In the wake of Melbourne City’s three-season-long domination of the W-League has been Sydney FC and Perth Glory – the two teams to have lost to City in all those grand finals.
Season 2018-19 will see one of those clubs finally enjoy their moment in the sun; Perth potentially for the first time ever, Sydney for a record equalling third time.
In what has been the most hotly contested W-League season ever, the two semi-finals befit the season they proceeded.
A Sam Kerr hat trick guided Perth to the grand final after they defeated Melbourne Victory 4-2 after extra time.
Christine Nairn’s 2nd minute opener had the minor premiers sitting pretty. The Glory could have had a couple of penalty shouts fall their way but the 1-0 score line was taken into the break.
Victory ‘keeper Casey Dumont was subbed at half time due to concussion. Leticia McKenna set up Sam Kerr for the equaliser in the 72nd minute and Perth seemed to have it wrapped up when Kerr provided the assist for Rachel Hill in the 86th minute.
Grace Maher’s 94th minute goal sent the game into extra time but Victory were running out of legs.
Kerr grabbed her second early in the first half of extra time before Sam Johnson’s second yellow saw the premiers reduced to 10.
Kerr sealed the result and her hat trick in the 107th minute with a back flip to boot. Bobby Despotovski’s side will travel to Sydney to take on the Sky Blues after their 2-0 win over Brisbane Roar.
Caitlin Foord was found superbly by Danielle Colaprico for the opener in the 33rd minute.
Alanna Kennedy’s excellent footwork and control on the byline helped set up Sydney’s second midway through the second half. The Matilda cut it back to Sofia Huerta who smashed it through bodies and into the back of the net.
Brisbane’s task was made all the more hard ten minutes later when Natalie Tathem was sent off.
It was a grandstand finish with Yuki Nagasato’s sublime strike in the second minute of injury time pegging one back for the home side.
However, it was a little too late for the Roar who exit at the semi final stage for the third time in four seasons.
Sydney will host Perth at Jubilee Stadium on Saturday at 4:30pm AEDT. Tickets are on sale now.