Sydney FC celebrating after one of their six goals against Melbourne Victory. (Image: Keep Up website)

In a top-four encounter between two teams from last season’s A-League Women’s grand finalists, the Sky Blues sought revenge in the grand final replay at AAMI Park.

Coming into the match, Melbourne Victory sat in fourth place three points behind Sydney FC, and was looking to build on last weekend’s comeback win against Adelaide United.

In the early stages of the match, both sides were competitive, with Sydney FC building the pressure defensively and built numbers around the ball, forcing Victory to go wide and not have any easy possession.

Kayla Morrison did her best running in defence, but Sydney dominated the possession game early, although Melbourne lifted its intensity in the later stages towards halftime.

Courtnee Vine caused problems for Victory, creating scoring opportunities, outrunning the Victory defence, and dominating the wing opening space for the attack.

Sydney FC opened the scoring in the 20th minute as Mackenzie Hawkesby’s corner kick found Charli Rule at the back of the post before Princess Ibini-Isei kicked directly in front of goal to give the visitors the early lead.

Vine and Hawkesby teamed up well together, with Vine running into attack, finding good space and finding a good kick to Hawkesby, directly in front of goal to give Sydney its second goal for the half in the 29th minute.

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Sydney’s third goal of the game came from a penalty kick, saved by Melbourne’s goalkeeper Miranda Templeman, Ibini-Isei reacted quickly and had a strong position to get the rebound and kick it into the back of the net.

Victory scored in the 42nd minute, the Sky Blues’ last goal for the first half came from Madison Haley, with Hawkesby kicking a corner, with Haley in a good position to give her side a four-two lead at halftime.

Sydney started the second half strongly, with Vine and Haley teaming up to pass to Natalie Tathem, who set up Ibini to kick her third goal of the game and Sydney’s fifth.

The Sky Blues continued to apply tough defensive pressure, with Victory unable to find answers in attack. Sydney was more clinical in front of goal and had the speed and answers on the wings.

Sydney’s sixth goal came from Ibini once more completing her hat trick to seal victory, 6-3.

Sydney FC plays again in nine days, facing Melbourne City at home next Saturday in another blockbuster top-four clash.

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