After the semi-finals proved that the Westfield W-League is one of the most unpredictable, competitive leagues in the women's footballing world. While Perth Glory eased past long-term leaders of the ladder Sydney FC in a 5-1 thrashing while Melbourne City took it into extra time against top of the ladder Canberra United.
The adrenaline continues as the final is a hot one - literally - as both Perth and Melbourne seek out their respective pieces of history.
Slice of history
While Melbourne City were new to the W League last year, their inaugural season was stunning as they topped the ladder and subsequently lifted the championship. Now, they seek to become the first W-League club to win two successive championships.
While the visitors are searching for more silverware, Perth Glory are looking for their first Championship win despite reaching this stage two years ago. However, the women's team are not just playing for themselves as a win would mean the first Championship glory for Western Australian football since 2004.
The whole set up of the matches paints the classic picture of the underdogs v champions. And despite a higher finish up the ladder and flying higher than City, The Glory’s empty trophy cabinet positions them as the ‘underdogs’ of the fixture, even if they do have the home advantage.
For City, 2017 started with glory as they seemed as though they were picking up from where they left off. Winning their games consistently it seemed like another perfect season could be attainable, but there was a weakness showing as City conceded more and scored less. They were caught on a slide, one that would be proved difficult to be rescued from.
To add insult to injury, manager Joe Montemurro declared his departure from the club. This left Jess Fishlock to step up to the plate, and she did despite the turbulence of more poor results. In their final game against Newcastle Jets, a must win for either team in order to compete in the play-offs, Melbourne City comfortably confirmed their place in the championships.
Form was saved just at the right time as City when went into against a very strong Canberra side. Having to play 120 gruelling minutes was a result of the parity between the two quality sides. However, player-manager Jess Fishlock was the difference, as she so often is. Momentum has freshly found Melbourne City which puts them in good stead
On the other hand, Perth have been more consistent. Having only dropped points in three different games, they finished as Premiers runners up. Their slump only lasted two games, ultimately due to losing confidence from the initial 7-2 thumping by Canberra.
Now they have two wins behind them, including a glorious 5-1 victory in the semis against Sydney FC. The stability that the team have from a solid season should give Perth confidence going in , especially when coupled with the
In addition to stability, Perth are full strength squad available to them, including their captain and unstoppable forward Sam Kerr who has been on fire this season for Glory. While Melbourne are without their 2015 top goal scorer, Larrissa Crummer, but fortunately both squads are loaded with talent.
It was just before 2017 began when these two teams met for a heated and close clash, ending 3-2 to Perth with thanks to two late goals from Kerr. Now the circumstances are different and the venue is different. It's all to play for.