City see off Jets to reach A-League Women decider

By Anna Harrington
Updated April 28 2024 - 5:25pm, first published 5:19pm
Rhianna Pollicina scores for Melbourne City in the A-League Women semi-final against Newcastle. (Will Murray/AAP PHOTOS)
Rhianna Pollicina scores for Melbourne City in the A-League Women semi-final against Newcastle. (Will Murray/AAP PHOTOS)

Melbourne City coach Dario Vidosic has urged fans to pack out AAMI Park for the stand-alone A-League Women grand final after his charges booked a tantalising home decider against Sydney FC.

City will face Sydney in seeking a record fifth A-League Women championship after beating Newcastle 3-0 on Sunday and 6-0 on aggregate.

Vidosic's charges held their formidable lead from the first leg in Maitland and withstood an early Jets siege before Rhianna Pollicina effectively killed off the tie in the 26th minute.

Hannah Wilkinson scored a second in the 67th minute and Leticia McKenna netted three minutes later to send AAMI Park into party mode.

City are aiming to win the premiership-championship double and will have the advantage of a home grand final against the Sky Blues, who beat Central Coast in the other semi-final.

Th decider will take place at AAMI Park next Saturday.

"I hope they (the fans) do come out," Vidosic said.

"Very simply - the girls can play. They can play, it's enjoyable to watch and it's two excellent teams that are going at each other, the two best teams over the course of the season that finished first and second and we fought till the very last day to pip them at the post.

"So it sets up for a great game. If it was up to me, I'd let everyone come in for free and just fill the stadium and let them catch that sort of fever.

"There'd be nothing better than walking into a grand final with a full house. So however we can make that happen. I'm all for it."

City and Sydney have each won four championships, but City last won in 2019-20 under Rado Vidosic, Dario's father, while the Sky Blues are the reigning champions.

"Dangerous, dangerous team," Vidosic said.

"It sets up a great final. We've had some good tussles over the years and I'm looking forward to it."

Understandably, Newcastle opted for all-out attack, starting both Sarina Bolden and Melina Ayres in Melbourne.

It almost immediately paid off, with City's defence under the pump from the opening whistle, and the Jets creating several strong chances.

But once Daniela Galic brilliantly slipped through Pollicina for the opener, the aggregate result was all but a formality.

"We started today's game really well and if we got a chance and we got a little bit of momentum it might have helped a little bit with the result," Jets coach Ryan Campbell said.

"But the goal that they got, after we were probably on top at that stage, really killed our momentum, and then they're a very good team.

"We've exceeded where probably we thought we were going to be.

"We were hoping to be in and around the finals positions and we obviously did that and then to get us into a semi final was a really successful season."

Australian Associated Press