Harding double consigns Glory to first home defeat

Glory suffered a first home Liberty A-League defeat of the season on Sunday evening as a brace from Sophie Harding drove Western Sydney Wanderers to a 2-0 victory.

View full match highlights HERE

View Alex Epakis’ post-match media conference HERE

Alex Epakis’ side came into the Round 11 clash knowing that a win would move them back to within three points of leaders Melbourne City, but instead they found themselves trailing midway through the first half when Harding netted with a stunning strike from just outside the box.

Hana Lowry then struck the post from long-range just before the break, but when Harding claimed her second of the night in the 72nd minute, there was to be no coming back for the hosts.

Backed by another bumper home crowd, the women in purple began brightly and carved out the game’s first chance eight minutes in when Susan Phonsongkham fired over after neat approach work from Grace Jale and Millie Farrow.

That early promise gave way to frustration when Harding rattled in her side’s opener, but Glory were desperately unfortunate not to restore parity seven minutes before half-time when Lowry’s 25m screamer thumped against the junction of post and bar.

Farrow was next to go close for the hosts, shooting straight at Kaylie Collins during the opening seconds of the second half and on the hour-mark, Jale sent a shot over the bar when well placed.

At that stage it looked as if the comeback was on, only for the impressive Harding to again find a way through, this time latching onto a clever ball from Cushla Rue and calmly beating Morgan Aquino to make it 2-0.

Aquino was then forced to produce two fine saves in quick succession to prevent Harding from claiming her hat-trick and despite their best efforts, Glory were unable to find a way through a well-organised Wanderers defence in the latter stages.

Match Details

Liberty A-League 2023/24 Season Round 11

Perth Glory 0 Western Sydney Wanderers 2
(Harding 24′, 72′)

Half-time: 0-1

Macedonia Park

Attendance: 1469

Isabella Mossin

Perth Glory: 1.Morgan AQUINO (GK), 3.Jessika COWART, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 7.Liz ANTON (25.Grace JOHNSTON 65′), 8.Hana LOWRY, 9.Millie FARROW, 10.Susan PHONSONGKHAM (27.Georgia CASSIDY 65′), 11.Grace JALE, 12.Sofia SAKALIS (20.Quinley QUEZADA 65′), 22.Claudia MIHOCIC, 23.Isobel DALTON

Substitutes not used: 13.Sarah CAIN, 24.Sally JAMES (GK)

Yellow Cards: Mihocic

Red Cards: None

Western Sydney Wanderers: 1.Kaylie COLLINS (GK), 2.Vicky BRUCE, 4.Madison MCCOMASKY, 7.Amy HARRISON, 8.Olivia PRICE (3.Gemma FERRIS 77′), 9.Sophie HARDING (23.Ella ABDUL-MASSIH 90+1′), 11.Danika MATOS, 15.Cushla RUE, 18.Malia MORRIS (10.Melissa CACERES 66′), 21.Alexia APOSTOLAKIS, 25.Holly CASPERS (19.Talia YOUNIS 90+1′)

Substitutes not used: 31.Keely SEGAVCIC (gk)

Yellow Cards: Harding

Red Cards: None