As the A-League finally drew to its conclusion, all eyes turned to the CommBank Stadium for the final game of the season. Sydney FC and Western United FC met in the 2022–23 Liberty A-League Grand Final.
The winner of the showcase would be crowned as the season Champion, with Sydney having already claimed the league title.
Sydney FC: Whyman; Mclean, Fenton, Hunter, Lowe, Haley, Vine, Tobin, Hawkesby, Rule, Ibini-Isei
Western United FC: Beall; Papadopoulos, Sawicki, Keane, Johnson, Robers, Steer, Taranto, Vlajnic, Cummings, Cerne
How it went
Just four minutes into the tie, Sydney broke the deadlock. Mackenzie Hawkesby’s corner was headed home from close range by Madison Haley. The goal was preceded by relentless pressure from Ante Juric’s side, with Hillary Beall forced to pull out a save in just the second minute.
Following the goal, Western enjoyed a good spell of possession. Two attempts gave way to a free kick, but Jada Whyman and her defense were more than equal to the danger.
The second goal for Sydney came 14 minutes after the first. Natalie Tobin’s header flew into the top corner of Beall’s net, with Haley bagging the assist from a corner. Several more chances followed with both keepers being called into action. As halftime edged closer, Western began to pressure their opponents with Mark Torcaso’s side having several attempts on goal.Embed from Getty Images
The second half brought an initial spell of pressure from Western United. Despite several good chances, the A-League newcomers were unable to find the back of their opponents’ net.
In the 62nd minute, Sydney received a controversial penalty. Despite no apparent contact within the penalty area, Princess Ibini-Isei stepped up to take the spot kick. Firing the ball into the bottom corner of the net, the No. 20 put her side three goals up with less than 30 minutes remaining.
From there, Sydney were utterly dominant. Despite more solid spells from Western, it never appeared that the Sky Blues would allow their opponents back into the tie. A late goal for Haley would top off Sydney’s afternoon. The No.9’s right-footed effort from close range saw the shot lift to the roof of the goal, giving Beall little chance to keep the ball out.
Sydney FC: champions and premiers
The victory saw Sydney FC crowned both premiers and champions of the season. The last club to achieve both in a single season was Melbourne City in the 2019–20 season.
Sydney have now featured in the last six Grand Finals, with the team last being crowned Champions during the 2018–19 campaign.