45. City finally capitalized in the 56th minute when Erika Tymrak was able to find the goal and give her team the 1-0 lead. Melbourne was able to take control after the goal, and despite Newcastle’s best efforts they were unable to equalize. City’s Amy Jackson added an insurance goal in stoppage to secure their spot in the playoffs.
Next week, Melbourne City will travel to first place Canberra United in attempts to earn a spot in the final.
Canberra United dominates Melbourne Victory
First place Canberra United took complete control at the end of their match against last place Melbourne Victory. There were no real chances for the most part of the first half with both sides struggling to find their rhythm. In the 39th minute, Victory’s Sam Johnson was shown a yellow card in the box and Canberra was suddenly up 1-0 as Ashleigh Sykes converted the penalty. Canberra doubled their lead only three minutes into the second half when Yukari Kinga put herself on the board. The Victory couldn’t be counted out yet, and only a minute later Christine Nairn was able to get one back for her team. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be enough for the Victory, as Canberra surged forward in the last 15 minutes with Grace Maher adding a goal along with both Sykes and Kinga each adding another. It was a 5-1 victory for the first place team and Sykes’ brace gave her 12 goals on the season, earning herself the Golden Boot.
Next week, Canberra United will host Melbourne City in hopes of reaching the final.
Adelaide United ends season with a bang
Before last weekend, Adelaide United only had two wins on the season. However, this team ended their season with a whopping 5-2 victory over Sydney FC. Sydney, who seem to be struggling to find their rhythm lately, were unable to stop Adelaide from taking the full three points. Action didn’t truly start until the second half, when Racheal Quigley put underdogs Adelaide on the board in the first minute. Only three minutes later, Adrianna Jones added to their lead. Sydney FC was quick to answer and equalize, with goals in the 55th and 58th minute from Remy Seisman.
Seisman’s attempts were not enough though, because two minutes after her second goal Emily Hodgson put Adelaide in the lead again. A yellow card was awarded to Sham Khamis in Sydney’s box and Jones was able to convert in the 78th minute. The final goal came in the dying minutes of the match, when Sofia Huerta was assisted by Katie Naughton to deliver the final blow.
Despite losing, Sydney FC will continue on to playoffs next weekend where they face Perth Glory.
Perth takes one more victory
To wrap up the weekend, Perth Glory secured their second place spot with a win over the Western Sydney Wanderers. Perth’s star Sam Kerr was forced to sit this one out after receiving two yellow cards last match. It seemed like the Wanderers and the Glory would split points this weekend, and frustration showed in the second half with a total of four players earning yellow cards. Perth came away with the win in stoppage, when Caitlin Doeglas finally put her team on board to earn three points.
Next week, Perth Glory will host Sydney FC in hopes of making the final.
The full W-League schedule can be found on their website.