Substitute Alana Jancevski opened her account for the year as Glory produced arguably their best performance of the Liberty A-League season to secure a well-deserved 1-1 draw with reigning champions Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.
View full match highlights HERE.
The hosts took the lead very much against the run of play when Paige Zois’ first-half cross-shot found the roof of the net, but Glory continued to threaten and were rewarded 16 minutes from time when Jancevski latched onto Ella Mastrantonio’s dinked ball into the box and fired home.
Victory were then grateful to ‘keeper Casey Dumont who made a fine late save to deny Jancevski as Glory pressed for a late winner.
The only negative on an otherwise hugely-encouraging afternoon for Alex Epakis’ side was what looked like a serious knee injury sustained by Rylee Baisden and the Head Coach was understandably devastated for the in-form American forward.
“It doesn’t look good, which was obvious from the reaction,” he said.
“It’s very heartbreaking and, you know, you just forget about the game for that moment.
“I don’t know 100% yet.
“We’ve just got to remain hopeful, but it doesn’t look great.
[On the game itself] “We knew we had to go all in today and we were very clear about that throughout the week; that we needed to get a result just to keep us in the in the Finals’ hunt.
“I think that that performance today was a very resilient, front-foot- based performance.
“As far as I was concerned, I thought we dominated the chances and we looked really good and I’m very proud.
“It’s just unfortunate that we don’t have more points to show for it, but it’s a really big step in the right direction.”
Glory slipped into gear right from the off, with Hana Lowry and Cyera Hintzen both getting shots in on the home goal and it therefore came as a shock when Zois’ curler put Victory 1-0 up just shy of the half-hour mark.
Victory proceeded to enjoy their best spell of the game either side of the break, but other than a fizzing strike from the impressive Rikke Madsen which went narrowly wide, they created little in the way of clear-cut chances.
Glory, meanwhile, continued to look fluent going forward even after Baisden was sadly injured while attempting to challenge compatriot Kayla Morrison.
Jancevski replaced the club’s top scorer and made an impact almost immediately, showing great strength to hold off several defenders after bringing down Mastrantonio’s pinpoint pass and then firing calmly past Dumont.
That goal set up a frenetic finale in which the visitors came very close to claiming all three points when Jancevski forced her way into the box again and Dumont was forced to go full-length to keep out her rising shot.
Liberty A-League 2022/23 Season Round 9
Melbourne Victory 1 (Zois 26′) Perth Glory 1 (Jancevski 74′)
Referee: Kelly Jones
Melbourne Victory: 1.Casey DUMONT, 5.Jessika NASH, 6.Beattie GOAD, 7.Gema SIMON, 8.Alana MURPHY (17.Maja MARKOVSKI 81′), 10.Alex CHIDIAC, 11.Natalie TATHEM, 16.Paige ZOIS (15.Amy JACKSON 81′), 18.Kayla MORRISON, 21.Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT (2. Tiffany ELIADIS 87′), 22.Ava BRIEDIS (13.Sarah ROWE 64′), 25.Rikke MADSEN
Substitutes not used: 20.Miranda TEMPLEMAN (gk)
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Perth Glory: 20.Sarah LANGMAN (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY (9.Demi KOULIZAKIS 85′), 11.Rylee BAISDEN (23.Alana JANCEVSKI 60′), 12.Sofia SAKALIS, 15.Cyera HINTZEN, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE (10.Susan PHONSONGKHAM 65′), 19.Izzy FOLETTA, 21.Ella MASTRANTONIO
Substitutes not used: 1.Morgan AQUINO (gk), 6.Tijan MCKENNA
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None