City edge Sky Blues to complete perfect campaign

Melbourne City FC has set a new Westfield W-League record, becoming the first team to finish the season with a 100% record after defeating Sydney FC 2-1.

Princess Ibini-Isei cancelled out a second half own-goal before Marianna Tabain netted a late winner in front of 602 people at CB Smith Reserve.

Entering the contest, Sydney were bolstered by the return of skipper Renee Rollason to the squad while City were without leading goalscorer Larissa Crummer through suspension.

It was a war of attrition in the first half as both sides created a number of chances in the opening 45 minutes.

Beattie Goad created the first opportunity for the hosts, forcing Michelle Betos into a fine save while Brianna Davey tipped over Leena Khamis’ lob five minutes later.

Davey soon after produced a moment of brilliance, smothering Kyah Simon’s attempt after a defensive lapse saw the Matilda through on goal.

The ‘keeper stood tall to deny the visitors on a number of occasions throughout the first half, while Jess Fishlock and Steph Catley both glanced their respective attempts at the other end agonisingly wide of the target.

The breakthrough though came five minutes after the restart.

Steph Catley drove inside and cut back to Marianna Tabain before Sydney’s Alanna Kennedy diverted the decisive touch into the back-of-the-net.

However the equaliser soon followed as Sydney restored parity 20 minutes from time.

Simon rattled her initial strike into the upright before Ibini-Isei won the resulting ball and tucked her attempt past Davey.

Sydney then almost took a shock lead as Simon’s acrobatic volley, inched just wide of Davey’s post.

With a 100% record under threat, City threw numbers forward.

Fishlock almost restored the lead but could only direct her header into the woodwork.

Tabain then netted the winner with five minutes remaining, lobbing Betos in dramatic fashion as City secured a perfect regular season.

Melbourne City FC’s semi-final date is on January 25th at AAMI Park where its opponent will be determined tomorrow afternoon.

Sydney however will play second placed Canberra United next weekend in its respective semi-final.