Melbourne City has scored a record-equalling 5-1 win over Western Sydney to set up a heavyweight W-League grand final meeting with Sydney FC.
Kyah Simon bagged a double, with Claire Emslie and Rebekah Stott also on the scoresheet, while Wanderers defender Courtney Nevin added an own goal in a one-sided contest on Sunday afternoon at ABD Stadium in Melbourne.
The scoreline matched the finals’ record, set in 2011 by Sydney FC, with City also reaching a record-equalling 12 consecutive wins.
City’s six Matildas’ representatives displayed few signs of fatigue after their midweek trip to Vietnam, as they raced to a three-goal halftime advantage against an outplayed Wanderers in their long-awaited semi-final debut.
It could have been much worse for the Wanderers as City created a catalogue of openings, with Simon missing an open goal, while Ellie Carpenter and Aivi Luik both hit shots against the woodwork.
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City fullback Carpenter cut swathes through the opposition in the first half and set up a tap-in for Emslie after just 13 minutes.
The Scottish forward turned provider with a perfect cross, easily headed home by Simon.
The contest was virtually over a few minutes before the break as Stott fired home a loose ball after Wanderers goalkeeper Abby Smith failed to deal with a cross.
The Wanderers came out with renewed zest after half-time and Cortnee Vine duly pulled a goal back almost immediately, as City conceded for only the fifth time in 13 matches.
Simon restored the three-goal advantage within a matter of minutes, and Nevin turned in an own goal to rub salt into the wounds of the outclassed Wanderers.
“We executed our game plan perfectly, which is always nice leading into a grand final,” Simon said.
“There are areas of our game that we can tidy up a little bit more so that we make sure we play our best game next week.”
The winner of next weekend’s grand final will move clear as the W-League’s most successful club, with City and Sydney FC having each taken out three championships.