The Guardian Australia

Melbourne Victory score direct from corner to beat Sydney to W-League title


Kyra Cooney-Cross scored the winner in the final seconds of extra-time as Melbourne Victory ended their sevenyear W-League title drought with a deserved 1-0 grand final win over Sydney FC.

Victory completely dominated the premiers but it was not until two seconds from the end of 120 minutes that they broke through when CooneyCros­s’s in-swinging corner eluded goalkeeper Jada Whyman and crossed the line in a congested penalty area.

In blustery conditions at Sydney’s Jubilee Stadium, Victory had earlier twice hit the crossbar and created numerous half-chances but lacked the killer touch in front of goal.

Whyman, the player of the match, made several crucial blocks to keep her side in the match and got a hand on Cooney-Cross’ last-gasp winner but was unable to keep it out.

“I was just thinking that I didn’t want it to go to penalties,” the 19year-old Cooney-Cross said. “We had so many chances, hit the crossbar... kudos to Jada, she made a lot of saves but we deserved to win.”

Cooney-Cross and veteran Lisa De Vanna both struck the frame of the goal in the first half. Victory looked increasing­ly likely to score as the match wore on and Whyman somehow kept out a Cooney-Cross’s header, as well as two strikes from Annalie Longo.

It was the second title for Victory, following their 2014 grand final win, while the evergreen De Vanna claimed a record-equalling fifth grand final win as she became the oldest player to feature in a championsh­ip decider at 36.

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