Melbourne Victory are the champions after Kyra Cooney-Cross netted a dramatic last minute winner in extra time from a corner to break Sydney FC hearts.
1. Kyra Cooney-Cross will have many moments like this
It was always going to come down to something extraordinary. Melbourne Victory threw everything at Sydney FC for 119 minutes but could not break through. Jada Whyman in goals was immense for the Sky Blues while the woodwork did its part.
Victory had 58% of the territory and had 28 shots to 14. Ironically it wasn’t a shot but a corner that led to the winner.
Cooney-Cross, who had a stellar game, has a reputation for winning games from set pieces. While a corner wasn’t probably part of the plan, it worked.
After a scramble in the box, Victory won a contentious corner. 120 minutes had ticked over with two minutes of injury time.
Enter Cooney-Cross, who’s swerving and bending ball curled over the sea of heads and eluded an unlucky Whyman who got a hand to it but couldn’t keep it out.
It was no less than Victory deserved.
Cooney-Cross will be remembered for this moment but she was so much more than that. She had 77 touches, delivered 13 balls into the box, nine crosses, seven shots on goal and six chances created.
2. Grand Finals are a roller coaster of emotion
Jada Whyman was amazing. She kept Sydney FC in the game. She faced 30 shots on goal and made five brilliant saves. She was strong in the air and controlled her box well.
She deservedly won the Player of the Match Medal.
The winning goal was unfortunate as she misjudged what was a difficult corner. Her tears at the end reflected how she felt but truth be told, if it wasn’t for her the game would have been over much earlier
3. W-League is fabulous, get on board
It was an entertaining game even though it took 120 minutes to find a winner. The class of Lisa De Vanna and Teresa Polias. The youth of Whyman and Cooney-Cross.
There were 44 shots on goal all night. While Victory were dominant, Sydney FC had their moment and could of grabbed it in the end.
This season has been fabulous in general. Five teams could of won the title. Brisbane Roar and Canberra United had their moments and could of made the big one. Adelaide United were the cinderella story this year and were unlucky not to make finals. Western Sydney had a young team and looked good as the season went on.
There is talk of expansion to 12 or 13 teams within the next two years. This is a great chance to grab more attention and make the women’s game generate more revenue. Women’s football showed this season that it is entertainment personified. There is a market that needs to be explored further.
Give us some more of it!