Melbourne Victory was denied a second Westfield W-League Premier’s Plate after a 2-1 defeat against Sydney FC.
Jeff Hopkins’ side closed out the regular season needing three points to secure first place on the ladder, but fell two goals short of silverware.
Victory goalkeeper, Gaby Garton, made a number of top saves throughout – denying the hosts with two double saves in each half.
Sydney found goals through Teresa Polias and Princess Ibini which maintained its spot at the top of the table.
Garton’s first call to action came early on, closing down a run by Clare Wheeler and smothering the ball at the opponent’s feet.
Victory’s Kyra Cooney-Cross had a threatening spell 20 minutes in, testing the goalkeeper from range before winning a corner with some tricky footwork.
From the resulting set-piece, Melina Ayres and Claudia Bunge both had shots at goals with the latter scooping her attempt over the crossbar.
Despite Victory’s foothold in the game, Sydney FC took the lead in the 29th minute through a Polias free-kick.
The Sky Blues were denied a a second by a great double save from Garton, palming away a Mackenzie Hawkesby effort before quickly responding to Ibini’s rebounded shot.
Four minutes into the second half, Garton pulled off another impressive double stop – keeping Victory two goals away from the Premier’s Plate.
Catherine Zimmerman came off the bench on the hour-mark and asked questions of Sydney’s back four, firing a shot at Jada Mathyssen-Whyman’s goal.
Ibini doubled Sydney’s lead from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute and while Cooney-Cross pulled one back for Victory six minutes into stoppage time with a spectacular strike, the full-time whistle was blown soon after.
Westfield W-League 2020/21 Round 14
Sydney FC 2 (Teresa Polias 29′, Princess Ibini 73′)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Kyra Cooney-Cross 90+6′)
Hopkins and the squad will now turn their attention to the Westfield W-League Finals Series as they prepare to face Brisbane Roar.