Melbourne’s Victory Could Have Sealed Finals Spot

Perth Glory 0-1 Melbourne Victory

By Kris Goman.

Above: Melbourne Victory goal scorer Annalie Longo (10) battles past Perth Glory’s Sarah Morgan. Photo: @VictoryWLeague

After a thrilling game with lots of drama against Canberra United on Friday, Perth are back home at their actual home in Dorrien Gardens against Melbourne Victory. Apparently it’s hot in Perth so they’ll be having drinks breaks to keep everyone hydrated.

Perth start off full of confidence after their very close match with Canberra and have two corners and a free kick in the first four minutes.

The next ten minutes are pretty even with neither team keeping possession too long or threatening seriously until the Victory captain, Beard, takes an on target strike. It’s easily captured by Alfeld and possess no real threat.

Shortly afterwards,  De Vanna creates some magic on the right flank and sends a pass right across goal but there’s no one from victory to run onto it and it goes out for a goal kick.

Once Perth are back in possession, they make their first serious attack. Lowry sends a long ball out to Doeglas on the left. She’s done this very move a few times this season and has great vision to create these breaks from midfield. Doeglas is in acres of free space and onside and brings the ball straight to goal. Her strike is to the right of the keeper but Garton stretches and has it in her hands safely. It’s a good save and lucky for Victory as there was no other defence coming to help.

A free kick by Cooney-Cross is headed by Jackson but she can’t control it and it’s out on the right of goal.

Immediately after Doeglas gets another break down the left and, very similar to before, has another crack at goal that is foiled by Garton.

After the drinks break, Victory get a corner that is headed around before being punched away by Alfeld. Cooney-Cross jumps on the clearance and strikes it low to the near post but Alfeld stops it without too many problems.

There’s another corner after a long range strike by Barbieri is deflected out by the Glory defence. That corner is also cleared out by Glory.

Doeglas gets another on target shot caught by Garton after a cross out to her from Morgan. In this case, it wasn’t third time lucky but at least she’s consistent.

Above: Perth Glory’s Caitlin Doeglas – created plenty of chances. Photo: @PerthGloryFC

A long throw in near the goal line sees Alfeld lose the ball and a bit of a scramble result in front of goal. Glory manage to clear the ball out but anything could have happened there and it was a lucky escape.

Yet another corner for Victory sees a couple of good shots on target well defended. Victory are really applying the pressure now trying to break through the defence. One more corner gets tipped over the cross bar but Doran has had a head clash of some sort and is bleeding quite badly from her eyebrow. She goes off to get attention while another corner gets played out. The corner is well defended again. Doran comes back on in extra time just before half time with her head heavily bandaged.

So at half time, there is no score from either team despite a few chances. Victory have looked more aggressive and had a bit more possession and territory but haven’t been able to pierce the defence yet. Glory have been dangerous on the break but just haven’t been able to finish.

Perth return to the second half with renewed vigour. An early corner is headed over the crossbar by Anton. Morgan tries a long range shot but it’s thwarted by Garton.

On a counter attack, Morgan brings the ball right up the centre then gets the ball to Doeglas on the left wing and she’s off again. Doran manages to relieve her of possession before she gets a chance to strike, this time.

Within a few minutes, Lowry releases Doeglas again. It’s like groundhog day here and Victory don’t seem to learn. She’s completely in the clear but takes a touch too many and Doran is back on her again. They wrestle a bit for possession and Doeglas gets a shot away but it’s over the goal at the top right corner.

Before Victory launch their own attack via De Vanna, Lowry gets one hopeful shot away from the left corner but it’s a bit ambitious and is gathered up by Garton.

De Vanna creates a corner which is headed around before Jackson tries a volley straight into Alfeld’s safe hands.

Above: Perth Glory teenager Hana Lowry (centre) tries to get away from Melbourne Victory’s Tiffany Elidis (2) as team mate Deborah-Ann De La Harpe (5) looks on. Photo: @PerthGloryFC

Lowry has another long range attempt but the direction isn’t quite right but it had plenty of power.

Beard gets in on the action and takes a long solo run down the left for Victory before centring it towards goal. It’s headed by a Glory defender which makes it tricky for Alfeld and sends her scurrying backwards across the goal face. She manages to get a hand to it to punch it away but it was awkward and results in a corner.

