Glory ended their Liberty A-League campaign on a positive note as a second-half header from Gabriella Coleman secured a hard-fought, 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar at Perry Park.
View full match highlights HERE.
Melbourne Victory’s draw with Wellington Phoenix earlier in the day meant that Glory knew their Finals hopes were over before they took to the field in Queensland, but that did not take the edge off their contribution to what developed into an end-to-end contest.
Having created the better chances in the first-half, Glory hit the front 17 minutes from time when Hana Lowry’s pinpoint corner was headed home by Coleman who was a late replacement for fellow-US import Cyera Hintzen in the starting eleven.
Moments earlier, Shea Connors had struck the post for the home side who continued to press for an equaliser right to the final whistle, but the Glory defence held firm to ensure they would not be denied their eighth win of the season.
The result also meant that retiring defender Kim Carroll was able to bring the curtain down on her illustrious, 15-year career in style, much to the delight of Head Coach Alex Epakis.
Listen to his full post-match comments HERE.
“She is an iconic player and it’s not going to be the same without her, particularly in the women’s game,” he said.
“I’m just really pleased that she gets to go out a winner on this occasion.
“Overall, I’m very happy with the result and satisfied with the performance.
“It was a good way to end the season.
“We said prior to the match that we weren’t going to have the opportunity to play Finals, but we wanted to put out a performance that was reflective of a Finals match and I thought that we certainly did that.
“We had some really, really great phases of possession, we looked in control for most parts of the match and were unlucky, potentially, not to have got another goal or two.
“We still had a bit to play for.
“It was Kim’s last match and Hana Lowry’s 50th and there was the other motivating factor that we wanted our last performance to be reflective of all the things we’ve worked very hard on this year in terms of playing style.
“It was certainly nice to have the ball and have it for long periods of time.
“Ultimately, we’re not going to get the opportunity to play Finals and that’s going to sting because we know we can compete with those top four teams and our results and performances against them during the season would indicate that if we had managed to sneak into the four, we may have given it a good shake-up.
“But nonetheless, we’ve had a really strong and solid season… players have progressed, the team has progressed and we’re certainly heading in an upward trajectory.”
Seemingly unfazed by the fact that their charge for the top four had come up just short, the visitors made a very bright start and should have taken the lead inside the opening four minutes as Coleman sent a gilt-edged chance over the bar.
Roar’s response was a fizzing strike from Hollie Palmer which Morgan Aquino did well to keep out and as the game continued to ebb and flow, Coleman went close again at the other end, this time shooting straight at Hensley Hancuff having been played in by Hannah Blake.
The home side duly enjoyed their best period at the start of the second half, an unmarked Jessie Rasschaert somehow heading a Tamar Levin corner over the bar with the goal gaping and Connors then going even closer with a curling effort which thumped against Aquino’s right-hand post.
The Glory ‘keeper was called into action again moments later, this time tipping a Palmer shot away and within sixty seconds of that incident, the complexion of the game changed completely.
Lowry’s corners had been troubling the Roar defence all game and from another superb, inswinging delivery, Coleman climbed highest to glance home the third goal of her maiden A-League campaign.
Connors saw an effort cleared off the line by Lowry as the Queenslanders launched a desperate late bid to salvage a point, but with Carroll displaying the finely-honed combination of steel and composure at the heart of the defence which characterised her remarkable career, Epakis’ side held on.
Liberty A-League Season 2022/23 Match Week 20
Brisbane Roar 0 Perth Glory 1 (Coleman 73′)
Saturday 1 April 2023
Referee: Anna-Marie Keighley
Brisbane Roar: 51.Hensley HANCUFF (GK), 3.Jessie RASSCHAERT, 5.Jamilla RANKIN, 6.Holly MCQUEEN, 7.Ayesha NORRIE (c), 11.Sharn FREIER, 12.Shea CONNORS, 13.Tamar LEVIN (78.Margot ROBBINE 63′), 16.Zara KRUGER, 19.Hollie PALMER (17.Talitha KRAMER 86′), 27.Indiah-Paige RILEY
Substitutes not used: 1.Isabella SHUTTLEWORTH (GK), 2.Annabel HAFFENDEN, 31.Alleeah DAVERN
Yellow Cards: Connors
Red Cards: None
Perth Glory: 1.Morgan AQUINO (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c) (15.Cyera HINTZEN 90′), 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 12.Sofia SAKALIS (23.Alana JANCEVSKI 61′), 13.Sarah CAIN (6.Tijan MCKENNA 72′), 14.Hannah BLAKE, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE, 19.Izzy FOLETTA (9.Demi KOULIZAKIS 72′), 42.Gabriella COLEMAN
Substitutes not used: 20.Sarah LANGMAN (gk)
Yellow Cards: Foletta
Red Cards: None