Melbourne Victory successfully defended the A-League Women’s championship on Sunday with a 2-1 Grand Final win over Sydney FC at Jubilee Oval in Sydney.
Goals from Amy Jackson and Catherine Zimmerman gave Melbourne a two-goal lead in a rerun of last year’s decider before Courtnee Vine pulled one back for Sydney, setting up a nail-biting finish.
After a goalless first half, Jackson put Victory in front four minutes into the second period with a close range header following Kyra Cooney-Cross’ looping centre.
Zimmerman doubled her side’s advantage in the 64th minute when she slammed her shot through the legs of Sydney goalkeeper Jada Whyman after Melina Ayres’ initial effort was blocked.
Two minutes later, though, Courtnee Vine halved the deficit with a close-range finish, the winger reacting quickest when Casey Dumont had parried Charlize Rule’s header at a corner.
Melbourne saw a third goal ruled out after Whyman punched the ball into her own net late in the game, but it mattered little as the champions retained the trophy.
(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Gerry Doyle)