City defeat Wanderers in final ALW match of the season

Melbourne City have one hand on the A-League Women Premiers Plate after a 2-0 win over Western Sydney.

Goals from Rhianna Pollicina and Hannah Wilkinson were enough for City to move into top spot in the league, one point ahead of Sydney FC, in a rescheduled match at Wanderers Football Park on Sunday.

The win means all eyes turn to Sydney’s game against Adelaide United later on Sunday to determine who will claim the 2021-22 premiership.

The Sky Blues will need at least a point from their trip to Coopers Stadium to deny Rado Vidosic’s team a third ALW premiership.

City hit the front in the 21st minute when Pollicina notched her seventh goal of the campaign.

The 25-year-old combined nicely with New Zealand international Wilkinson before skipping away from two Wanderers defenders and sliding a pinpoint finish into the bottom corner past goalkeeper Sarah Langman.

Western Sydney, who have won just once all season, had a great chance to equalise early in the second-half but Ashlie Crofts scuffed a right-foot finish when unmarked inside the penalty area.

Wilkinson thought she’d scored her 12th goal of the season moments later when she coolly finished past Langman but her effort was ruled out for an offside.

The tall striker did manage to get on the scoresheet in the 73rd minute however, sprinting clear of Caitlin Cooper before sliding her finish under Langman as the Wanderers’ keeper rushed out to stop her.

Western Sydney had another great chance to get on the scoresheet in the 85th minute when Rosie Galea wriggled into space inside the box but substitute goalkeeper Sally James, who had only just replaced Melissa Barbieri moments earlier, pulled off a brilliant save to deny the hosts.

Wilkinson had one last chance to draw level with Adelaide’s Fiona Worts in the golden boot race but her effort on a tight angle in stoppage time hit the post and bounced clear.

While City march on into the finals, the Wanderers campaign is over having narrowly avoided the wooden spoon on goal difference from Wellington and scoring just seven goals in their 14 matches.