The corner goes to Barbieri standing unmarked and well out of the box. Her shot is punched out for another corner on the other side. That corner is headed down but had no power and was easily collected by Alfeld.

The game has become very transitional and it’s up one end then down the other until with long range shots at each end. Then Victory starlet Cooney-Cross gets a pass on the left and turns and brings it into the box, passes back to Longo after drawing the defence and Longo taps it in on the right of goal for the first goal of the match at 61 minutes in.

At 66 minutes, Glory are back on the attack. A long range shot by De La Harpe goes narrowly wide to the right. These tactics worked in their last match so definitely worth trying again.

After a bit more back and forward and a skied effort by Cooney-Cross, Jukic gets an on target shot from the right side-line that’s blocked by Garton.

Cooney-Cross has another shot that goes high over the goal. She hasn’t really been on target tonight but doesn’t stop trying.

An interception by De La Harpe is sent to Doeglas. This time she tries something different and cuts it back to Lowry. Her shot is just wide of the goal in a very close attempt. Probably the best chance of the night for Perth although I think Garton had it covered.

Above: Perth Glory’s Liz Anton in possession. Photo: @PerthGloryFC

At 88 minutes, Ayres comes off to be replaced by Martineau. A Glory clearance sees Jukic collide with Jackson and get a yellow. Looks like either her elbow or shoulder might have hit Jackson’s head as she really got knocked sideways and Jukic was unaffected.

We’re in the dying minutes now and there’s a concerted press by Glory and Jukic and Jackson clash again. There didn’t look like much contact in this one but Jackson is down again and gets the free kick.

In another press, Anton sends a long ball forward, Doeglas flicks it on to De La Harpe but she tries to pass rather than shoot to the clear goal. The pass is cut off and kicked out for a corner by Doran. The corner is cleared and full time is called and Victory hang on for the victory which sends them into third place on the table.

Both teams look exhausted after that effort. The heat clearly made things a lot more difficult than usual.

The 1-0 win send Melbourne Victory into third place on the table, jumping over Canberra and Adelaide. From this position, the premiership is still possible although it would require Sydney to lose their next two games and that’s fairly unlikely. They have a game in hand over Brisbane though and two wins would see them in second place regardless of whether Brisbane wins or loses their final match.

Saying all that, they didn’t look especially convincing tonight. The win was a grind with a single goal by Longo. Both teams created plenty of chances but couldn’t convert them. Victory had the most possession by far and corners were Victory 10 to Glory’s 5 but shots and shots on target were fairly equal. 

Cooney-Cross was named as player of the match understandably. She got the assist and really did all the work for the goal and had quite a few shots although few on target, but she made a lot of ground during the match and was creating many of their chances. 

Despite still being the wooden spooners and not being able to win a game yet, Glory’s last two matches against top five teams have been very close. Unlike every other team, they also have three matches left to play so it feels like a win is soon likely as they improve in each match and their confidence grows and the team clicks.

Above: Perth Glory have great team spirit and potential. A first win is on the horizon. Photo: @PerthGloryFC

Perth meets Melbourne City next at Dorrien Gardens again on Friday and you’d have to give them a fighting chance in that match. Victory will be up against Sydney for their next match on Saturday and both teams will be anxious to get the win to help seal their place in the finals.

Teams: PERTH GLORY: Alfeld, Rigby, De La Harpe, Wallhead, Anton, Steinmetz, Lowry, Morgan, Moreno, Gale, Doeglas. Substitutes: Bennett (GK), McKenna, Charalambous, Jukic, Tabain.

MELBOURNE VICTORY: Garton, Doran, Beard, Bunge, Morrison, Jackson, Barbieri, Longo, Ayres, Cooney-Cross, De Vanna. Substitutes: Maizels (GK), Markovski, Martineau, Elidas, Marzano.

Scorers: Longo 62.

Referee: Rebecca Durcau.

Attendance: 250.

Impetus’ coverage of Australian Women’s Football is supported by The Chicken Salt Co. They are offering every Impetus reader 5% off all orders of Chicken Salt from their website. Go to https://www.chickensalt.co.uk/?mate=impetus and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

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