In windy conditions Sydney FC pulled out a fantastic 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory to book themselves another Grand Final birth. A first half winner from Veronica Latsko was enough for the Sky Blues.
1. Sydney FC were simply cleaner with the ball
In a scrappy game, the Sky Blues had the better touches and were more accurate with their touches.
Sofia Huerta, Natalia Tobin, Taylor Ray and Lindsay Agnew stood out.
Huerta was excellent with her clever touches and skilful play. She had 61 touches, laid 32 passes with a 78% accuracy rate.
Agnew was dangerous all afternoon and pulled of some clever passes. Tobin and Ray were always involved.
For Victory, Haley Hanson was the only player that had above 70% for her passing accuracy. This summed up the game for the Victorians, not enough composure and clean ball to team mates.
Poor decision making didn’t help with classy forward Natasha Dowie getting poor service all day.
2. Sky Blues understand the finals game
Love them or loathe them, Sydney FC as a club know what it takes to win on the big stage. Next weekend will be their seventh W-League decider as they look for a record breaking fourth crown.
Today they had a solid game plan which paid off. They absorbed Victory’s pressure and then counter attacked when they needed too.
Their defence stuck to the task, jockeying opponents when necessary and then putting in timely tackles when they had too.
It was a disciplined performance from the Sky Blues who will feel they deserved a win despite having to clear the ball away 34 times to eight.
The fact they had 52% of the possession despite the fact Victory looked like they were attacking more just shows that Sydney FC knew exactly what they were doing.
3. Victory need more outlets to goal
Natasha Dowie is a legend of the game. But far too often she plays a lone hand. Today she was never in the game despite working hard for the 90 minutes.
Dariah Jenkins and Melina Ayres weren’t at their best today and with Dowie shut down, Victory found it hard.
They did have chances but the lack of composure meant they blazed wide or over the bar.
Jeff Hopkins needs to find more avenues to goal next season if Victory are to go beyond the semi-finals.