Western Sydney Wanderers 1–0 Perth Glory
Report and EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS from Kris Goman.
It’s been a difficult journey for the Perth Glory this season. Although Western Australia hasn’t really been too badly affected by Covid, they keep closing their borders to the eastern states thus meaning the team can’t travel. To date they’ve played Adelaide United twice and Canberra United once resulting in two losses and a draw.
They bring with them a young team with five players making their W-League debut this season. Seventeen year-old local product Taneesha Baker is making her debut tonight. For the Wanderers, one of their most experienced players, Leena Khamis, is being rested and is not even on the bench. Seventeen year-old Bryleeh Henry is taking her place up front.
Wanderers are kick-off. The ball is up and down a bit with a couple of runs into each box but no notable plays until a cross comes in from the right to Julie Russell who spins her marker and gets a shot off at the top of the box. It doesn’t have a lot of power on it and is easily covered by the Glory keeper, Lily Alfeld.
Tash Rigby kicked off a Perth counter attack with a run down the right and a cross that went via Hana Lowry but eventually out over the goal line. The clearance is intercepted and sent out to Baker who has a crack from way outside the box. It’s not a bad effort but goes just wide to the left. Not a bad idea as the Wanderers defence is pretty solid, so going over is one way through.
Shortly afterwards Glory find themselves with the ball at the top of the box. Alexia Moreno slips a perfectly weighted pass through into the box for Caitlin Doeglas to run onto. She squares it to Lowry who sends it forward just a touch too much. As Sarah Willacy dives forward for it, Georgia Yeoman-Dale clears it out of the box to the left. That was very close for Glory. If Lowry had struck that instead of touching it, it probably would have gone in.
Wanderers get another attack spearheaded by Yeoman-Dale on the left who gets it forward to Russell. Russell performs some magic getting through a number of defenders before shooting. It’s straight at Alfeld though and is gathered safely.
A little later Yeoman-Dale makes a half field run into the box to lay off to Bryleeh Henry but they are not quite on the same page and the ball goes out for a goal kick as Henry twists the wrong way.
At this stage the Wanderers look to have the upper hand making more consistent runs. The game is quite transitional though but the Wanderers are getting in front a bit more and dominating the possession.
About 31 minutes in Henry gets the ball from midfield and dribbles it into the box with Rigby and Liz Anton in hot pursuit. They perform a pincer movement and crush her from both sides. All three go down in the box. It’s considered a fair tackle and no penalty is awarded.
Post the clearance, Libby Copus-Brown nicks the ball and scurries away on the right. She drags it back and crosses but it’s straight to the keeper as Henry had fallen over in the box and couldn’t get to it.
Teigan Collister is being heavily marked by Rigby on the right wing but manages to evade her to lob a lovely ball right in front of goal but Deborah De La Harpe gets to it first and is able to clear it.
Shortly after, Copus-Brown passes out to Collister. She gets another clear run down the right, passes to Danika Matos who is able to make the cross but it just goes over the head of Olivia Price, who can’t connect. Baker brings it out of the box and up to half way but her cross-field pass is straight to Copus-Brown. She distributes to the right corner of the box and Collister and Alfeld are both racing to it and Alfeld gets there first.
At 44 minutes, Cooper brings the ball up the midfield right to the top of the box and gets the ball to Russell on her left. She takes one touch then slams it to the left of Alfeld who gets a hand to it but can’t deflect it out of goal. Wanderers score and it’s 1-0 just before half time. It’s Russell’s first goal for the Wanderers this season.
One minute of extra time is announced and Glory jump on the opportunity to use that minute. Malia Steinmetz sends the ball out right to De La Harpe. She crosses to the face of goal and it’s headed to the back of the box by the Wanderers. Anton picks it up and shoots straight into a couple of players. Lowry picks up the rebound and pokes it across to the right of goal where Willacy pounces on top of it. Half time is called shortly after.
Perth kick off the second half and are immediately attacking. An early press sees some action in Perth’s front third but no real threats on goal.
Shortly after it’s up the other end and a goal clearance goes straight to Copus-Brown who takes a long range shot. It’s on target with a bit of power and is deflected into the top bar by Alfeld in what was a goal saving move.
Wanderers are applying the pressure now and Russell gets the opportunity for another shot on goal. It’s on target but doesn’t have enough power to be a threat to Alfeld. Not long after, both Collister and Henry are foiled in their shooting attempts in the box after Collister intercepted a clearance.
