It's been six years since Sydney FC last held the W-League Championship trophy aloft.
After three Grand Finals in four seasons, Sydney have done so once again, defeating Perth Glory 4-2 at Jubilee Stadium.
It was the game Sydney had been building towards all season.
On paper, the Sky Blues are stacked with international superstars, but many – including the players themselves – didn’t think they had reached their potential this season.
This was the game in which they did so.
With the incomparable Sam Kerr leading Glory out for the shot at their first ever trophy, Sydney had to put in the performance of the season, and they didn't disappoint.
It was the home team that came out firing. Within two minutes, young winger Princess Ibini had cut past two Perth defenders and charged into the box. Her cut-back was collected by American star Savannah McCaskill whose shot rocketed off the crossbar.
Sydney’s strong start resulted in the first goal of the half not long afterwards, as McCaskill collected a pass at the top of the box and passed out to the right where her American compatriot Sofia Huerta was waiting in space. One touch, two touches, then bang – a rocket into the top right corner.
The record 6,127-strong Sydney crowd went absolutely bonkers for the right back’s fourth goal of the season.
Ibini continued to be threatening down the left-hand side, making several strong runs past her markets to the by-line, but Perth’s central defence remained solid and cleared majority of the following balls into the area.
However, Perth are not known for giving up after going behind, and they soon settled into the opening period of the match.
Matilda Sam Kerr had the Glory’s first real chance on goal in the 11th minute, heading a corner kick just wide. Several minutes later, Perth were at it again, but this time it was due to Sydney’s errors. Some scrappy defending in and around the box found Mautz, but again, her shot went just wide.
The game began to open up as Perth grew comfortable, with the visitor’s first goal coming in the 22nd minute after Kerr was tripped by Sydney’s Danielle Colaprico in the box. Despite getting a strong hand to it, Kerr’s penalty – her 17th goal of the season – was perfectly placed in the bottom left corner. 1-1.
The game died down slightly over the following fifteen minutes, with neither team making any serious attempts on goal.
Sydney began to exert their pressure throughout the closing stages of the second half. Princess Ibini continued to threaten down the left, while McCaskill and fellow American Colaprico fighting hard in the middle of the park to win scrappy challenges and keep possession.
Sydney’s second goal came in the 41st minute thanks to a bit of quick thinking by McCaskill, who leaped up to connect with a perfectly-weighted cross from Caitlin Foord, her header floating over Campbell and into the net. 2-1.
The game opened up in the closing minutes of the half, with big chances at both ends, but the teams went into the sheds with Syndey ahead.