Fusion eliminate Magic in a thriller


In the opening exchanges Sydney Magic had most of the possession with Liverpool appearing more prepared to soak up the pressure. 
Despite this it was Liverpool Fusion who took the lead when Renee Tompkins slammed her shot home direct from a free kick.
By mid way through the first half the game had developed into a full blown contest with the game swinging from end to end with shots, saves and near misses from both teams. 
Then Liverpool grabbed an important and perhaps controversial second goal.
The Magic?s Jo Saliba had a penalty appeal waived away when she tried to round the keeper close to the by-line. The ball was immediately dispatched down court where Chanel Turner spotted Samantha Muscat lurking at the far post who made no mistake to make it 2-0.
The Magic tried desperately to claw themselves back into the game and were rewarded when Buckingham was adjudged to have been fouled from behind in the penalty area. Jo Saliba then made no mistake from the spot moments before half time.
Just after the break the Fusion nearly extended their lead when Kathryn Mladineo?s shot was well saved by McCauley in goal for the Magic.
The second half settled into a pattern of Sydney Magic chasing the game with Liverpool Fusion counter attacking dangerously.
Then the Magic got the breakthrough they needed when defensive lynchpin Natalie Spirovski brilliantly weaved her way through a sea of defenders to toe poke an equaliser high into the net.
Both sides were keenly contesting every challenge but it was Liverpool who broke the deadlock when a Magic defender gave the ball away close to her own goal straight to Renee Tompkins who coolly slotted home her second of the game.  Shortly after Amanda Bowering was red carded for dissent at the referee.
The Fusion seized control of the contest when Nichole Lawson lashed home a rebound through a mass of players high into the corner of the net to make it 4-2. 
Sydney Magic pulled a goal back when arguably best on court Natalie Spirovski fed the ball to LoGuidice to score. 
In the end Liverpool Fusion just edged out the Magic in a great game that neither side deserved to lose.
With perhaps Lawson and Tompkins being the difference at the heart of the Fusion defence. Coach Luke Flynn was happy with his girls performance saying there was no real need to take too many risks with his formation because they were never behind in the game.
Liverpool Fusion play Sydney City Eagles for a spot in the Grand-Final against the Western Raiders.
– By Peter Davies