Sam Kerr has propelled Perth Glory into the W-League grand final with a timely hat-trick in their 4-2 win over Melbourne Victory in extra time. Kerr’s hat-trick is the first in W-League finals history.
Perth Glory trailed early in the match, conceding a goal to Christine Nairn after just two minutes. From there, the Perth side struggled to get back into the match. They could consider themselves somewhat unlucky, when two contentious penalties were not awarded. In one, Ella Mastrantonio appeared to nudge Kerr from behind in the box; however, no penalty was awarded.
Nonetheless, Kerr found her feet, scoring a much needed equalizer in the 72nd minute, beating two defenders. Perth appeared to have had the match won when forward Rachel Hill put the Western Australians in front with just four minutes of regular time remaining.
However, in the dying seconds of the match, Victory’s Grace Maher nudged the ball home for a crucial equalizer, sending the game into extra time. In her usual fashion, Kerr struck again in extra-time, chipping the ball over Mason-Jones’ head to again put the Glory ahead. Kerr finally completed her hat-trick in the 107th minute, when Leticia McKenna placed a textbook pass for the unmarked Kerr to finish the game in style. Kerr’s form is a great sign for the Matildas, who have quickly ascended to be one of the most competitive soccer teams in the women’s international arena.
It is the third-straight season that the premiers, in this case being the Melbourne Victory, have failed to win their semi-final.
W-League Grand Final
The Glory will meet Sydney FC in the final, following the Sky Blues’ victory over the Brisbane Roar. The match will be played at Allianz Stadium in Sydney and is Sydney’s second consecutive appearance in the W-League grand final. They lost the 2018 W-League grand final to Melbourne City 2-0, as Melbourne City recorded their third straight championship league win.
Sydney coach, Ante Juric, has even admitted that Kerr’s form poses a noticeable threat to the Sky Blue, confessing that she might be impossible to stop on the day.