Brisbane Roar 0-1 Perth Glory
By Ben Gilby (11/12/21)
Above: Perth Glory celebrate Alana Jancevski’s late winner. Photo: @PerthGloryFC
For the second week in a row, a late goal ensured that Perth Glory defeated Brisbane Roar in front of a big and vocal crowd at Perry Park.
Conditions were warm, but the pitch was showing the consequences in some parts of the heavy rain that South Queensland had experienced in the lead-up to the game.
In the opening minute, Roar fashioned their opening opportunity as Mariel Hecher received possession out on the right and fired in a shot that bounced narrowly wide of the near post.
The Queenslanders had all the early play and it was again the right side where they were looking particularly dangerous with Hecher and Larissa Crummer teaming up ominously.
Sofia Sakalis created Glory’s first chance on eight minutes when she drove through the centre of the box, got past Cannon Clough, and was only denied a shot on goal by a superb tackle by Jessie Rasschaert, who had made a strong start to the game both offensively and defensively.
Perth’s pace in attacking areas and ability to play a careful passing game was something that Roar were more than aware of after the first match between the two sides less than a week ago and the Glory were on it again.
Gemma Craine, one of the stars of the Western Australian show last weekend forced a great save by Georgie Worth just two minutes after Sakalis’ effort when De Vanna played a ball back to Englishwoman in the box. Craine was using her pace and strength to brush off attempted tackles to play balls into the box throughout the night.
Mia Leth Jans, making her debut for the Glory was strong in the tackle and showed her experience with intelligent running in the central midfield. The difference in the balance of the midfield compared to last week’s game between the two sides was marked as a consequence of the Danish international’s inclusion.
Yet it was still Hecher on the right who was finding plenty of space at the heart of Roar’s creativity.
Perth came close on the half-hour mark when a centimetre perfect cross-field ball from Sadie Lawrence found De Vanna on the left. The hometown star played a ball back for Hana Lowry to pull a fiendishly curling ball back in which Worth had to deal with at the cost of a corner.
Back came Brisbane with three chances in quick succession. Anna Margraf had a superb effort when a through ball into her path led to a firm shot that produced a great save from Morgan Aquino. The Glory keeper was called into action immediately afterward when Ayesha Norrie played in Hecher whose half volley was repelled. A third chance presented itself almost immediately when Clough’s ball in towards the back post was slightly too high for Shea Connors to get an accurate header on.
There were worrying signs for the visitors just before half-time when De Vanna went down and looked to have pulled a hamstring although a half-time assessment revealed it to be cramp, with Susan Phonsongkham coming on to replace the Matildas legend.
It was a first-half full of chances – Brisbane creating more, but Perth still looked extremely dangerous in attacking areas. With the home side having twice as many shots on target and almost twice as many corners, Roar head coach Garrath McPherson will have been happy with the stats, but, chances have to be taken as well as created.
Whilst there were few clear opportunities in the early stages of the second stanza, Connors was starting to play a more prominent part in Brisbane’s attack with Perth’s chances fewer and further between than had previously been the case.
The one effort that Glory had during the first 15 minutes after the break came courtesy of a powerful break down the left from Craine who ran directly at Rasschaert and got a shot away which was well over the bar.
Roar responded almost immediately with Crummer running onto a long ball and struck an effort just over the top.
Cramp hit Perth again as Craine pulled up in the midst of another power-driven pacy run – although her return after a short period of treatment and immediate ability to chase down a pass at speed set Glory fans’ minds at rest – for a short period at least.
With 20 minutes left, Margraf went close as her cross from the right-hand side bounced off of the top of the bar with Aquino beaten as the game burst into life. Shortly afterward, Katrina Gorry hit a long-range effort that bounced into Aquino’s arms.
With 12 minutes left Brisbane had a penalty shout when Hecher was brought down in the box by Jens who appeared to make contact with a push, but referee Rachael Mitchenson was non-plussed.
Into the final five minutes, Perth’s Alana Jancevski found fellow substitute Deborah-Ann de la Harpe in acres of space on the right with a crossfield pass, and the resulting attempted cross into the box rebounded off Clough for a corner.
The resulting flag kick was swung in and headed clear by Crummer but the ball fell straight to Alana Jancevski on the edge of the box who volleyed an effort into the ground. As it bounced up, Hecher could only lift the ball higher and over the head of her own keeper so Perth hit the front with just three minutes to play.
Brisbane pushed for an equalizer in stoppage time, but the final ball was never quite on point. Perth Glory head coach Alex Epakis will be delighted by the organizational qualities of his defence and the improved midfield performance.
Speaking after the game, Glory matchwinner Alana Jancevski said: “It was a hard-fought win for us. I’m so grateful that I got the goal. I saw it coming towards me and I thought ‘why not (hit it)?’ and luckily it took a deflection and went in. That’s childhood dreams! Scoring goals is awesome.”
“It was a great performance by the girls. We dug deep. It wasn’t our best performance, we know that, but it just shows the heart that is in this team.”
Brisbane Roar’s Katina Gorry reflected on another heartbreaking ending for her team: “It’s disappointing. We played well, but lost our heads a little bit. It was a deflection for the goal which happens in football. We’re creating chances and that’s the main thing. It’ll come for us. We’ll come back stronger.”
The outcome of the two matches between these sides is undoubtedly harsh on Brisbane who are far better than the results suggest. If the Queenslanders can convert a higher percentage of the chances they create, then that first win is just around the corner. Conversely, Perth Glory haven’t hit top form yet this season, but they are two wins from two.
Teams: BRISBANE ROAR: Worth, Rankin, Haffenden, Rasschaert, Clough, Hecher, Norrie, Stamatopoulos, Connors, Connor, Margraf. Substitutes: Bailey (GK), Gett, Gorry, Kaitano, McElligott.
PERTH GLORY: Aquino, S.Carroll, K.Carroll, Anton, Rigby, Sakalis, Lawrence, Lowry, Jans, De Vanna, Craine. Substitutes: Cain, de la Harpe, Jancevski, Newbon (GK), Phonsongkham.
Scorer: Jancevski 86′.
Referee: Rachael Mitchenson.
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