After a valiant fight from Brisbane Roar, denying Melbourne City from a 100% season still wasn’t enough as Melbourne City booked their place in the W-League Grand Final. After doing what no other side could do all year, hold Melbourne City to a draw, it was a heart breaking loss for Brisbane Roar who fell in the shootout 5-4 after a scoreless draw at AAMI Park on Monday afternoon.
Coming in to the game at barely over evens odds, Melbourne City were full of confidence and were expected to cruise to a big win and have their 13th straight win. On top of that Brisbane Roar were missing New Zealand international, Kirsty Yallop and Matildas midfielder Katrina Gorry making things even harder for Brisbane.
And City was certainly dominant, as they were controlling all the possession and all the chances, but they struggled to break through. The Brisbane defense was throwing themselves at the ball, to block any chances that came out.
When the defence wasn’t preventing Melbourne City from scoring, it was American Haley Kopmeyer in the Brisbane goal. She managed a phenomenal save on Steph Catley in the first half to keep it scoreless going in to half-time.
There was bad news for Melbourne City in the first half as Jess Fishlock was forced from the field due to injury. That sees her likely to miss the Grand Final, and will be a difficult person to replace as the team struggled with finishing throughout.
The trends continued in the second half as Melbourne City continued to dominate the match, having all the chances. But despite that Melbourne City struggled to finish things off, despite doing the double over Brisbane in the season and got to 90 minutes without a win for the first time in their history.
Melbourne City continued to control things and they had a golden opportunity in extra time but again Kopmeyer was the hero denying the chance. Kim Little got a shot away which was well saved by Kopmeyer, only for the rebound to fall to Lisa De Vanna, but somehow Kopmeyer recovered and made the second save.
Those saves from Kopmeyer sent the match from penalties where she would have been confident. But after eight successful penalties, Angela Beard stepped up. She sent her penalty in to the woodwork, leaving her devastated and in tears as De Vanna sent home the game winning penalty, following the match De Vanna, and grabbed a hold of Beard to console her, with the Matildas captain speaking to Beard who will surely be a Matildas star in the future.