Premiers’ Plate winners Canberra United and Perth Glory will host the semi finals after unexpected results and late drama in the final round of the 2016/17 W-League regular season.
Canberra United produced a dominant performance on Saturday against Melbourne Victory to go into the box seat for the premiership heading into Sunday’s matches. The red hot Adelaide United continued their late season surge with the 5-2 win over Sydney FC to deny the Sky Blues a third premiership.
To add insult to injury, a Caitlin Doeglas goal in the last 30 seconds of the season saw Perth Glory win 1-0 to leapfrog Sydney into second place and a home berth.
Perth Glory will host their semi final at nib Stadium – an A-League double header – on Saturday, 4 February 2017 with kick off at 4pm local time (7pm AEDST).
“The girls deserve to be in the position they are in,” said Perth Glory coach Glory’s W-League coach Bobby Despotovski. “I was a bit disappointed for them not to take top spot, but from last year to this year it has been a vast improvement, from the coaching and across the whole organisation.”
“The players worked very hard for this and I want them to rise to the occasion and it’s only fitting to play at nib in the semi-final as well.”
Tickets to Glory’s Hyundai A-League match against the Jets will also guarantee free entry to the early W-League clash and can be purchased HERE.
Premiers Canberra United will host defending champions Melbourne City at GIO Stadium – also part of an A-League double header – on Sunday, 5 February 2017 with kick off at 2pm AEDST.
Both teams are familiar with GIO Stadium with the venue hosting their first encounter in Round 2 where City claimed all three points in a tight encounter. While pleased to claim a historic third premiership, Canberra United are said to be disappointed with scheduling of the date and venue.
“That’s [GIO Stadium] certainly not our preference, our preference was to play [at McKellar],” Dower told The Canberra Times.
“This is our home, this is Fortress McKellar so from my perspective a lot of other clubs have had a fair say of where they’re allowed to play this year … especially if you’re finishing No.1 or two on the ladder I think you’ve earned the right to play at your own home ground.”
Traditionally in the W-League the first placed team has enjoyed the benefit of hosting the first semi final – resulting in an additional day’s break for a possible grand final berth – as well as booking the home ground of their choice.
Canberra presented their preference for a standalone afternoon game at their long time home ground McKellar Park – a ground which has hosted a number of televised semi finals and a grand final. The move to GIO Stadium poses a number of logistical problems for United including finding an appropriate time to train at the ground, catering to club supporters and members, catering to club sponsors regarding ticket allocations (which they may have to purchase from Ticketek) and potentially losing out on all income from the semi final.
It is believed the club will be continuing discussions with the FFA on several of the issues but are resigned to the date and venue.
Tickets for the semi final are available from Ticketek on the link here. The tickets provide entry to both the W-League and A-League matches with the Central Coast Mariners running an offer where the purchase of one adult ticket will faciliate free entry for up to four children, using the code ‘ROSE17’.
Broadcast details for both semi finals have yet to be finalised or announced. The broadcast announcement will be of particular interest in relation to the Perth Glory v Sydney FC semi final, with the A-League Melbourne Derby kicking off at 7.50pm (AEDST) on the same night.
The winners of the two semi finals will play off in the 2017 W-League Grand Final on Sunday, 12 February with the highest placed grand finalist to host the finale.
SEMI FINAL DETAIlS
Perth Glory v Sydney FC
Saturday, 4 February 2017
Kick off: 4pm local (7pm AEDST)
Canberra United v Melbourne City
Sunday, 5 February 2017
Kick off: 2pm AEDST