City stop Canberra while Perth close off Sydney

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Perth Glory and Melbourne City book their tickets to next week’s final match with two vastly different victories.

Jess Fishlock celebrating her winning goal in the 107th minute. (cia Melbourne City FC)

It would take extra time, but Jess Fishlock’s Melbourne City would book their place in the finals courtesy of the Seattle Reign midfielder pouncing on a loose ball in the 107th minute. The first 45 minutes saw Canberra United set to take an early lead with a free kick just outside of the box, but two attempts would be stopped by some desperate clearances off the line. City responded with two quick chances with Fishlook involved in the first, but could only hit the side netting. FC Kansas City loanee Erika Tymrak would find herself unmarked in the area around the 29th minute, but would be stopped by the Canberra crossbar.

Canberra United’s Yurkari Kinga and Houston Dash loan Steph Ochs would both miss from close range on the other side of the field before the first half would close on a tough exchange. The weather would be the winner in the second half as the muggy summer turned wet and both teams got themselves centered for extra time after a frenetic stoppage time assault on both goals.

Fishlock would once again find herself played in behind defense after the extra time restart. At the 100th minute mark Fishlock made space for herself and sent a shot in, only to see former City teammate and current Canberra number one Trudy Burke push the ball off the crossbar to safety. Fishlock would not be contained however, and with the start of the second extra time, she would not miss. A loose ball from a corner and lax defending was all it took for the Welsh midfielder to put the ball into the net, City into the finals, and press her case for a permanent spot on the coaching roster.

Perth Glory would have a considerably easier time with Sydney FC, but only after going a goal down. Former/potentially current (depends on how the off-season treats her) Boston Breaker Kyah Simons would open the scoring in the 23rd with an acrobatic effort as she found herself tumbling to the turf. After that it went downhill for the Sydney-sideres. A clumsy foul by Georgia Yeoman-Dale in the box would leave the referee no choice but to point to the spot five minutes later. Chicago Red Star‘s Vanessa DiBernardo would step up and slot home her first on the day, putting Perth even on the board.

After the restart it got worse for Sydney as a poor clearance by Orlando Pride‘s Alanna Kennedy would slice into the netting for a dreaded own goal. DiBerardo would get her second in the 77th with an incredible left footed volley. Two minutes later, Rosie Sutton would make the simplest of tap ins after Sydney goalie Claire Coelho would make a great stop from a shot by Sky Blue FC‘s Samantha Kerr.

Substitute Shawn Billam would seal the game off in stoppage time with a curling effort that would dip just under the crossbar and ensure another final run for the Glory.

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