The A-League Women's grand-final rematch has delivered in spades, with Melbourne Victory denying Sydney FC with an injury-time equaliser.
Catherine Zimmerman stunned Sydney FC with a goal in injury-time to earn Melbourne Victory a 2-2 draw with the A-League Women's title favourites.
Melbourne Victory - Sydney FC
- Melbourne Victory drew 2-2 with Sydney FC in Wednesday's A-League Women's match.
- A late goal by Lia Privitelli saved the point for Victory.
- Sydney remain first in the league, Victory third.
More A-League Women's news can be found on The Women's Game.
Victory jumped off the canvas from 2-0 down on Wednesday night to salvage a draw at City Vista Recreation Centre.
Second-half goals to Princess Ibini and Remy Siemsen put Sydney FC firmly on track for grand-final revenge on Wednesday night.
However, subsitute Lia Privitelli revived the second-best Victory and Zimmerman produced parity in the second minute of injury time, pouncing on a loose ball in the box to thrash home a left-footed volley.
ZIMMERMANNNNN 🔥 @gomvfc come from 2ï¸âƒ£-0ï¸âƒ£ down to rescue a point against @SydneyFC!— Liberty A-League (@aleaguewomen) February 16, 2022
It's Catherine Zimmerman who rockets it home from the corner 🚀
What. A. Game.
Full time wrap: https://t.co/42tpbKV3Hq#MVCvSYD #WeAreALeagues @LibFinancial pic.twitter.com/KNXIKlAUrl
"We were almost just hanging on," Victory coach Jeff Hopkins admitted.
"We were forced to play at an intensity we hadn't played at.
"I'm really pleased with the character we showed ... we showed to ourselves we can play and compete with the best in this league."
The drama recalled last year's grand final between the two sides, when Victory snatched an upset 1-0 win with a goal in the final minute of extra-time.
While Sydney FC are on track for a second-straight premiership this term, the result will set pulses racing for another Big Blue during this finals series.
And despite their likely silverware, Victory might claim a mental edge.
On Wednesday, Sydney laid siege to Victory's goal without success in the first half without truly finding their groove.
Sydney fluffed their lines in front of goal before a moment of magic from Ibini.
The towering winger danced to the touchline and fired a left-footed shot from the tightest of angles after 50 minutes to break the deadlock.
Ten minutes later Siemsen was served up a fine chance from Charlize Rule's inviting centre, heading past Casey Dumont at close range.
With Victory veteran Amy Jackson forced off with a lower leg issue, Ante Juric's side looked set to blow out the margin.
Instead, substitute Privitelli popped up to tap home Courtney Nevin's firm cross when Natalie Tobin made a hash of her clearance.
That goal ended Sydney FC's record run without conceding in a 10-game streak dating back to November.
A dramatic finished looked in the off from that point.
Dumont, who had a top night in goal, produced a stunning save to deny Siemsen while Victory's Alex Chidiac also forced Jada Whyman into a rare piece of action.
Rock solid 🙌@gomvfc ended up taking a point, but without Casey Dumont's efforts it might have been a different story 💥— Liberty A-League (@aleaguewomen) February 17, 2022
Melbourne Victory now sit third in the @LibFinancial A-League as they continue their charge for finals football!#WeAreALeagues pic.twitter.com/TyziNl4TYv
Just when Sydney looked to have done enough, Zimmerman popped up to earn Victory a point.
The draw might have broken Sky Blue hearts but it leaves their quest for an unbeaten season - a feat achieved just twice in the league's history - on track and within sight.
Sydney face second-placed Melbourne City on Sunday in another top clash, while Victory host finals aspirants Perth Glory on Saturday.
The full A-League Women's schedule can be found using this link.