Federal Budget

Sydney edge Melbourne City to win women's A-League grand final

Sydney edge Melbourne City to win women's A-League grand final

Sports

Playing in a seventh straight final, Sydney lifted the trophy for a fifth time

Follow on
Follow us on Google News

Melbourne (AFP) – American striker Shea Connors scored the only goal as Sydney FC battled past Melbourne City 1-0 to win the women's A-League grand final on Saturday and successfully defend their title.

Playing in a seventh straight final, Sydney lifted the trophy for a fifth time -- the first team to achieve the feat -- on the back of Connors' 69th minute strike at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

"It's so special, it's been such a hard year," said Connors, who has struggled with injury this season. "I'm just so proud that we got here (to the final). "The way we defended was probably better then the goal itself," she added.

Neither side could break the deadlock in a scrappy first-half, with few genuine chances in front of a disappointing crowd of just 7,671.

It was all City in the second-half with American centre-back Taylor Otto going close from the edge of the box on 62 minutes as they dialed up the pressure.

But against the run of play, Sydney struck seven minutes later after a master-stroke substitution from veteran coach Ante Juric who took off mis-firing striker Princess Ibini.

He replaced her with Connors, who picked up a through ball from 16-year-old Indiana Dos Santos and lifted it past on-rushing goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri just minutes after coming on.

City pressed hard for the equaliser, with two clear-cut chances as the match sprung to life, but Sydney clung on to become the most successful women's side in A-League history.

Australia's then W-League was formed in 2008 with eight clubs, replacing the Women's National Soccer League (WNSL) as Australia's top women's football competition.

It expanded to nine teams in 2015 and has since grown to 12 with the Central Coast Mariners added for the 2023-24 campaign. That brought it in line with the world's top leagues, including England's Women's Super League and France's Division 1 Feminine.