Cyera Hintzen and Mie Leth Jans both struck in the final nine minutes to complete a thrilling 3-2 comeback victory for Glory over Wellington Phoenix in Monday’s Liberty A-League clash at Wanderers Football Park.
View full match highlights HERE.
Sofia Sakalis’ deflected effort had given the women in purple an early lead before Grace Jale and Chloe Knott both struck to send Phoenix in 2-1 up at the break.
Glory battled their way back in the second half, however, with substitute Hintzen marking her return from injury by heading home her second of the season and two minutes from time, Leth Jans bagged her maiden goal for the club from close range.
The result lifts Alex Epakis’ side into the top four and the Head Coach was understandably pleased with the spirit his charges showed to come from behind and secure back-to-back wins for the second time this season.
“I’m really happy with the fact that we found a way to win that game,” he said.
“That’s the sign of a healthy team when you can not play well and find a way to get a result and in terms of the context of the season, of where we want to be and where we want to finish, that was a result we needed.
“In terms of the performance, we were really flat in the first half and it was a bit disappointing to start the game in that way.
“We said what we had to say at half-time, the players said what they needed to say, we cleared the air and we refocused.
“In the second half we showed a lot more energy and enough to get the three points.”
14 minutes were on the clock when the first goal of the game arrived, Abbey Green providing the cross from the left and Sakalis getting enough on her shot to ensure that Kate Taylor’s attempted block could only help deflect the ball past Lily Alfeld in the Phoenix goal.
To their credit, the winless Kiwi side responded superbly to that early set-back, restoring parity within six minutes as Alyssa Whinham threaded the ball through for Jale who finished emphatically.
And Phoenix found themselves in front six minutes before half-time when Chloe Knott seized upon an error from Morgan Aquino and clipped the ball into an empty net.
Glory steadily amped up the pressure as the second half wore on, however, with Alfeld forced to palm Hana Lowry’s free-kick on to the bar after substitute Gemma Craine had also gone close.
And the breakthrough eventually arrived when Demi Koulizakis’ persistence in the box enabled Leth Jans to dink in a cross which Hintzen needed no second invitation to head home.
Unwilling to settle for a point, Glory continued to surge forward and were rewarded two minutes from time when Deborah-Anne de la Harpe’s deep delivery prompted an almighty scramble in the Phoenix box and Leth Jans reacted quickest to sweep the loose ball into the net.
Perth Glory 3 (Sakalis 14′, Hintzen 81′, Leth Jans 88′)) Wellington Phoenix 2 (Jale 20′, Knott 39′)
Referee: Rachel Mitchenson
Perth Glory: 1.Morgan AQUINO (GK), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY (C), 5.Deborah-Anne DE LA HARPE, 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Jana LOWRY, 11.Lisa DE VANNA ( 9.Demi KOULIZAKIS 74′), 12.Sofia SAKALIS ( 24.Gemma CRAINE 46′) ( 13.Sarah CAIN 74′), 17.Abbey GREEN ( 15.Cyera HINTZEN 58′), 18.Sadie LAWRENCE, 26.Mie LETH JANS
Substitutes not used: 20.Courtney NEWBON (GK)
Yellow Cards: Leth Jans
Red Cards: None
Wellington Phoenix: 1.Lily ALFELD (GK), 3.Kate TAYLOR, 4.Mackenzie BARRY, 7.Chloe KNOTT, 8.Grace WISNEWSKI, 9.Ava PRITCHARD (19.Charlotte LANCASTER 89′), 10.Grace JALE, 15.Zoe MCMEEKEN, 16.Hannah JONES (6.Isabel GOMEZ 66′), 17.Talitha KRAMER, 20.Alyssa WHINHAM (2.Saskia VOSPER 78′)
Substitutes not used: 12.Brianna EDWARDS, 18.Annabel MARTIN
Yellow Cards: Jones
Red Cards: None