After a brief attack by Perth, Cooper kicks a long ball to Russell, who brings the ball down the left flank, right into the box past two defenders. She sends it across the face of goal and Henry gets a toe to it but can’t control it and it just dribbles to the right of goal and out, very luckily for Glory.
It must have been deflected by Glory and the resulting corner goes to Yeoman-Dale at the top of the box. Her shot is a bit lacklustre but gets to Russell who turns and shoots. The shot gets lifted straight up, clips Lowry to Alfeld who bats it up over the top bar. Next corner is short to Nikola Orgill, who sends a long ball straight to Alfeld. She pushes it down in front of her and it drops in front of Hunter. She shoots and it bounces off Alfeld again and back out to Collister. She gets two defenders on her immediately and they clear it out to the right, safely. Glory survive an intense attacking phase by the Wanderers.
Sixteen year-old Tijan McKenna comes on as a sub for Glory and her first touch sends a lovely ball through to Doeglas at the top of the box that brings Willacy right out of goal. She clears it OK but it’s a close call by Perth with the subs having immediate impact.
Sarah Hunter receives the ball in midfield and approaches the box before passing out to Collister on the right. The pass back is back to Hunter but her one touch shot is not controlled and goes wildly to the left in a missed opportunity.
There’s now constant pressure from the Wanderers and Yeoman-Dale and Henry do a 1-2 in and out of the box that sees Yeoman-Dale’s shot sail over the goal.
Glory gets a cross into the box that bounces up into Moreno’s hand. The calls for handball are ignored by the referee but the replay clearly shows a handball. Thankfully it’s cleared with no problems by the Wanderers.
Glory get another opportunity with Moreno sending a cross over to Patricia Charalambous situated at the top of the box. Orgill is straight onto her and she can’t do anything with it and it goes back to midfield.
A Wanderers corner sees a header by Henry pop to Hunter to be headed towards goal but Sarah Carroll intercepts with another header that Lowry in turn heads out. Next corner is punched out by Alfeld but comes back in and out of the box a few times before going out on the side-line.
At 85 minutes, Yeoman-Dale brings the ball down the left in a driven run. She passes to sub Aideen Keene downfield who plays it back across to Copus-Brown. She gets past two defenders to shoot. It’s long and from outside the box but well directed and weighted. Alfeld has to jump to tip it over the crossbar. The corner amounts to naught.
Perth get two late yellow cards in quick succession. First to Moreno after a desperate tackle on Cooper and then McKenna for a very late tackle on Keene.
After the latter card, Galea steps up to take the free kick and it’s pretty obvious she’s going for goal. She skies it and full time is called and Wanderers get their second win of the season and the much needed three points.
Wanderers totally dominated the second half but couldn’t broach the Glory defence. They really are crying out for a more clinical finishers as there were plenty of opportunities created. They had a similar problem last week against Brisbane. The youth and inexperience of the forwards shone through on a night like tonight. Saying all that, the defence and midfield were very solid. Cooper in particular, didn’t put a foot wrong. Yeoman-Dale was exceptional in both defence and attack finding ways through constantly. Copus-Brown bossed the midfield, getting the distribution right time and time again and narrowly missing a couple of shots.
Perth Glory looked pretty good, especially considering their lack of game time. They had a lot more chances in the first half but their defence was particularly impressive, especially Tash Rigby and Lily Alfeld in goal.
Julie-Ann Russell got player of the match. Well deserved. Apart from the goal, she made plenty of attacking runs and created chances all match.
The Glory have a pretty demanding schedule in front of them to catch up on the matches they’ve missed. Hoping it doesn’t take too harsh a toll on the team and they can get some wins under their belt.
Teams: WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS: Willacy, Matos, Russell, Orgill, Cooper, Price, Hunter, Copus-Brown, Collister, Henry, Yeoman-Dale. Substitutes: Newbon (GK), Gomez, Galea, Keane, Middleton.
Scorer: Russell 45.
PERTH GLORY: Alfeld, De La Harpe, Rigby, Carroll, Anton, Lowry, Baker, Steinmetz, Tabain, Doeglas, Moreno. Substitutes: Bennett (GK), Wallhead, McKenna, Morgan, Charalambous.
Referee: Rachel Mitchenson.
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