Sydney FC 4-0 Perth Glory
By Ben Gilby (9/1/22)
With an Exclusive photo gallery from Kris Goman (at bottom of the page)
Above: Eyes on the prize – Sydney FC’s Cortnee Vine jumps to win the ball. Photo: Kris Goman.
Three goals in the opening 25 minutes ensured that Sydney FC stayed top of the A-League Women with a comfortable win over Perth Glory at Kogarah.
Whilst the attendance was significantly lower than usual due to a late change in venue and kick-off time, the home support created a good atmosphere.
Sydney were comfortable on the ball from the start, patiently keeping possession. Ally Green stepped up on the left to play a tempter in towards Cortnee Vine, but the striker, newly called up to the Matildas’ Asia Cup training squad couldn’t quite get on the end of it.
It didn’t take long for Sydney to have better luck. With 11 minutes of the clock, Vine beat Sarah Carroll on the right and floated a ball in towards Remy Siemsen near the right-hand post. Vine got away from the close attentions of Liz Anton and fired an effort across the box which Perth keeper Courtney Newbon got a hand on, but the ball fell into the path of Mackenzie Hawkesby who ghosted in ahead of Tash Rigby to lash home inside the six-yard box.
With 66% of possession in the opening quarter of an hour, Sydney were on fire, further evidence was seen when Vine was given all the time in the world to gallop through the middle, but Anton stepped in to erase the danger.
Yet Perth hadn’t learned to keep a closer eye on the Sky Blues’ 23-year-old star and less than a minute later, a long ball across from Siemsen to Vine saw her race away from Sarah Carroll and get one on one with Newbon to smash a shot into the far corner of the net.
It didn’t take long for Sydney to assert their total dominance with a third. Once more, Vine was at the heart of the action. Charlize Rule and Rachel Lowe were involved in the build-up before Vine was found down the right-wing. She kept the ball in play brilliantly, got away from Sarah Carroll, and laid off a low ball to Siemsen at the near post who tucked a first-time effort into the net ahead of Anton.
Sydney continued to press for the remainder of the half with Remy Siemsen causing the Western Australian’s further headaches. Possession was at a premium for Perth with both Gemma Craine and Susan Phonsonghkam rarely in a position to be seen offensively.
Glory needed to come out on the front foot at the start of the second half to have any hope of an unlikely comeback, yet within four minutes of the re-start, they were 4-0 down.
Hawkesby’s corner came in from the right and it was met by the head of Rule who was able to make a late run unmarked to send a thumping header into the far corner of the net.
Green went close to further extending Sydney’s lead ten minutes into the half when her cross-shot in space down the left bounced off of the top of the bar.
Chilean magician Cote Rojas came off the bench to run at the Perth defence and, after tying Kim Carroll in knots, got a shot away at the right-hand side of the box which came off the arm of Anton, giving referee Casey Reibelt no option but to point to the spot. Hawkesby stepped up and hit a powerful effort towards the left-hand side of the net, but Newbon made a superb one-handed save to push the ball away.
Rojas was centimetres away with eight minutes to go when she couldn’t quite get on the end of Rule’s cross.
Craine showed her danger towards the end when she used her pace to get through and then her upper body strength to hold off would-be challenges to get a ball away for Lisa De Vanna to hit a first time effort which fizzed just over the bar.
Rojas followed up by dispatching the ball into the net from a quickly taken free-kick, but she was adjudged to have handled it in the build-up.
Whilst Phonsongkham and Anton put in impressive shifts for the visitors, it was nowhere near enough.
Perth Glory head coach Alex Epakis spoke of his immense disappointment after the game: “It wasn’t good enough. I think we gave them the onus and the chance to build momentum. We just gave them too much respect,” he said.
“They (Sydney) are a good team, but we allowed it to be a bit too easy. It was a timid start (from us) and that allowed Sydney to get the goals and we had to play catch up. We’re not happy. It’s one of the worst performances of the season.”
Epakis recognized the impact of playing three games in seven days on his young team: “Mental discipline, with three games in a week is really hard to keep to a high standard. I know that the players did the best they could taking on the pressure from set-pieces, corners, and deep throws, but there’s only so much that you can do to keep a quality team like that out. It’s a build-up of the last couple of days and Sydney FC had the benefit.”
“I said at half-time that we really only had our spirit and pride to play for. I would have preferred not to have been in that position and then conceding an early goal in the second half. We did show some pride, but nowhere near enough for what we are trying to do as a group. These are the performances that we just can’t accept and we don’t want to have.”
Teams: SYDNEY FC (4-3-3): Whyman, Green, Prior, Mclean, Rule, Lowe, Hunter, Hawkesby, Ibini, Siemsen, Vine. Substitutes: Hristodoulou, Offer (GK), Rojas, Satchell, Stanic-Floody.
Scorers: Hawkesby 11′, Vine 17′, Siemsen 25′, Rule 49′.
PERTH GLORY (4-2-3-1): Newbon, S.Carroll, K.Carroll, Anton, Rigby, Cain, Jans, Hooks, Phonsongkham, Sakalis, Craine. Substitutes: Aquino (GK), De Vanna, de la Harpe, Jancevski, Lawrence.
Referee: Casey Reibelt.
Kris Goman’s EXCLUSIVE photo gallery from the game