After a thrilling W-League regular season, four teams were ready for the two semi-finals which would decide the two teams that would advance to the Grand Final. On Saturday Perth Glory played against Sydney FC, while Canberra United hosted Melbourne City on Sunday.
Perth stroll past Sydney
The first semi-final saw Perth Glory welcome Sydney FC to NIB Stadium, in a game that eventually had a clear winner. Sydney are no stranger to semi-finals, having never missed one, while this was Perth Glory’s third semi. Sydney drew the first punch when Matildas regular, Kyah Simon, got on the scoresheet in the 23rd minute when she followed up on a blocked shot from youngster Remy Siemsen.
However, it didn’t take long until Perth Glory got back into it, when they were awarded a penalty just four minutes later, which Vanessa DiBernardo slotted past Claire Coelho. The Sydney goalkeeper was signed from Newcastle Jets for this game, as regular goalkeeper, Sam Khamis, was out with a concussion. The first half ended 1-1, with both teams having good chances to add to the score.
The second half kicked off with both teams having a few chances at goal, but neither getting that vital second goal. Glory eventually got on the scoresheet again when a bad touch from Sydney’s Alanna Kennedy, saw her deflect the ball behind Coelho and into her own net. It was 2-1 for Perth Glory who were on their way to their second ever Grand Final.
They got even closer when first Di Bernardo, with her second of the day, and later Rosie Sutton found the back of the net for Perth Glory to make it 4-1 in the 79th minute. Sydney pushed forward trying to overturn the three goal deficit, but Perth stood tall and eventually finished of Sydney when Shawn Billam scored a scorcher from outside the box to make it 5-1 for Glory.
Fishlock wins it in extra-time for Melbourne
The other semi-final was between Premier winners Canberra United and last year’s W-League champions from Melbourne City. The two previous encounters between the sides this season had resulted in a win for each team, so it promised to be an open game between two teams that both have what it takes to emerge victorious.
The first-half proved to be as even as expected when neither team found a way to break down the other, despite plenty of chances. Melbourne had most of the possession, but had a hard time finding that important first goal against Canberra, who despite less possession had more shots on goal. It was also Canberra who had the best chance of the half in the 12th minute, when a header looked destined for goal before Aivi Luik’s goal line save spared Melbourne City.
City also had their fair share of chances, but neither team could break the deadlock. This was also the picture in the second half, where both teams had cracks at goal, but no one could find the back of the net. The best two chances came towards the end of the 90 minutes where City's Jess Fishlock saw her shot go just wide, before Canberra's Celeste Boureille saw her shot deflected out to a corner. Regular time ended 0-0, and the two teams were headed into 30 minutes of extra time.
In extra time, it was once again Fishlock who ran away with the biggest chance when Marianna Tabain found her in behind Canberra's defence, but Fishlock's shot was brilliantly parried over by Canberra 'keeper Trudy Burke. In the second half of extra time Fishlock finally got her goal when, in the 107th minute, Canberra failed to deal with a corner, leaving room for Fishlock to pounce on a ball just outside of the area. Canberra couldn’t find the equaliser, as Melbourne City booked their place in the Grand Final.
With these results, Perth Glory will host defending champions Melbourne City in the Grand Final next Sunday.