Melbourne Victory score direct from corner to beat Sydney to W-League title


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.

Victory completely dominated the premiers but it was not until two seconds from the end of 120 minutes that they broke through when Cooney-Cross’s in-swinging corner eluded goalkeeper Jada Whyman and crossed the line in a congested penalty area.

In blustery conditions at Sydney’s Jubilee Stadium, Victory had earlier twice hit the crossbar and created numerous half-chances but lacked the killer touch in front of goal.

Whyman, the player of the match, made several crucial blocks to keep her side in the match and got a hand on Cooney-Cross’ last-gasp winner but was unable to keep it out.

“I was just thinking that I didn’t want it to go to penalties,” the 19-year-old Cooney-Cross said. “We had so many chances, hit the crossbar… kudos to Jada, she made a lot of saves but we deserved to win.”

Cooney-Cross and veteran Lisa 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’s header, as well as two strikes from Annalie Longo.

It was the second title for Victory, following their 2014 grand final win, while 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.