Melbourne City's 2-0 win over Western Sydney wasn't enough to claim the A-League Premiers Plate but captain Emma Checker is talking up her team's finals chances.
A 2-0 win over Western Sydney ultimately wasn't enough to secure the A-League Womens' Premiers Plate but Melbourne City have already set their focus on finals success.
Goals from Rhianna Pollicina and Hannah Wilkinson secured City the victory against the Wanderers they needed to keep alive their premiership hopes, temporarily moving them one point above Sydney FC on the league ladder.
The Sky Blues' however secured a second consecutive premiership via their 1-0 win over Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium later on Sunday.
Although one piece of silverware has slipped through her team's grasp, City captain Emma Checker can see no reason why the championship cannot now be won.
"I just feel like we're in a really good place as a group and it doesn't matter who our opponent is at the moment," Checker told Paramount+.
"I genuinely believe we have a team that can go all the way."
City hit the front in the 21st minute when Pollicina notched her seventh goal of the campaign.
The 25-year-old combined nicely with New Zealand international Wilkinson before skipping away from two Wanderers defenders and sliding a pinpoint finish into the bottom corner past goalkeeper Sarah Langman.
Western Sydney, who have won just once all season, had a great chance to equalise early in the second half but Ashlie Crofts scuffed a right-foot finish when unmarked inside the penalty area.
Wilkinson thought she'd scored her 12th goal of the season moments later when she coolly finished past Langman but her effort was ruled out for an offside.
The tall striker did manage to get on the scoresheet in the 73rd minute however, sprinting clear of Caitlin Cooper before sliding her finish under Langman as the Wanderers' keeper rushed out to stop her.
Western Sydney had another great chance to get on the scoresheet in the 85th minute when Rosie Galea wriggled into space inside the box but substitute goalkeeper Sally James, who had only just replaced Melissa Barbieri moments earlier, pulled off a brilliant save to deny the hosts.
City, the only team to defeat Sydney this season, will face the Sky Blues in the opening week of finals for a spot in the grand final.
The Wanderers meanwhile are licking their wounds after an underwhelming season which featured just one win and seven goals and only missing the wooden spoon on goal difference to newcomers Wellington.
"Things need to change here at Wanderers," Cooper said.
"Each year we're finishing at the bottom of the table and it's just not good enough."