'She's a star': Cooney-Cross puts unlimited potential on show lifting Victory to glory
Teenage sensation Kyra Cooney-Cross has the world at her feet after putting an exclamation point on an individually brilliant Westfield W-League campaign by firing Melbourne Victory to Championship glory.
Cooney-Cross' magnificent solo showing in Victory's 1-0 win over Sydney FC in the 2020/21 Westfield W-League Grand Final wasn't the first sign of the 19-year-old's unbounded potential - that's been common knowledge since she first burst onto the scene, making her Victory debut at just 15 years of age in 2017.
But to see her do it on the biggest stage, scoring the winning goal in the last minute of extra time after a typically creative performance throughout the 120-minute contest, worked to prove to all who watched on that the wait for Cooney-Cross to emerge as a bona fide star is well and truly over.
The Victory forward created five chances against Sydney FC, putting one cross on a platter for Lisa De Vanna to head onto the crossbar. She rattled the woodwork herself with one of her seven shots, had a near-certain goal cleared off the line before scoring the winner to cap off her match-winning shift.
The teenager mentioned to FOX Sports post-match that sealing her first cap for the Westfield Matildas is at the forefront of her immediate planning after an individual season which garnered four assists, six goals and 41 created chances.
Speaking to ABC News journalist Catherine Murphy on Monday morning, Victory captain Angela Beard hailed Cooney-Cross' impact in her side's Grand Final triumph, thanking her teammate for deciding the game before a looming penalty shootout came to the fore.
"All game we were really pushing them, we were shooting, we were creating chances," Beard said.
"Jada Whyman in goals had a fantastic game for them.
"But having Kyra score that goal in the final minute, I mean she’s a star, and she’s a star for the future as well.
It’s just fantastic to see her have that confidence, and have that ability and that hunger to really try and score and keep us away from penalties. "
Avoiding a dreaded penalty shootout was at the forefront of Cooney-Cross' mind as well as she ventured over to take the all-important corner.
When asked by FOX Sports' Adam Peacock if she meant for the ball to drop over Sydney 'keeper Whyman and into the back of the net, Cooney-Cross said it was the prospect of penalties which spurred her into going for it from the most unlikely of angles.
"I was just thinking that I didn’t want it to go to penalties," Cooney-Cross said.
"I was stressing about that, as soon as we went to extra time.
"We had so many chances tonight, we had a few crossbars and kudos to Jada, she (made) a lot of saves tonight, some big ones.
"I think we deserved to win tonight."