Glory denied by late leveller in six-goal thriller

Cyera Hintzen bagged a brace as Glory fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Canberra United in Saturday’s Liberty A-League clash at Viking Park.

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The American striker drew the visitors level just before the break after a Grace Maher penalty had given United an early lead and Liz Anton then struck midway through the second half to put Alex Epakis’ side in front.

When Hintzen capitalised upon a defensive error to make it 3-1 six minutes later, Glory looked well on course to secure a first ever away victory over the ACT club.

But Chelsee Washington reduced the arrears when she headed home from a corner and with six minutes left, Lauren Keir found the net from close-range to rescue a point for the hosts.

While pleased with aspects of his side’s performance, Epakis was frustrated that they were unable to secure the three points which would have seen them climb back into the top four.

“It feels like two points dropped,” he said.

“In the first ten minutes, they [Canberra] were on top and in the last ten minutes, they were on top, but everything in between, we were the better team.

“There were certainly a lot of elements which showcased how we want to play and our identity and our style and I think we recovered really well from conceding the early goal to stamp our authority on the match.

“I’m really happy and positive about that, but we’ve just got to do it consistently for 90 minutes.

“I also felt that some of the refereeing decisions today were comical… and really assisted the other team to get back into the game.

“Ultimately there needs to be some accountability to ensure that the quality is maintained with the referees because everyone else’s quality is assessed; coaches and players.”

In a dramatic opening to the game, Natasha Rigby was adjudged to have fouled Allira Toby in the box with just six minutes on the clock and Grace Maher tucked the resulting penalty neatly into the bottom corner.

Urged by Epakis to lift the tempo, Glory duly did so and restored parity in the final minute of the first half, Hana Lowry finding Hintzen just inside the box who turned neatly to get the ball onto her left foot just and drilled a low shot past Keeley Richards.

Canberra began the second half brightly, with Lowry forced to clear a Grace Maher corner off the line as it threatened to creep over the line, but Glory steadied themselves and took the lead just after the hour-mark.

Lowry’s corner caused a scramble in the United box and just as she did at the same ground last season, Anton reacted quickest to fire home the loose ball.

2-1 swiftly became 3-1, the tireless Hintzen seizing upon some poor defending to calmly claim her second goal of the game and her fourth in as many A-League appearances.

Canberra looked all but finished at that stage and yet somehow they found a way back through Washington’s header and in keeping with a fixture which rarely fails to deliver in terms of drama, then snatched a last-gasp equaliser.

Maher’s free-kick was nodded across the face of goal by Allyson Haran and Lauren Keir was on hand to prod home from point-blank range.

Match Details

Canberra United 3 (Maher (pen) 6′, Washington 79′. Keir 84′) Perth Glory 3 (Hintzen 44′, 70′, Anton 64′)

Half-time: 1-1

Viking Park

Referee: Isabella Blaess

Canberra United: 1.Keeley RICHARDS (GK) (18.Chloe LINCOLN (GK) 73′), 2.Emma ILIJOSKI, 3.Mikayla VIDMAR (11.Chloe MIDDLETON 85′), 5.Lauren KEIR, 6.Laura HUGHES, 7.Chelsee WASHINGTON, 10.Grace MAHER, 12.Allira TOBY (8.Margot ROBINNE 62′) 20.Hayley TAYLOR-YOUNG (14.Ashleigh SYKES 46′), 23.Michelle HEYMAN, 25.Allyson HARAN

Substitutes not used: 17.Sasha GROVE

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 1.Morgan AQUINO (GK), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY, 5.Deborah-Anne DE LA HARPE, 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 11.Lisa DE VANNA ( 9.Demi KOULIZAKIS 56′), 15.Cyera HINTZEN ( 21.Aideen KEANE 73′), 17.Abbey GREEN ( 12.Sofia SAKALIS 75′), 18.Sadie LAWRENCE ( 13.Sarah CAIN 56′), 26.Mie LETH JANS

Substitutes not used: 20.Courtney NEWBON (GK)

Yellow Cards: Rigby

Red Cards: None