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Victory survive to finish top of W-League

Melbourne Victory defied a Sam Kerr-inspired Perth Glory to earn a final-round win in the west and shore up their maiden W-League premiership.

Victory survive to finish top of W-League

Melbourne Victory defied a Sam Kerr-inspired Perth Glory to earn a final-round win in the west and shore up their maiden W-League premiership.

SAMANTHA KERR of Australia controls the ball during a match at Pepper Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
SAMANTHA KERR of Australia controls the ball during a match at Pepper Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images

Melbourne Victory are W-League premiers for the first time following a chaotic 2-1 final-round victory over Perth Glory at Dorrien Gardens.

An unexpected 1-0 defeat for fellow frontrunners Brisbane Roar at Adelaide United earlier on Friday meant the Victory only required a point in Western Australia to end the regular season on top of the ladder.


They seemingly had a win sewn up after Christine Nairn netted with a diving early on, and Emily Gielnik rifled home a second before halftime.

However the Sam Kerr-led Glory turned the blow torch on the Victory in the second half creating a catalogue of goalscoring chances.

Kerr cut the deficit with a header soon after the interval but somehow the home side couldn't find a second.

The missed opportunities proved costly for Glory who needed a point to jump from fourth to second and lock up a home semi-final.

But the night was all about the Victory whose previous best finish was second four years ago.

Brisbane Roar were left to rue a host of missed opportunities and the red-hot form of Adelaide United goalkeeper Sarah Willacy as last season's premiers suffered a costly final-round misstep.

A 13th minute headed goal from Adelaide's Icelandic international Fanndis Fridriksdottir proved the difference on the scoreboard for a United side playing purely for pride.

The Roar, who went into the match equal top but behind leaders Melbourne Victory only on goal difference, dominated large tracts of the second half.

But Willacy continued to stake her claim for a first-ever national team call-up with a string of key blocks.

Willacy's stunning form even extended to saving a penalty from Yuki Nagasato with four minutes remaining with the win leaving United in sixth, just one point shy of a maiden finals appearance.

Next weekend's semi-finals will see Melbourne Victory again meet Perth Glory, although this time of home soil, while Brisbane Roar will welcome old rivals Sydney FC.

AAP


AAP




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