Melbourne City have finished the 2019/20 regular season undefeated after a 3-1 victory over Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park in the final fixture of Round 14 on Sunday afternoon.
With the Minor Premiership already wrapped up, Melbourne City entered this game looking to extend their winning run to 11 games before focussing on next week's semi-final fixture against Western Sydney Wanderers.
The visitors from Brisbane saw their slim finals chances dashed last night when Wanderers beat Perth but went into the match determined to be the first to beat this season's runaway Premiers.
After a keenly contested opening half an hour, it was the home side who took the lead when an excellent run and cross by Ellie Carpenter found Milica Mijatovic with far too much time and space on the edge of the Brisbane area, and the Serbian made no mistake in opening the scoring with a delightful curling effort.
City had not conceded a goal in 680 minutes entering this match, and by halftime were just six minutes away from breaking their own record, but the Roar spoiled the party just four minutes into the second half when Lauren Barnes was dispossessed by Indiah-Paige Riley, who then expertly found Hollie Palmer who comfortably tapped into an empty net to level the scores at 1-1.
The home side's response was swift, and just six minutes later they capitalised on a Brisbane mistake and went back ahead thanks to an unerring finish by Ally Watt, after being played in by Yukari Kinga.
The two combined once again in the 69th minute to extend City's lead, this time Watt had the simplest of tasks to convert from five yards after Kinga's cross made its way through to the American.
Looking to add her name to the four-way tie at the top of the golden boot standings, Emily van Egmond was inches away in the 88th minute when her rasping long-range effort coming back off the crossbar, and there would be no further goals as City made it 11-straight victories after an opening-round draw Newcastle, the only dropped points of the campaign.
Lydia Williams - 7
Could do nothing about the goal as her magnificent clean sheet run was ended, but made an excellent fingertip save late on to deny Riley.
Ellie Carpenter - 8
Another dominant display from the fullback who spent most of the game playing right wing. Her pinpoint cross picked out Mijatovic for the opener, and she was given an early mark after 73 minutes.
Emma Checker - 7
Rarely tested as City dominated most of the match.
Lauren Barnes - 6.5
The American had a great first half, confidently playing out at every occasion, but it was her mistake which saw Brisbane snap their clean sheet record, and then she was promptly substituted just before the hour mark.
Steph Catley - 7.5
Like her partner in crime on the right, Catley was dominant and got forward on every occasion, and created several chances with her overlapping runs.
Yukari Kinga - 9
The ageless Japanese maestro has been immense this season and notched up two assists to her name to compliment her dominant midfield display.
Aivi Luik - 8
Her partnership with Kinga has been one of the key reasons City have been so dominant, and today was another good showing from the pair.
Emily van Egmond - 6.5
Enjoying her best season to date, but today wasn't one of her better days out. Spurned a sitter from six yards just before half time, and was fairly anonymous before her late long-range effort which was terribly unlucky to come back off the bar.
Milica Mijatovic - 7.5
The Serbian has grown into the league and gotten better as the season progressed. Was largely quiet today before being withdrawn just before the hour mark, but showed her quality when it counted by producing an unstoppable finish to open the scoring.
Ally Watt - 8.5
The 6th pick in the NWSL draft made her first start for City and duly delivered. Wasted her first opportunity, but made no mistake in the second half, bagging two goals.
Kyah Simon - 6.5
Unlucky to hit the inside of the post from a pinpoint Watt cross in the first half, but otherwise was wasteful and looked a bit off the pace today.
Rhali Dobson (59') - 6.5
Given half an hour but struggled to get into the game as City went into cruise control. Hit the bar in the 88th minute with her only meaningful contribution.
Tyla-Jay Vlajnic (59') - 6.5
Like Dobson, was given half an hour and went about her work industriously.
Chelsea Blissett (73') - 6.5
Played the last 20 minutes and was efficient as both sides went down a gear towards the end.
Mackenzie Arnold - 7
Swept up behind her defence and made a few decent saves but could do nothing about any of the goals.
Jamila Rankin - 6.5
The debutant looked nervous at times, but who could blame her when you consider she's just 16 and making her debut against some of the league's superstars, but overall an encouraging performance.
Celeste Boureille - 7
Did well to contain the City attack for most of the game.
Clare Polkinghorne - 7.5
The veteran skipper led by example all day and went close to scoring in the first half.
Kaitlyn Torpey - 6.5
Duelled with the likes of Catley and Mijatovic all game and certainly didn't let anybody down.
Katrina Gorry - 7.5
Showed glimpses of her class and was at the heart of everything good for the Roar.
Elise Kellond-Knight - 7
Wasn't able to impose herself like we know she can but helped stifle the City midfield for large periods of the match.
Leah Davidson - 7
The youngster looked composed and held her own against her vastly experienced opponents
Indiah-Paige Riley - 8
Was a constant thorn in City's side, and created the goal for Palmer. Almost got herself on the scoresheet when she forced Williams into a sharp reflex save in the 77th minute.
Rylee Baisden - 6.5
Tried hard all afternoon but offered little in attack against City's brick wall defence before being withdrawn in the 56th minute.
Tameka Yallop - 6
Barely had a kick in the first half before being subbed off at halftime.
Hollie Palmer (46') - 7
Made an instant impact after coming on at halftime, grabbing herself a goal, but crucially gave the ball away and then subsequently kept Watt onside which then allowed City to retake the lead.
Winonah Heatley (56') - 6.5
Worked hard but didn't have many opportunities to show her quality.