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W-League Grand Final: Game thread, live stream, how to watch

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OL Reign’s Steph Catley, Lu Barnes and Sofia Huerta play their last match in Australia.

W-League Rd 14 - Melbourne v Brisbane Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

While most of the world has shut down all sports activities, Australia made the surprising decision to keep its men’s and women’s professional leagues active, albeit behind closed doors. Regardless of how you feel about that choice, it does give you an opportunity to watch some live soccer.

On Friday night, three OL Reign players will feature in the W-League Grand Final. Lauren Barnes and Steph Catley will suit up for the undefeated Melbourne City, while Sofia Huerta will represent Sydney FC, who won the league title last year.

Melbourne is also home to three former Reign players: New Zealand international Rebekah Stott and Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams and midfielder Emily Van Egmond.

Sydney FC advanced to the grand final with a 1-0 win over the Melbourne Victory, while Melbourne City took down the Western Sydney Wanderers in dramatic fashion—defeating the Wanderers 5-1.

Expect Melbourne City to have most of the ball in the match. They average 501 passes per game, compared to 338 for Sydney FC. A lot of that possession flows through Barnes. Melbourne line up in a 3-5-2 formation, with Catley and her Matildas teammate Ellie Carpenter playing the crucial wingback positions. City are tough to defeat when these two have space on the wings.

Sydney FC are hard to break down, and Melbourne City won’t likely have the endless chances they had last weekend. Huerta lines up on the right wing and is the creative playmaker for Sydney. She’s got an accurate cross and can be a big threat from distance.

Case in point: This goal she scored in the finals last year.

Grab a beer, settle into your couch, tune to ESPN+ and join us for the W-League Grand Final. And then send good vibes to these players for their return back to the USA.

Lineups

No surprises for Melbourne City

Huerta starts for Sydney

Highlights

15’ - Goal, Steph Catley! Unfortunate miss for Sydney’s GK Aubrey Bledsoe

How to Watch

Date/Time: Friday, March 20, 9:30 PM PT
Location: AAMI PARK, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
TV: None
Streaming: ESPN+ (Link to schedule)

This is your W-League Grand Final gamethread. Watch the OL Reign players with us.