The opening clash of Saturday’s double header at Marvel (seriously so many name changes and in my opinion it still sucks to watch football there) had the Vuck host Sydney FC in the Big Blue.
The Vuck needed to win if they wanted to secure a home final and what would be better than doing that against the Smurfs while also leap frogging them into second?!
All the momentum was with the visitors however, which also saw Jenna McCormick see yellow for a handball just outside the area in the opening three minutes. After that though, it felt like it was chance after chance for the Victory with Tats Dowie’s close range header saved in the 17th, then another shot by the Victory in the 23rd. Hoping it wasn’t going to be one of those afternoons where the ball just didn’t want to find its way into the back of the net, I was ready to start praying to every higher being to let us score.
Then right on cue, it was time for the Vuck to score via Amy Jackson in the 25th minute!
The ladies were looking solid, pushing forward but Sydney were not going to go down without a fight and it was Victory shot stopper Casey Dumont’s time to make a super save in the 30th to deny Amy Sayer. It looked to even up a little towards half time and with names like Latsko, Ibini and Huerta on the pitch for Sydney FC and the quality of Siemsen and Tobin on the bench, it was vital the Vuck keep up their pressure in the second.
Time for the second half and I was getting a little nervous, only being one goal up. I know we were playing finals regardless, but a home final would be a dream and Darian Jenkins clearly agreed when she found the back of the net in the 49th!
It was a stunning hit just outside the box and Bledsloe had no chance of stopping it. It flew past the Sydney FC keeper who looked like she just stood there.
2-0 for the Navy Blue, second spot was looking pretty good right now! It was going to get better with chance after chance for the home side in the 60th, 68th, 77th and 78th minutes, BUT then… 30 seconds later..
DARIAN JENKINS TAKE A BOW!
Skipping past Sayer, past a couple more defenders and then wrapping the shot around the near post! A brace for the American striker and a three goal buffer was just what we needed. I was deliriously happy, emotional and so ready for a home final!
YEAH THE GIRLS!
It was a long way back for Sydney FC and it was bragging rights for those supporting the Navy Blue (seriously, if you haven’t already get around the Dub! We are blessed with some serious talent across the league!).
Natalie Tobin decided to try rain on our Victory parade in the 90th to find a consolation goal but in the end it didn’t matter.
The Victory secured a 3-1 win, three points and Big Blue bragging rights with the extra perk of knowing we knocked Sydney FC out of hosting a final (YAY).
Our girls are ready to host a final in a couple weeks AND thanks to finishing 2nd behind Melbourne City, both finals will be played in Melbourne. THIS IS BEAUTIFUL A THING! (Yes, even if I don’t like City). So get around the W-League finals especially if you’re in Melbourne. Or better yet if you’re keen for a weekend away, come visit and watch what will be a great couple days of football.
By Jakie Manevski