Melbourne Victory went back-to-back in the Liberty A-League, beating Sydney FC 2-1 in an enthralling Grand Final on Sunday.
Victory claimed a third Championship after a thrilling decider at Jubilee Stadium, where goalkeeper Casey Dumont starred.
An Amy Jackson header and Catherine Zimmerman goal had Victory on top and Jeff Hopkins’ side held on despite Cortnee Vine’s tap in.
Sydney made the faster start and Dumont was needed to punch a corner away before Zimmerman’s important clearance in the opening minutes.
Victory was inches away from an opening goal through Alex Chidiac.
The midfielder’s inswinging corner looked set to result in another ‘Olimpico’ – Kyra Cooney-Cross’ in last season’s Grand Final delivered Victory the trophy – but Ally Green cleared off the line.
Dumont was required again in the 13th minute with a strong save from Remy Siemsen’s effort after the forward cut in from the left.
The Victory goalkeeper enjoyed a tremendous first half.
Dumont denied Princess Ibini in a one-on-one just after the half-hour mark before Siemsen had the ball in the back of the net, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.
Perhaps the best of Dumont’s saves came on the stroke of half-time, the goalkeeper tipping over a Mackenzie Hawkesby header.
From the resulting corner, the set-piece hit the back post and bounced out before Victory cleared.
But Victory made a dream start to the second half through Jackson.
A corner was only partially cleared to Cooney-Cross, who looped a ball back into the centre and Jackson climbed highest to head in.
Victory doubled its lead through Zimmerman in the 64th minute.
Melina Ayres saw a powerful volley blocked from Lia Privitelli’s cross, but the ball fell to Zimmerman to drill in.
But Sydney responded almost immediately as Vine tapped in after Dumont saved a Charlize Rule header.
Ayres then saw a cross from the left bounce over Jada Whyman, but the Sydney goalkeeper recovered to push it off the line.
The resultant corner saw Courtney Nevin curl the set-piece onto the crossbar.
Victory had a goal ruled out after Whyman punched a corner into her own net before the Sydney goalkeeper did superbly to tip away a long-range Tiffany Eliadis strike.
But Victory held firm defensively to win the title in Sydney again.
Player in focus
Dumont was incredible for Victory. The goalkeeper made several good saves in a stunning player-of-the-match performance.
Victory became just the second team in the competition’s history to win back-to-back Championships.
Liberty A-League 2021/22 Grand Final
Sydney FC 1 (Cortnee Vine 66′)
Melbourne Victory 2 (Amy Jackson 49′, Catherine Zimmerman 64′)
Sydney FC: Whyman (gk); Rule, Mclean, Tobin (c), Green (Satchell 86′); Hunter (Lowe 63′), Ray, Hawkesby; Vine, Siemsen (Rojas 72′), Ibini.
Melbourne Victory: Dumont (gk); Doran, Bunge, Hendrix, Nevin; Jackson, Cooney-Cross, Chidiac (Eliadis 88′); Privitelli (c) (Withers 90+1′), Ayres, Zimmerman.
Yellow cards: Nevin 8′, Rule 77′, Doran 82′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: Jubilee Stadium