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Melbourne City sees off Newcastle Jets to reach A-League Women decider

Melbourne City teammates congratulate Hannah Wilkinson after her goal on Sunday at AAMI Park.

Melbourne City teammates congratulate Hannah Wilkinson after her goal on Sunday at AAMI Park. Photo: Getty

Melbourne City will play Sydney FC for a record fifth A-League Women championship after beating Newcastle 3-0 to seal a 6-0 aggregate semi-final win.

City held a 3-0 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 on Sunday.

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

Dario Vidosic’s charges 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.

That game is expected to take place at AAMI Park next Saturday.

City and Sydney have each won four championships, but City last won in 2019-20 under Rado Vidosic.

The Sky Blues are the reigning champions.

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.

The Jets had a shot from Lauren Allan cleared off the line by City skipper Rebekah Stott just three minutes into the game.

City goalkeeper Barbara was called into action to deny Bolden in the fifth minute.

Ayres and Lara Gooch both missed chances inside the opening 20 minutes before City made the Jets pay.

Leah Davidson went on a surging run, then found Daniela Galic, who slipped through Pollicina to burst forward and score.

It was City’s first shot on target.

After the goal, the game noticeably shifted in City’s favour, with the hosts peppering Newcastle’s goal and keeping Jets goalkeeper Izzy Nino busy.

Veteran goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri replaced Barbara at half-time and didn’t miss a beat.

City finally scored a second when Leticia McKenna brilliantly released Emina Ekic on the left and the winger had the presence of mind to square the ball to Wilkinson to tap home.

Newcastle’s pleas that Wilkinson was offside went unheard.

City wrapped up the win when some wonderful play around the box was finished off by Pollicina squaring the ball to McKenna to drill home from close range.

-AAP

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