[Image: Football NSW]
Galaxy FC have been crowned Puma F-League Women’s Champions at the first attempt after edging South Brisbane 4-3 in extra-time of a thrilling all-Queensland Grand Final.
Star Brazilian Mariel Hecher scored deep into the second period of extra-time to settle an epic contest which ended 3-3 in regulation time.
Galaxy’s debut triumph caps a Queensland monopoly of Puma F-League Women’s silverware.
South Brisbane entered their second straight Grand Final as the newly-crowned Premiers having finished five points clear of Galaxy on the ladder.
However, Galaxy displayed their danger in dispatching Dural Warriors 6-1 in Saturday’s semi-finals and opened the scoring at Valentine Sports Park in Sydney through Joanne Burgess.
Golden Boot winner Sofie Persson restored parity for South Brisbane prior to half-time before Natalie Tathem completed the turnaround after the restart.
The see-sawing nature continued as Galaxy wrestled the lead back courtesy of quickfire strikes from Brisbane Roar duo Alisha Foote and Gabe Marzano.
There was still time for Sarah Amorim to dramatically level matters once more with around 90 seconds on the clock, but it only put Galaxy’s celebrations on hold for a few more minutes as Hecher struck the decisive goal.
Speaking after the match to Football NSW, Galaxy head coach Vinicius de Oliveira praised both Queensland clubs for raising the bar.
“I had no expectation on the players, I just wanted them to put in good performances each week, and having South Brisbane push us helped us get better and better,” Vinicius said on thefleague.com.au.
“The main priority for us is to develop the league and there are definitely a lot of young players coming up.
“I believe we have made the competition stronger, and I think it will keep getting stronger after seeing games like this.”
South Brisbane coach Justin Morrison echoed his counterpart’s thoughts.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the girls, what we’ve achieved this season,” Morrison said.
“We’ve smashed records left, right and centre. We just didn’t get the result today.
“Especially for us in Queensland, having two teams coming first and second, (it will help with) giving the juniors back at home something to aspire to at a higher level.”