W-League Round 14 Review: final showdown ends with some surprises

W-League Round 14 Review: final showdown ends with some surprises

The semi-finalists have been confirmed in the competition but not everyone ended on a high note.

Katie Mishner

The Australian W League is doing its utmost to become the most competitive and unpredictable league in the women's footballing world. They certainly are not failing. The past couple of months has seen events stray from the blueprint massively, former Champions have faltered slightly while there have been some surprise victories.

The last games in round 14 determined which four teams would go onto compete to become Champions. While the final four came as no surprise, it did not stop the rest of the teams from causing a shift in the table to end their own season on a high note.

Adelaide's resurgence 

After spending the vast majority of the league span at the bottom of the table with no wins, Adelaide United started to change that just three weeks ago with a bang. Overcoming Western Sydney Wanderers in a 10-2 thrashing induced  a string of wins that shocked the entire league.

In round 14 they did not stop their new found streak when the team at the top Sydney FC paid a visit to the Coopers Stadium.

Parity remained intact for the first, but the reds were wearing down Sydney in the heat of south Australia. One minute into the second half and Racheal Quigley's tap in opened up what would be a seven goal thriller - the W League has not been short of these so far. Advantage was soon doubled by top scorer Adriana Jones as she tore past goalkeeper Sham Kamis to slot the ball into an open net. Sydney fought back, equalising within a short frame of time owing to ​Remy Siemson's off the bench, three minute brace. Adelaide, the underdogs,

Ultimately, nail in the coffin was another two goals delivered by Jones once again and a late shot from Sofie Huerta. While the Sky Blues were still guaranteed a place in the semi-finals, the shock result knocked Sydney off their top spot, offering Canberra United an opportunity to grab the pride of the top spot.

Canberra cruise through to the semis

While Sydney faltered, Canberra had already put the pressure on with a comprehensive 5-1 deconstruction of Melbourne Victory, who now finish a disappointing season at the bottom of the ladder.

Dominance came early for Canberra as Ashleigh Sykes fired multiple attempts on goal, but the Victory managed to bat away the heavy fire. However, at 40 minutes they folded. Sykes finally had her way as she converted a penalty easily into the bottom corner of the net.

That one goal was the spark that United needed as just three minutes into the second half Yukari Kinga struck on target, while Melbourne fought back with one goal it was a mere consolation as Canberra found their groove. Sykes and Kinga both earned a brace to seal the deal in additional time following Grace Maher's left footed strike from inside the box in the 77th minute.

Battle for fourth place

Round 13 saw Newcastle Jets win while Melbourne City loss set up a perfect final day battle. However, City resurrected their form when they needed it most to overcome the Jets and keep a clean sheet.

The match remained close throughout the first half but City had more of the opportunities. Finally, this came through as Erika Tymrak found the back of the net from Tiegen Allen's headed pass in the 56th minute. Once fully into the swing of it, Melbourne City managed to defend determined Newcastle away from their final third; limiting them to only two shots on target.

In additional time, to add insult to injury, Amy Jackson's strike from outside the box all but confirmed that Jets would miss out on another Championship while City can go forth and compete in the semi-finals.

Perth's late goal glory

Perth Glory maintained their second place finish with thanks to a goal in the second minute of extra time, after a gruelling match against lower table counterparts Western Sydney Wanderers.

The scoreline does not reflect fairly on the dominance of now semi-finalists Perth as they had 16 attempts on goal while the home side, Western Sydney, only managed 6 - catching one on target.

Persisting through the frustration, the Glory finally caught their break right at the end of the game. Vanessa Di Bernando found Caitlin Doeglas inside the box and with one superb strike, the ball launched into the top corner of the net. Granting Perth with three hard earned points.