Calder United has advanced to its fifth NIKE FC Cup Grand Final after a gritty 1-0 victory over FC Bulleen Lions at ABD Stadium Valley Park on Tuesday night.
It took a moment of individual brilliance from midfielder Melissa Taranto to break the deadlock and sealing the win in the 79th minute.
With both teams evenly matched and playing out a tough, physical first half, the scores were locked at 0-0 at halftime.
At the 66th minute, Stacey Papadopolous and Ava Groba injected some much-needed energy and pace into a tiring Calder side.
However it was Taranto who changed the game in a moment, turning on her opposite foot and slotting the ball neatly in the top corner.
Head Coach Mark Torcaso expressed his delight at the result.
“We are very much looking forward to another opportunity to play in a NIKE FC Grand Final, the team played amazing last night, and all the coaching staff are thrilled with the performance.
“It was really pleasing to see the way the girls dug deep in a game that was physically really challenging.
“I’m just excited for this group of girls to advance to the Grand Final. We have a mix of young, new and experienced players in the squad so to see the way they worked together to get a result was fantastic.”
Calder FC Club President Amanda Stella expressed her pride.
“I am incredibly proud that as a Club we are now playing for our fifth NIKE FC title.
“I believe our girls are the toughest in the league and they showed that last night. The victory came because of the effort all the players put in under tough conditions.
“The way the group worked together highlighted our unity and strength and as a result we now have a fantastic opportunity to secure more accolades for Calder United.”
A Grand Final rematch against South Melbourne FC now awaits. Match details to be finalised.