Reigning Westfield W-League champions Sydney FC cruised into their second successive grand final with an overwhelming 5-1 win over Melbourne Victory at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Sky Blues will now host Brisbane Roar at the same venue next Saturday in a re-match of last season’s title decider.
Leena Khamis scored a brace for Sydney, while there were also goals from Servet Uzunlar (penalty), Kyah Simon and substitute Nicola Bolger, with Stephanie Catley replying for the visitors.
The Victory had been the league’s in-form defence going into the semi-final encounter having conceded just twice in their last six outings.
Their ability to hold the Sky Blues attack was always going to be the key however the Victory conceded the opener in disastrous circumstances on 26 minutes as a misguided pass from goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri was collected by Khamis who proceeded to fire home clinically with a high unerring shot.
The Victory equalised just four minutes later with impressive young wide midfielder Stephanie Catley finishing a swift counter-attack by crashing home a shot off the underside of the crossbar.
It was however the only time that the Victory seriously threatened the goal of Sydney’s goalkeeper Dimi Poulos during the half and it was little surprise when the home side restored their lead.
The Victory failed to deal with a corner from the left and the ensuing goalmouth scramble resulted in a penalty awarded for handball with Uzunlar converting.
There was still time for inspirational Sydney midfielder Kylie Ledbrook to flash an impressive curling effort just wide.
The opening period of the second half was largely an arm-wrestle in the middle of the park however a third Sydney goal was always likely to open the flood gates and so it proved.
Simon, the league’s top-scorer, cut a swathe down the left flank before cutting in and enjoying a slice of luck as her well-hit shot cannoned off the base of the near post before ricocheting off Barbieri and into the net.
The Sky Blues added a fourth within 60 seconds as Khamis scored her second with a clinical finish past an exposed Barbieri with the Victory pushing forward.
The visitors’ goalscoring chances were few and far between with Kendall Fletcher coming closest, although the one-time USA international could only direct a shot wide from a sitting position with the goal unattended.
Substitute Nicola Bolger underlined the Sky Blues supremacy two minutes from the end with the final goal set up by a deft Renee Rollason back heel.
Sydney FC 5 (Leena Khamis 26’ 75’, Servet Uzunlar 38’ pen, Kyah Simon 74’, Nicola Bolger 88’)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Stephanie Catley 30’)
Photo :Paul Kane/Getty Images AsiaPac
Source: Pete Smith at Campbelltown Stadium, Sportal
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