Melbourne Victory booked their place in the Westfield W-League grand final after a controversial 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Perth Glory at nib Stadium.
Melbourne Victory booked their place in the Westfield W-League grand final after a controversial 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Perth Glory at nib Stadium
After both teams were locked at 1-1 at the end of extra-time, Perth took the early lead in the penalty shootout when Kaitlyn Savage saved Caitlin Friend's shot.
It then came down to Jessica McDonald to win it with the final penalty for Melbourne, which was saved by Savage in goal.
However, referee Katie Patterson ordered a retake for Savage coming off her line and McDonald then slotted home the second chance to put the Victory through to the decider.
Victory took the lead in the 51st minute when Stephanie Catley swung in a cross from the left and an unmarked Laura Spiranovic came in at the back post to roll the ball into the net.
Perth levelled just five minutes later when they won a free-kick on the edge of the box and Collette McCallum threaded it into the top right-hand corner of the Victory goal past Brianna Davey.
Neither team looked particularly likely to score after the McCallum free-kick as the game approached extra-time.
Melbourne earned a series of corners as they pressed for the winner late in the second half.
The Victory survived a big penalty shout in the 90th minute when Maika Ruyter-Hooley appeared to take down Lisa de Vanna in the box.
De Vanna had a couple of chances to give Perth the lead in the additional period, but put two long-range shots wide of the goal.
In a scoreless first half, Melbourne Victory had more possession but Perth had the better of the chances in front of goal.
Melbourne looked to use the width of the pitch to attack Perth, while the home side took a more direct route with their long-ball game.
Perth squandered a golden opportunity to open the scoring on six minutes when Marianna Tabain fed a long ball through to De Vanna, who was one-on-one with the keeper Davey, and had her first shot blocked before she blasted the second over the bar.
The long ball continued to cause problems for the Victory who played a high defensive line and Elisa D'Ovidio cut through the middle of the Melbourne defence and had a shot from distance that went wide of the post.
D'Ovidio went on another run and drew both of the defenders to release Kate Gill before the latter's shot was blocked by the late arriving Ruyter-Hooley.
After a drinks break as a result of the 34-degree heat, Melbourne looked an improved team as striker McDonald began to have an impact on the game.
The strong centre-forward slipped in between two Perth defenders and was one-on-one with Savage who rushed out and met the ball with a low-diving save and avert Melbourne's best chance of the half.
Perth Glory 1 (McCallum 56) Melbourne Victory 1 (Spiranovic 51) Crowd: TBC @ NIB Stadium
Perth Glory: 3. Carys Hawkins, 4. Bronwyn Studman (8. Ella Studman 119), 6. Sasha Andrews, 7. Aivi Luik, 11. Lisa De Vanna, 12. Kathryn Gill, 13. Elisa D'Ovidio (5. Shannon May 74), 14. Collette McCallum (c), 15. Elizabeth Milne, 17. Marianna Tabain (Rosie Sutton 86), 26. Kaitlyn Savage (GK). Bench: 2. Sarah Carroll, 5. Shannon May, 8. Ella Mastrantonio, 9. Rosie Sutton, 30. Maja Blasch.
Melbourne Victory: 1. Brianna Davey (GK), 2. Danielle Johnson (c), Maika Ruyter-Hooley, 4. Rebekah Stott, 5. Laura Spiranovic (11. Caitlin Friend 91), 6. Petra Larsson, 7. Stephanie Catley, 10. Jessica McDonald, 14. Enza Barilla, 15. Amy Jackson (23. Jessica Humble 113), 17. Gulcan Koca. Bench: 9. Tiffany Eliadis, 11. Caitlin Friend, 18. Cindy Lay, 20. Cassandra Dimovski (GK), 23. Jessica Humble