Melbourne City FC made history on Sunday as the club claimed its record-breaking third consecutive Westfield W-League Championship following a 2-0 victory against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium in Moore Park, Sydney, Australia.
After both sides exchanged scoring chances early in the match, City broke the deadlock in the 35th minute of action off a Jess Fishlock strike from distance. After dispossessing Georgia Yeoman-Dale, Fishlock picked her head up to see Sydney netminder Aubrey Bledsoe off her line, and the Welsh international chipped a shot from about 30 yards out over Bledsoe’s head and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. The score line would remain the same at halftime.
In the second half, Sydney put pressure on City goalkeeper Lydia Williams right away as Georgia Yeoman-Dale found space in the offensive third in the 49th minute and ripped a shot from distance, forcing Williams to tip the effort over the bar. Two minutes later, Williams made a diving save to block a free-kick attempt by Teresa Polias and keep the Sky Blues off the board.
In the 62nd minute, Rhali Dobson replaced forward Kyah Simon due to injury, and Dobson used her speed and energy to cause havoc for the Sydney backline. In the 74th minute, Dobson made a run down the pitch and towards the center of the field, forcing defender Emily Sonnett to commit a foul near the penalty area.
Fishlock stepped up to take the set piece, placing the ball towards the upper left corner, but Bledsoe made an impressive save. The ball then ricocheted off the crossbar and landed near the goalmouth where Jodie Taylor was there to convert the open netter for a 2-0 advantage with 15 minutes remaining.
City held on to secure the 2-0 win and made history as the first team in the A-League/W-League era to win three straight championships.
Sky Blue FC’s Rebekah Stott played the entire match in the victory, which is one of the reasons why she did not report for the first day of preseason for the New Jersey side.
Stott was recently called up to the New Zealand Women’s National Team for two upcoming friendlies against Scotland on March 4 and March 6, and will most likely not report to Sky Blue FC’s preseason camp until mid March.
SYDNEY FC STARTING XI: Aubrey Bledsoe (GK); Caitlin Cooper, Elizabeth Ralston, Emily Sonnett, Georgia Yeoman-Dale; Teresa Polias, Chloe Logarzo, Kylie Ledbrook; Lisa De Vanna, Princess Ibini, Leena Khamis
Substitutes: Shamiran Khamis (GK); Remy Siemsen, Rachael Soutar, Emma Rolston, Julia Vignes
Substitutes: Emily Shields (GK), Lia Muldeary, Rhali Dobson, Amy Jackson, Tyla Jay Vlajnic