Melbourne City FC will aim to reach its second consecutive Westfield W-League Grand Final with a win over Canberra United in a blockbuster Semi-Final at GIO Stadium on Sunday night.
It’s a blockbuster match up befitting of a Grand Final clash, but Melbourne City and Canberra United will meet a week earlier for a place in the Westfield W-League showpiece.
The journey to the finals series may not have been as smooth sailing as last season, but reigning champions City enter Sunday’s clash at GIO Stadium with the golden word that can make or break a team heading into the finals – momentum.
An impressive 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets in Coffs Harbour was enough for City to lock up fourth position in the final round, with Jess Fishlock’s side producing arguably its most complete team performance of the season when it mattered most.
That result followed on from a dominant 3-1 win over Brisbane Roar in the penultimate round of the season, where City outplayed, outgunned and outscored a Roar outfit fighting to keep their own finals chances alive.
If playing in a second consecutive Grand Final wasn’t enough motivation, a win on Sunday will provide City with the chance to become the first team to successfully defend its Westfield W-League Championship.
Standing in the way is Canberra, who were crowned Premiers after a commanding 5-1 win over Melbourne Victory saw them leapfrog Sydney FC on the final day of the season.
The ledger is square heading into the Semi Final, with both sides registering a win apiece during the regular season.
City collected a 2-1 win in the last meeting between the two sides at GIO Stadium in Round 2, while it was Canberra who put an end to a remarkable 18-match winning streak by the same scoreline at CB Smith Reserve in Round 6.
It’s the nature of finals football that it’s markedly better to hit form at the end of the regular season than the start.
City has overcome its obstacles throughout the course of the campaign and timed its run to perfection, with a place in the W-League decider against Perth Glory next week the ultimate target.
From the dressing room
“We had a very shaky middle of our season and I think that tested our character. We’ve proven that we’ve come together stronger because of it. We’re confident now, we’ve won two games in a row and it’s all coming together at the right time. – City defender Laura Alleway.
How can I follow the match?
City’s blockbuster Semi Final tie against Canberra United at GIO Stadium will now kick off at 8pm (AEDT) due to heat concerns.
You watch all the match action LIVE on Fox Sports 505 from 8pm, or delayed on ABC TV at 10pm.
Westfield W-League – Semi Final
Sunday 5 February 2017
Canberra United vs Melbourne City FC
Venue: GIO Stadium
Kick-off: 8:00pm (AEDT)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 and delayed coverage on ABC TV (10pm nationally)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Radio Canberra, Grandstand Digital Canberra, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 2.Teigen ALLEN, 3.Lauren BARNES, 5.Laura ALLEWAY, 6.Aivi LUIK, 7.Steph CATLEY (c), 10.Jessica FISHLOCK, 11.Erika TYMRAK, 13.Rebekah STOTT, 14.Melina AYRES, 15.Amy JACKSON, 16.Beverly YANEZ, 17.Marianna TABAIN, 18.Jacynta GALABADAARACHCHI, 19.Tyla-Jay VLAJNIC, 20.Emily SHIELDS (gk)
Ins: 18.Jacynta GALABADAARACHCHI (promoted), 19.Tyla Jay VLAJNIC (promoted)
Unavailable: 9.Larissa CRUMMER (foot – season)