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Kerr hat-trick sends Glory to grand final

W-League golden boot winner Sam Kerr has scored a thumping hat-trick to send Perth into the grand final at the expense of premiers Melbourne Victory.

Kerr hat-trick sends Glory to grand final

W-League golden boot winner Sam Kerr has scored a thumping hat-trick to send Perth into the grand final at the expense of premiers Melbourne Victory.

SAMANTHA KERR of the Glory celebrates after scoring a goal during the W-League match at nib Stadium in Perth, Australia.
SAMANTHA KERR of the Glory celebrates after scoring a goal during the W-League match at nib Stadium in Perth, Australia. Picture:Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images

Matildas superstar Sam Kerr has fired Perth into the W-League grand final, scoring a hat-trick for the Glory to come from behind to defeat Melbourne Victory 4-2 in a thrilling semi-final.

Kerr struck twice in extra-time as the Western Australians denied the premiers a place in the decider in an effervescent display.


Their reward is a date with Sydney FC in next weekend's decider.

Victory, who led after an early Christine Nairn strike and equalised in second-half stoppage time through Grace Maher, finished with 10 women after Sam Johnson's red card.

And while Jeff Hopkins' side were clearly the best team through the regular season, they were outplayed on Sunday by the fourth-placed finishers Perth.

Kerr proved to be the difference with a superb display that underlined her reputation as one of the world's best players.

The hard-running 25-year-old set the tone for the Glory's comeback after they had fallen behind in the second minute.

Nairn gave her side the perfect start when she caught out Eliza Campbell at the near post with a miscued shot that the visiting keeper could only palm into the net.

Perth set about reducing the deficit and might have had two penalties in the first half when Laura Alleway handballed and Ella Mastrantonio nudged Kerr from behind.

The task became tougher for Victory when goalkeeper Casey Dumont failed a halftime concussion test and was replaced by Bethany Mason-Jones.

Kerr tormented the home side's defence throughout and was finally rewarded when she turned home Rachel Hill's cross on 72 minutes.

Hill looked to have won it for the Glory in the 86th minute when she headed home Kerr's cross only for Maher to equalise deep into injury time.

Despite that setback, Kerr always loomed as a likely match winner in extra time, and she dinked the ball over Mason-Jones to restore the lead for her side.

With Johnson dismissed for one too many fouls on the Matilda, she struck again from Leticia McKenna's cutback in the 107th minute, celebrating with her trademark backflip to seal the win.

Kerr delighted in leading her hometown club into their third grand final.

"I don't normally score in finals so its pretty special for me," she said.

"Once it went to extra time ... I knew we were going to win it."

It's the third-straight season the premiers have failed to win their semi-final and missed out on the decider.

Victory coach Hopkins lamented Kerr's star turn and his side's failure to show up.

"There were a lot of things we did really well previously in the season that we didn't do today. That's the most disappointing thing for me," he said.

"I've got no problem putting my hand up and saying the best team won today."

Sydney FC, Kerr's old club, won through to the decider with a 2-1 triumph on Sunday night over Brisbane.

AAP


AAP




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