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Feb 27, 2022   |  5:22PM AET

Glory’s Finals hopes still alive despite Sydney defeat

Glory’s Finals hopes still alive despite Sydney defeat

Glory’s Liberty A-League Finals destiny was taken out of their hands on Sunday as they went down 3-1 to Premiers-elect Sydney FC in Launceston.

Nat Tobin gave the Sky Blues the lead in the first-half before a quickfire double from Cortnee Vine took the league leaders out of sight early in the second.

Aideen Keane did provide a late highlight for Alex Epakis’ side, however, firing home her maiden Liberty A-League goal to reduce the arrears four minutes from time.

The result means Glory remain in fifth spot, two points behind Melbourne Victory and must now beat Wellington Phoenix in next week’s final game of the regular season and hope that the navy-and-whites lose their home clash with Canberra United.

Epakis conceded that his side weren’t at their best, but was encouraged by their second-half display.

“I think we started a little bit flat, unfortunately and after about 20 minutes, we started to play more in our style and more what we were trying to do,” he said.

“But then we conceded a goal and in the second half, we tried really hard, but they just had a bit more quality in key moments and I think that was the difference.

“I said at the start of the week that it was just about two performances.

“Today’s wasn’t what we wanted in terms of the result and now we have Wellington.

“If we do what we need to do and are good enough, the points will take care of themselves.

“We just have to make sure we follow the process and the game plan and perform, do our best to win the match and if other things go our way, that’s a bonus, but I’m not looking past the Wellington game.”

It was the Sky Blues who started brightly in wet conditions at UTAS Stadium, but it took them until the 34th minute to break down the Glory defence as Mackenzie Hawkesby’s corner was met at the near post by Tobin who hooked the ball past Courtney Newbon.

A fine block from defender Ally Green then prevented Hana Lowry from drawing Glory level at the start of the second half and Sydney made the most of that let-off by doubling their lead moments later.

Vine raced clear on goal before calmly lifting the ball over the advancing Newbon and the Matildas forward grabbed her second and the Sky Blues’ third on the hour-mark, this time sliding home a low cross from Princess Ibini.

To their credit, Glory refused to buckle in the final third of the game and earned a deserved consolation in the shadows of full-time.

Natasha Rigby began the move with a surging run down the left, Lisa De Vanna then slipped the ball into the path of Keane and she applied a neat, first-time finish to find the net.

Glory’s Finals fate will now be decided on Friday when they face Wellington at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, while Victory host Canberra United, with both games getting underway at 2.05pm WST.

Match Details

Perth Glory 1 (Keane 86′) Sydney FC 3 (Tobin 34′, Vine 52′. 60′)

Half-time: 0-1

Referee: Rebecca Mackie

UTAS Stadium, Launceston

Perth Glory: 20.Courtney NEWBON (GK), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY (C), 5.Deborah-Anne DE LA HARPE, 8.Hana LOWRY (9.Demi KOULIZAKIS 69′), 10.Susan PHONSONGKHAM (11.Lisa DE VANNA 46′), 12.Sofia SAKALIS (21.Aideen KEANE 46′), 13.Sarah CAIN (18.Sadie LAWRENCE 69′), 15.Cyera HINTZEN, 22.Claudia MIHOCIC, 26.Mie LETH JANS

Substitutes not used: 1.Morgan AQUINO (GK)

Yellow Cards: Keane, de la Harpe

Red Cards: None

Sydney FC: 1.Jada WHYMAN (GK), 3.Charlotte MCLEAN, 5.Ally GREEN (6.Sarah HUNTER 79′), 8.Rachel LOWE (4.Jessika NASH 79′), 10.Remy SIEMSEN (9.Maria ROJAS 66′), 11.Cortnee VINE (16.Kahli JOHNSON 71′), 12.Natalie TOBIN (C), 15.Mackenzie HAWKESBY, 18.Taylor RAY, 19.Charlize RULE, 20.Princess IBINI-ISEI

Substitutes not used: 30.Katie OFFER (GK)

Yellow Cards: Hawkesby, Lowe

Red Cards: None