The 2020 National Premier Leagues NSW Women’s top tier Grand Final has been settled with Sydney University once again ready to battle for the title when they face a hungry Manly United who dashed Sydney Olympic’s house in an epic match-up.
Here’s how both matches unfolded in the official Football NSW review.
It was like watching ‘The Titanic’ for Sydney Olympic fans.
Cruising, in control…then chaos as the ship sunk.
George Beltsos’ girls fell at the same hurdle last season and it was memories of that heart break after 90+ minutes at Peter Moore Field.
The home team started like a house on fire with Sarah Yatim and Cortnee Vine causing early problems.
It was a nothing through ball through that led to the first goal.
With Vine chasing down the pass, Nicole Simonsen didn’t clear the ball well enough, falling to the worst possible player for United, Teresa Polias.
Polias took one touch and let fly with a sublime shot from almost halfway, finding the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Remy Siemsen should’ve had United level almost immediately but could only manage a shot straight at Jada Mathyssen.
Not long after though, Manly had their equaliser.
Sunny Franco was played in behind the defence, held off Charlotte McLean and blasted beyond Mathyssen to make the score 1-1.
As the match moved toward half time, the home side hit the front once more.
Julia Vignes crossed with her weaker right foot into the danger area as Aimee Phillips got in between two defenders to head the ball home.
The second half looked like Olympic comfortably planning their grand final position.
Until Siemsen created a fine chance and forced an even better save from Mathyssen.
That would be Siemsen’s final effort as she succumbed to an injury, while from the resulting corner, Mathyssen herself looked to sustain a serious shoulder injury, also forcing her off.
The game continued in the same pace as it had with Olympic looking the more dangerous.
But then it was the Elizabeth Copus-Brown show.
She took Mackenzie Hawkesby for a spin, twisting and turning before getting away inside the box and crossing to the far post to an eagerly awaiting Claudia Cholakian who had the easiest of jobs heading in the equaliser.
With the game looking set for extra time, Copus-Brown would deliver again, this time from a corner finding Corrine Winkler who forced the ball home.
Olympic pushed hard for an equaliser but the United defence stood firm.
Chris Williams’ side now plan for another grand final and hope to have Siemsen ready to go for it.
Sydney University 4-0 Northern Tigers
Sydney Uni booked their place in the 2020 grand final after defeating the Northern Tigers at Arlington Oval.
The score line shows it was a dominant performance from the Premiers but it was much tougher than you think.
It was the home team who were more dominant as you’d expect with chances falling to Demi Koulizakis, Julie Anne-Russell and Kendall Fletcher but the Tigers defence stood firm.
It was a fortuitous goal that would give Uni the lead on the stroke of half time.
Bianca Galic let fly from distance, only for the ball to clip Koulizakis on the head and make its way into the goal.
Uni continued to push forward but were kept at bay all until Grace Maher produced something special in the 84th minute.
Maher picked up the ball inside her own area, dribbled into the Tigers half and blasted a shot into the back of the net from some way out in style.
Was followed was a Tigers collapse as only three minutes later it was 3-0.
Clare Wheeler rounded off a nice team move at the far post, smashing the ball home.
Substitute Michelle Heyman then completed the scoring in stoppage time with another fine goal after starting and subsequently finishing the move with a powerful strike from just inside the area.
By Nikola Pozder, NPL NSW Women’s writer