abc– Kyra Cooney-Cross scored the winner in the final seconds of extra time as Melbourne Victory ended their seven-year W-League title drought with a deserved 1-0 grand final win over Sydney FC at Kogarah Oval.
Victory completely dominated the premiers but it was not until extra time had almost been completed that they broke through when Cooney-Cross’s inswinging corner eluded Sky Blues goalkeeper Jada Whyman and crossed the line in a congested penalty area.
Victory star Lisa De Vanna said it was a relief for her side to avoid going to penalties.
“The ball would not go in the back of the net and it was one of those games where we were thinking … we will lose in a penalty shootout after those many chances,” De Vanna told Fox Sports.
“But we were persistent and believed [in ourselves] and it took the last kick of the game to win it and … you cannot put a feeling to that.”
In blustery conditions, Victory had earlier twice hit the crossbar and created numerous half-chances but lacked the killer touch in front of goals.
Whyman made several crucial blocks to keep her side in the match and got a hand on Cooney-Cross’s last-gasp winner but was unable to keep it out.
Cooney-Cross and veteran De Vanna both struck the frame of the goal in the first half.
Victory looked increasingly likely to score as the match wore on and Whyman somehow kept out a Cooney-Cross header, as well as two strikes from Annalie Longo.
It was the second title for Victory, following their 2013/2014 grand final win.
The evergreen De Vanna claimed a record-equalling fifth grand final win as she became the oldest player to feature in a championship decider at 36.