Glory share spoils with Canberra in Sydney

Glory moved level on points with fourth-placed Newcastle Jets after battling out a 0-0 draw with Canberra United at Wanderers Football Park on Wednesday afternoon.

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Alex Epakis’ side forced United goalkeeper Keeley Richards to make a number of key saves, notably in the first half before defending stoutly in the latter stages in order to secure a second clean-sheet of the season.

Canberra’s best chances, meanwhile, fell the way of veteran striker Michelle Heyman who was narrowly off-target in a one-on-one situation and with a header early in the second half.

While disappointed that his charges were unable to claim what would have been just the club’s third victory over United in 24 attempts, Epakis was generally pleased with their response to last week’s first defeat of the season.

“It was a more resilient performance than what we had against Adelaide,” he said, “and I think we looked really good with the ball.

“That was the key message leading up to this game and we also looked really solid without the ball.

“We didn’t get the the three points, but I think we won in a lot of other areas today which is going to help the team going into the next game and for the rest of the season.

“We were at a good level today.

“A lot of players had to step up and improve their individual performance to help the team and every single one of those players did that.

“There were a lot of chances we created that we could have converted, so that’s the next thing on the list for us, but it was definitely a step in the right direction.”

It was Glory who created the first major chance on a sticky afternoon in Sydney’s west, Susan Phonsongkham connecting with a Cyera Hintzen cut-back only to see defender Lauren Keir deflect the goalbound effort wide.

Phonsongkham continued to trouble the United defence throughout the opening 45 minutes and went even closer to breaking the deadlock shortly before the break, drawing a fine save from Richards after being picked out by Gemma Craine.

Richards was called into action again in first-half stoppage-time, this time foiling Hintzen after the American striker had turned cleverly and burst into the box.

It was Canberra, however, who came flying out of the blocks at the start of the second half, Heyman being sent in on goal by Allira Toby only to drag her shot wastefully wide.

The former Matildas striker, who has been Glory’s nemesis so often in the past, then headed narrowly over the bar on the hour-mark as Vicki Linton’s side continued to threaten.

Playing their second game in just four days, the women in purple inevitably tired in the final quarter, but with the exception of an angled effort from Ashleigh Sykes which the impressive Kim Carroll did well to block, they generally managed to keep Canberra at arm’s length.

And although Sykes did go close with an effort that struck the side-netting in stoppage-time, Glory were not to be denied the share of the spoils that their performance most certainly warranted.

Glory’s next Liberty A-League outing is against Sydney FC at Netstrata Jubilee Oval on Saturday.

Match Details

Perth Glory 0 Canberra United 0

Half-time: 0-0

Referee: Georgia Ghirardello

Wanderers Football Park

Perth Glory: 20.Courtney NEWBON (GK), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 7.Elizabeth ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 10.Susan PHONSONGKHAM (13.Sarah CAIN 76′), 15.Cyera HINTZEN (11.Lisa DE VANNA 64′), 19.Poppie HOOKS (5.Deborah-Anne DE LA HARPE 56′), 23.Alana JANCEVSKI, 24.Gemma CRAINE (12.Sofia SAKALIS 56′), 26.Mie LETH JANS

Substitutes not used: 1.Morgan AQUINO (GK)

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Canberra United: 1.Keeley RICHARDS (GK), 5.Lauren KEIR, 6.Laura HUGHES (9.Holly CASPERS 70′), 7.Chelsee WASHINGTON, 10.Grace MAHER, 11.Chloe MIDDLETON, 12.Allira TOBY (8.Margot ROBINNE 70′), 16.Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 20.Hayley TAYLOR-YOUNG (14.Ashleigh SYKES 61′), 23.Michelle HEYMAN (c), 25.Allyson HARAN

Substitutes not used: 18.Chloe LINCOLN (GK)

Yellow Cards: Toby

Red Cards: None