Ben Gilby reports on the post-match conferences given by both head coaches, whilst Tom McCarthy supplies his regular photo gallery from Macedonia Park (26/3/23).
Above: Hannah Blake shows her joy after scoring for Perth Glory at Macedonia Park today. Photo: Tom McCarthy.
Perth Glory head coach Alex Epakis was hugely proud of his team for overcoming a slow start to run out 4-3 winners over Melbourne City to keep their Finals hopes alive.
“Wow! Wow! What a match!” Epakis enthused. “That performance probably is a nice picture of how the whole season has gone. We started slow and looked a bit down and out and found a way to overcome what we needed to in order to get a result. We’ll finish strong. That’s the identity of this team, we know what we are, we know what we are capable of. We’re a fighting squad. We’re a team of workers and we work really hard for everything we get.”
Speaking to a number of players this season, one of the clearest messages that has come through is the exceptionally tight bond in the group and the belief that their head coach instills in them. The outcome of this match was a tribute to that, as Epakis recognised.
“The players did really well to take those chances. There were times when we were under the pump. At half-time I said to them, there will be times when it won’t be pretty, you might have to fill in for someone as they have been pulled out of position. It was an idea of rolling up our sleeves and producing a Kim Carroll performance. I think that’s well and truly what we got.”
Cyera Hintzen’s introduction as a second-half substitute was a major factor for Perth’s comeback. It was yet another hugely influential performance from the American.
“We couldn’t get much-controlled possession. We brought Cyera and G (Gabriella Coleman) on to stretch that (Melbourne City) back four, and that gave more space in midfield. That’s why in the last 20 it looked like we had more of he ball as we had players pulling them (Melbourne City) away. I really believe Cyera is the bench-mark nine in the competition – goals, assists, off-the-ball work. I give so much credit to Gabriella – she has come in and put in so much.
“We have three games this week and Cyera has a bit of a niggle and so have a few players. We knew we have to use the whole squad this week. It’s not ideal having so many games in such a short period. Come in, do a job, and see how we do. We won’t train too much, just focus on the game.”
Today’s encounter was the beginning of three games in three different states for Perth to finish the regular season. It’s a tough programme and the Glory boss outlined how the team will spend the coming week.
“We’ll have tomorrow focus on recovery. The day after train early the following morning and then head to Sydney. We play there Wednesday night, then fly to Brisbane and have recovery there – Friday will do a light session with recovery to an extent. Then the game and, after that we’ll see where we’re at…”
A win on Wednesday at Sydney FC will see Perth as one of three teams on 28 points going into the last round of matches. Strap up tightly, it’s going to be a hell of a week.
Melbourne City head coach Dario Vidosic was frustrated at his side’s inability to transfer first-half dominance into a victory at Perth Glory today.
“I can’t take away a lot of the good play we had in the first half. We completely dominated. We had numerous great chances. We could easily have been three or four-nil up, but that’s football if you don’t take your chances.”
Vidosic recognised that once the Glory got a foothold in the game, many contributing factors came together in order to push the hosts over the line and take the three points from the Victorian side.
“It was Kim Carroll’s last home game, Perth are chasing Finals, we shied away when they applied more pressure. We went away from what we were doing. We gave away corners, and we could have not conceded any of their goals. The crowd (by far the biggest attendance at any A-League Women game this weekend) then got into it. Even then we could have scored more, but there we are.
“For the fans today, and as a neutral, it is a great game. It had everything. From my point of view, we can’t be allowing that. We were so good, we were in control, we were 1-0 up. We were too transitional. Little things made the difference today.”
The City boss conceded that his side missed a golden opportunity to avoid what is potentially a winner takes all with fellow Finals contenders Canberra United, but his players have to learn from the errors of today.
“We’ve had injuries, players playing in areas where they don’t always. It’s a work in progress. We were very good. They were desperate, Perth, blocking shots that could have gone in the back of the net. The football was excellent first half. Second half, when you concede four, it’s never good. It sets up a game next week – a big one against Canberra that we need to win for Finals.”
Tom McCarthy’s Photo Gallery from Macedonia Park:
To read Jonathan Tay‘s report of the match, click on this link: https://impetusfootball.org/2023/03/26/glory-for-perth-after-dramatic-comeback/