Melbourne Victory is targeting a second Westfield W-League championship when it faces Sydney FC in the Grand Final on Sunday.
Victory reached its third Grand Final and first since 2013/14 courtesy of a stunning 6-2 win over Brisbane Roar.
It makes the trip to Jubilee Stadium for the decider as it targets a second championship.
Victory produced an excellent performance in the Semi Final against Brisbane as Melina Ayres scored a hat-trick, Lisa De Vanna netted a brace and Catherine Zimmerman also struck at Lions FC Stadium.
As its attack stole the show, Victory delivered a fine team performance against a dangerous Roar outfit.
Ayres moved onto eight goals for the season as she became the second player in Westfield W-League history to score a finals hat-trick.
De Vanna and Ayres joined Amy Jackson and Caitlin Friend on 14 Westfield W-League goals for Victory, the equal second most behind Natasha Dowie (34).
The Semi Final also marked captain Angela Beard’s 50th Westfield W-League appearance for Victory, becoming the eighth player to achieve that feat.
Lia Privitelli is one game away from becoming the ninth to that same milestone.
Head coach Jeff Hopkins’ pre-match thoughts
on big occasion…
“Most probably keeping things as they’ve been all season. I think we all understand how big the game is and it’s going to take a real huge effort from everyone to win the game, but I think the way that we’ve gone about things this season and I think we do everything pretty much the same in our preparation, try and keep everything as close to that preparation as possible. As a group of players, we’ve been very focused all season, we’ve been very professional about the way we’ve approached games and we’ve been pretty successful so I don’t see why we should do anything too much different, but maybe just try and make one or two things a little bit different and a little bit special for the players to maybe remember as well.”
“Really happy. We’re on a great run of games now, even the performance in the Sydney game I think was of a really high standard, most probably just ran out of a few ideas in and around the goal, but I think we talked about that and put that right on the weekend. We’re looking forward to having another go at Sydney. There’s one or two areas that we just needed to put right but I feel that we were very, very good in most departments against them so it’s not going to take much of a tweak for us to put things right for Sunday.”
on previous meeting…
“I think the fact that we lost the game kind of means that we did actually think about it a little bit more. There’s a tendency to move on quickly from that game because we had the Brisbane game, but because we lost the game we maybe needed to look at the game a little bit more to see where we needed to make improvements for the weekend. We’ve looked at that game and there’s one or two areas that we needed to get better on on Sunday and we definitely put those right in terms of the way we went about things in the front third. I’m looking forward to having another go and I think the players are as well.”
Westfield W-League 2020/21 Round 14
Sydney FC 2-1 Melbourne Victory
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Cromer Park, Sydney
Victory was edged by Sydney when the teams met last month.
A Teresa Polias free-kick and Princess Ibini penalty put Sydney in control before Kyra Cooney-Cross’ late stunner as Victory fell short of winning the Premier’s Plate.
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Kick-off: 4.05pm AEST