Victory women miss out on finals

The Melbourne Victory have been denied a maiden Westfield W-League finals appearance in dramatic circumstances as Perth Glory snatched a 2-0 win over the Victorians in the final game of the regular season on Saturday night.

The Melbourne Victory have been denied a maiden Westfield W-League finals appearance in dramatic circumstances as Perth Glory snatched a 2-0 win over the Victorians in the final game of the regular season on Saturday night.

Going into the clash at Perth's Clipsal Stadium, a 3-0 win by Canberra United over Adelaide United earlier in the day had seen the capital club leapfrog Melbourne into fourth position on the Westfield W-League table.

With both sides on 14 points, a win or draw for Victory would have taken them into fourth position and their first finals appearance, relegating Canberra to fifth on the table.

Having dominated shots at goal, Melbourne appeared in the box seat to make it with 10 minutes remaining as neither side had troubled the scorers. But a blistering run by Glory substitute Matilda Lisa De Vanna saw Perth open the scoring in the 81st minute.

Melbourne attempted a reply, but in the hot conditions, the goal seemed to have robbed the Victorians of any momentum, the Glory capitalising once again in the 87th minute as Katie Gill buried a long-range half-volley past Melissa Barbieri.

The result sees Perth finish the season on a high through two consecutive wins, including one over the highly-rated Brisbane Roar, their fourth victory of the season taking them to sixth position on the table, just one point and goal difference off a finals appearance as well.

With the mercury hovering in the high 30s as the match kicked off just before sunset in Western Australia, Melbourne dominated proceedings during the first half, but couldn't find a clinical finish to match its endeavour.

Julianne Sitch forced a save from Emma Wirkus as early as the fourth minute while the Glory stopper had her work cut out for her throughout the first half hour as she was forced into numerous grabs in the air from dangerous Melbourne crosses.

Aside from a few half-chances, Perth's first real chance to score occurred four minutes after the break when a barnstorming run by Elisa D'Ovidio released Samantha Kerr, but Melbourne stopper Barbieri bravely smothered the ball at Kerr's feet.

A minute later Selin Kuralay squandered Victory's best chance when a poorly cleared ball fell at her feet 15 metres out, the striker cracking one shot into the crossbar before taking a fortunate rebound and firing directly at Wirkus.

Just after the hour a dangerous low shot from Sitch forced Wirkus into a diving save but Melbourne started to regret its missed chances when Australia striker De Vanna was introduced in the 64th minute.

Showing no signs of a troublesome ankle injury, De Vanna looked sharp and determined from the outset, her first attack on the ball resulting in an attempt on goal by Ella Mastrantonio.

In the 68th minute a brilliant 40-metre cross from Melbourne's Monnique Hansen-Kofoed from the right almost saw Melbourne take the lead, as the ball confused Wirkus in the air, forcing her to backpedal and tip over the bar.

But the tide was turning as De Vanna and Kerr terrorised Melbourne's defence. The pair both had legitimate shouts for a penalty in the 78th minute as they were on the receiving end of some robust Melbourne defence in the area.

And, in the 81st minute, De Vanna's speed finally told. Released by a glorious through-ball from Gill, De Vanna powered past the Victory defence and calmly slotted the ball past Barbieri.

Kuraly had the chance to level and put Melbourne into the finals in the 86th minute but sent her header over the bar from a good position and once again the Victory paid.

A rushed clearance out of the Victory defence fell perfectly for Gill to slam home a half-volley from 25 metres out, sending a good crowd into raptures as Melbourne's dream ended.

Perth Glory 2 (De Vanna 81, Gill 87) Melbourne Victory 0