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Perth will play in another W-League grand final, thanks in large part to a Samantha Kerr hat-trick, as the fourth-placed Glory have beaten the minor premier Melbourne Victory 4-2 after extra time.
Normally, a Kerr hat-trick would be the biggest talking point of the game, and while it was significant, this game was so much more than one person.
Melbourne took the lead through an early Christine Nairn mis-kick that flew in for a second-minute goal.
While it was an early blow for Perth, they never dropped their bundle, and had some luck gone their way in the first half, they may have had some scoreboard reward themselves.
The second half brought unheralded action, with Kerr scoring her first and setting up the second, for Rachel Hill to put away, in what looked like being the winner.
Late drama was to come though, as Melbourne drew level at 2-all through substitute Kyra Cooney-Cross with a late flick on, and extra-time beckoned.
The extra time, however, was all Perth, as firstly Kerr brought the lead back for Perth with a beautifully timed lob over Bethany Mason-Jones, and when Samantha Johnson saw red for a second yellow card (and lashing out at the referee in reaction), it was only going to be one outcome.
Kerr’s fourth brought the win for Perth, along with her patented cartwheel and backflip, to see the Glory home.
A thrilling game and brilliant advertisement for the game, Perth now await their grand final opponents, while for Melbourne Victory, a minor premiership means a successful season, but the ultimate prize will elude them this season.
Melbourne Victory 2
Perth Glory 4
The minor premier Melbourne Victory take on the Perth Glory, who themselves have a certain golden boot winner in their line-up, at AAMI Park in the first semi-final for the W-League 2018/19 season. Join The Roar from 2pm (AEDT) for live scores and updates of the game.
With the minor premiership wrapped up, it is now onto the finals for Melbourne Victory, as they look to put an exclamation point on their successful season to date.
Melbourne have been a somewhat dominant force this season, and their minor premiership has been built on the back of that age-old foundation of defence, the best in the league.
Melbourne’s defensive efforts have been no surprise this season, soundly directed by Matildas defender Laura Alleway.
The other story for Melbourne will be the appearance of Emily Gielnik, who has an opportunity to right some wrongs that went her way last season in that heartbreaking loss against Melbourne City, while playing for Brisbane.
For Perth, anything is possible, and when you have one of the top ten footballers on the planet in your line up in Sam Kerr, there is a certain confidence that comes with having that type of player who has already delivered 13 goals in 11 games.
It is an uphill battle for Perth, not only being the underdogs, but having not yet beaten Melbourne in either of their two encounters this season.
For Perth, it will very much be a case of hoping that they have saved the win over Victory for the occasion that truly matters: a W-League semi-final.
Melbourne Victory have managed to beat Perth twice this season with the same scoreline, 2-1.
They say sometimes that you learn more from your losses than you do your victories, and those two losses were ultimately the difference between these two sides.
I am going with the upset, off the back of a rampaging Sam Kerr, and for Perth to take their place in the grand final.
Join The Roar from 2pm (AEDT) for live scores and update of the game, and don’t forget to leave comments in the comments section below.