Little plays big role in Melbourne City grand final win
IT WAS the perfect ending to a perfect season as Melbourne City overwhelmed Sydney FC 4-1 in the W-League grand final at AAMI Park.
Playing in the competition for the first time, City went into the decider as hot favourite after going unbeaten through the home-and-away matches.
A first-half goal to central defender Jennifer Beattie was a sign of things to come, and it was no surprise when Scottish international Kim Little blasted a long-range free kick through the hands of Sky Blues keeper Michelle Betos and into the net to double the advantage in the 54th minute.
Little caused constant headaches for the Sydney defence throughout, and was deservedly named player of the match.
The visitors gave their supporters a glimmer of hope when Matildas midfielder Kyah Simon converted a penalty 15 minutes later, awarded after Beattie infringed Alana Kennedy in the area.
Any hopes of a comeback were dashed in the 79th minute when Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna laid on a goal for 18-year-old Beatrice Goad after more brilliant lead-up work by Little.
De Vanna then put the icing on the cake with a well-deserved goal in stoppage time, taking possession on half-way and streaking away from her defender before cheekily chipping Betos.
It was the first time a W-League grand final had been decided by a margin of more than two goals.
SCORE: Melbourne City 4 (Beattie 32, Little, Goad 79, De Vanna 90+5) Sydney FC 1 (Simon 69 pen); Crowd 4206 at AAMI Park yesterday afternoon