Seattle Reign stars go down under to win a league title

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Kim Little, Jess Fishlock: Big winners with Melbourne City. (Wilson Tsoi)

Kim Little and Jess Fishlock know all about playing in league finals. In 2014 and again in 2015 the duo played in NWSL finals in America for Seattle Reign FC. Alas, both times Seattle fell by a single goal.

During the Reign’s off season the two went down under and played with the brand-new Melbourne City of the Australian W League. It was magic. City went unbeaten and over the weekend won the Grand Final.

Will this accomplishment change women’s football? Some think so.

It may also do wonders for “Rock. Paper. Scissors.”  Little and Fishlock did battle to see who would take a free kick in the Grand Final. Little won. Then scored.

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Jess Fishlock.
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Kim Little. (Wilson Tsoi)

AUSTRALIA – (W League release) It was a milestone moment in more ways than one as the Westfield W-League became Melbourne City’s first national championship in any competition for the club.

City collected a deserved 4-1 win over Sydney FC to finish their maiden Westfield W-League campaign in style.

And City coach Joe Montemurro said his side rediscovered their mojo on the big stage at AAMI Park, following a slightly erratic performance against Brisbane Roar six days earlier.

“The first ten minutes we couldn’t find our shape and our rhythm,” said Montemurro. “We made some errors I haven’t seen this year so I think that was nerves, and then we started to play our game.

“We won the premiership and then it took us a little bit of time to get back into finals football from a mental scenario. But the reality is we have players all over the park that can play finals football, and more importantly give us our structure and balance.”

Melbourne City, powered by two Seattle Reign stars, won the Aussie W League.

Sunday’s victory was a first championship win for any Melbourne City team. The women’s side have notably been highly integrated within the club structure, with overlap in many areas alongside the Hyundai A-League side.

‘I’m immensely proud,” said Montemurro. “It breaks the shackles of what the organisation was previous to the City Group. We are proud of being part of a group.

“This team are a special bunch of players, and I’m immensely proud from a work and personal perspective.”

“It hasn’t sunk in,” added Montemurro. “The results, goals for, goals against… we train for it every day and it happened for us.”

Amid all City’s serious approach, player of the match Kim Little revealed her sparkling free-kick for the team’s second goal may not have happened. The Scot said she only took the free-kick after winning a ‘scissors, paper, rock’ contest with team-mate Jess Fishlock.

Little was named player of the match after scoring one goal and having a hand in all three others.

“We made things hard for ourselves last week,” said Little. “But we made up for it by putting in a very professional performance to win.”

Kim Little (second from left) and Jess Fishlock (giving a hug) won the Aussie W League with Melbourne City after two seasons as runners-up with Reign FC in America. (W League photo)

(Cover photo courtesy of W League via Getty Images)

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