An attacking masterclass by veteran forward Lisa De Vanna has guided Melbourne Victory into the W-League grand final.
The four-time W-League championship winner scored two and set up another, while Melina Ayres scored a second-half hat-trick, as Victory claimed a 6-2 win over Brisbane Roar in Sunday’s semi-final to reach their first decider since 2014.
Jeff Hopkins’ team will now face the winner of Monday’s semi-final between Sydney FC and Canberra United in next Sunday’s grand final.
De Vanna scored in either half with Ayres’s triple and another from Catherine Zimmerman capping a confident performance just days after losing the premiers plate showdown against Sydney FC.
New Zealand international Olivia Chance and Roar captain Tameka Yallop struck for the hosts, who were playing without key Matildas pair Clare Polkinghorne and Emily Gielnik following their departure to Swedish top flight club Vittsjo GIK.
The hosts were left feeling aggrieved after a number of refereeing decisions went against them.
Captain Tameka Yallop appeared to have opened the scoring in the ninth minute when her shot looked like it had crossed the line before bouncing clear but referee Lara Lee didn’t give a goal, much to Yallop’s dismay.
The Roar’s sense of injustice reached fever pitch in the second half when Victory were awarded a penalty following an innocuous challenge by Roar goalkeeper Georgie Worth, coach Jake Goodship receiving a yellow card for his protests on the sideline.
Ayres missed the spot kick and Roar thought they were right back in the match moments later when Mariel Hecher tapped home but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Earlier, De Vanna opened the scoring with a thumping finish in the 23rd minute before a wonder goal by Chance levelled the scores in the 43rd minute.
Victory regained the lead just before halftime through Zimmerman before De Vanna broke the game apart in the second-half.
The veteran ran clear of the Roar defence in the 48th minute and Ayres was on hand to tap home after Worth had palmed away the 36-year-old’s shot.
De Vanna put Victory three goals clear in the 61st minute when she pinched the ball off Yallop and slotted home again with her left foot.
Yallop got one back for the Roar in the 75th minute before the late refereeing dramas but Ayres added two late strikes to add some gloss to the scoreline for the visitors.