Glory set for Victory re-match after narrow defeat


Glory are set to face Melbourne Victory in the Westfield W-League semi-finals next weekend after being edged out 2-1 by the same opponents at Dorrien Gardens on Friday evening.

First-half efforts from Christine Nairn and Emily Gielnik put Victory in control and although Sam Kerr halved the arrears after the break with her 11th goal of the season, Jeff Hopkins’ side held on to secure the win which earned them the Premiers’ Plate.

The result meant that Glory finished the regular season in fourth spot and will therefore travel to Melbourne to take on Victory again in nine days’ time, with a place in the Grand Final up for grabs.

And while disappointed that his side were unable to secure a home semi-final, Head Coach Bobby Despotovski insisted that his charges will be ready to go again in the Victorian capital.

“If we’d had the same intensity in the first half as we had in the second, we wouldn’t have had any problems,” he said.

“We were not composed enough in the first half, but the second was a completely different story with us putting them under pressure and dictating the pace of the game.

“It wasn’t our night tonight, but now we’ll go to Melbourne and look to win the game.

“There are no second chances now; it’s as simple as that.

“Our first objective has been reached, which was the top four and now we’ll regroup, put some things in place in training and go again.”

Both sides came absolutely flying out of the blocks, with a chance at each end within the opening three minutes.

First, Victory’s Nairn drew a fine save from the in-form Eliza Campbell and then opposite number Casey Dumont foiled Kerr in a one-on-one situation after the home skipper had raced clear.

Alyssa Mautz duly sent a dipping long-range effort narrowly over the bar, but it was the visitors who drew first blood on 17 minutes.

Lia Privitelli supplied the cross from the left and Nairn found the net with a powerful diving header.

Glory’s response was led by Kerr who forced another save from Dumont midway through the half, only for Victory to strike on the break once again as Gielnik rifled home a cross-shot via the foot of the far post.

The home side then came close to halving the arrears right on half time, with Dumont producing a superb double-save to keep the lively Kerr at bay.

The Matildas striker was not to be denied ten minutes after the break, however, nodding home Alyssa Mautz’s headed assist, much to the delight of the vocal, bumper home crowd.

As Glory then proceeded to pour forward in search of an equaliser, they were almost stung on the break when Privitelli’s header crashed against the post.

After that let-off, Despotovski’s side continued to apply the pressure, Kerr finding the side-netting with a fierce strike having latched on to a long ball from Nikki Stanton.

It felt as if the equaliser was coming as the game moved into its final quarter, but despite throwing everything they had at it, Glory were ultimately unable to penetrate Victory’s resolute rearguard for a second time.

Match Details

Perth Glory 1 (Kerr 55′) Melbourne Victory 2 (Nairn 17′, Gielnik 35′)

Half-time: 0-2

Referee: Rebecca Durcau

Attendance: 1212

Perth Glory: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Alyssa MAUTZ , 5.Shannon MAY, 7.Nicole STANTON, 9.Rachel HILL, 13.Jamie-Lee GALE, 15.Alexia MORENO (11.Leticia McKENNA 46′), 20.Sam KERR (c), 24.Natasha RIGBY, 25.Katie NAUGHTON

Substitutes not used: 12.Jenna ONIONS, 14.Caitlin DOEGLAS, 21.Morgan AQUINO (gk)

Yellow cards: Campbell

Red cards: Nil

Melbourne Victory: 1.Casey DUMONT (gk), 3.Teigen ALLEN, 5.Laura ALLEWAY,  7.Christine NAIRN, 8.Angela BEARD, 9.Natasha DOWIE (c), 15.Emily GIELNIK, 16.Samantha JOHNSON, 17.Danielle WEATHERHOLT (11.MelindaJ BARBIERI 46′), 18.Grace MAHER, 19.Lia PRIVITELLI,

Substitutes not used: 6.Annabel MARTIN, 14.Melina AYRES, 20.Bethany MASON-JONES (gk)

Yellow cards: Johnson

Red cards: Nil