Sydney sink Roar to book grand final berth


Sydney FC will face Perth in next week's W-League grand final, with the Sky Blues producing a road trip masterclass to defeat Brisbane.

The Sky Blues defended diligently on Sunday night to blunt the Roar at Redcliffe's Dolphin Stadium with Matildas striker Caitlin Foord and Sofia Huerta scoring in a 2-1 semi-final win.

Sydney will host the decider against the Glory. Perth had earlier booked their grand final spot after Sam Kerr's hat-trick fired them to a 4-2 extra-time win over Melbourne Victory.

It's the second year running the Roar have fallen in a home semi-final.

After a cagey opening period in Brisbane's north, the Sky Blues took the lead in the 33rd minute when Danielle Colaprico's clever pass opened up the Roar defence and Foord swept the ball home with her right foot.

Huerta doubled the lead in the 68th minute and Sydney appeared destined for the grand final when Roar full-back Natalie Tathem was sent off for pulling back Princess Ibini just outside the penalty area in the 79th minute.

The Roar, however, mustered a late rally, with Japanese FIFA Women's World Cup winner Yuki Nagasato finding the net in the 90th minute to set up a tense finish.

Nagasato's goal was a just reward for the Roar, who had battled hard throughout but lacked penetration for large periods with their attacks being constantly repelled by Sydney's defence.

The hosts couldn't even muster a shot in the first half with forward Allira Toby recording the Roar's first attempt in the 52nd minute but she blazed her speculative effort from outside the area well over the bar.

That attempt came moments after Nagasato had a lucky escape when she deflected an Alanna Kennedy header onto the post while defending a Sydney corner.

Foord almost doubled her tally in the 65th but, after a goalmouth scramble, her overhead kick was batted away by Roar goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold.

From the resulting clearance, Nagasato raced clear of the Sydney defence but struck her shot straight at Sydney goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe.

The Sky Blues made the most of that reprieve three minutes later when Huerta slammed home a Kennedy cut-back to double the visitors' advantage.

Matilda Chloe Logarzo was guilty of missing a couple of good chances in the second half but it mattered little as Ante Juric's team secured their second-consecutive grand final berth.

W-League grand final 2019:

Sydney FC v Perth Glory on Sunday, February 17. Venue TBA.

Head-to-head: Sydney 10 wins, Perth 9 wins, no draws

Grand final record: Sydney: played five, won two. Perth: played two, won none.

Source AAP