Glory’s six-game unbeaten Liberty A-League run ground to a halt on Saturday afternoon as Adelaide United came from behind to run out 2-1 winners at ServiceFM Stadium.
View full match highlights HERE.
Following a first half relatively light on chances, Glory hit the front almost immediately after the restart when Hannah Blake grabbed her second goal of the season from close-range.
The Reds restored parity within three minutes, however, as a Dylan Holmes shot rebounded off the post onto the luckless Morgan Aquino and the ball then crept over the line.
A Fiona Worts header made it 2-1 to United 20 minutes from time and although substitutes Alana Jancevski and Abbey Green both went close right at the death, Glory were ultimately unable to snag a share of the spoils.
Despite the defeat, Glory remain within four points of fourth-placed Melbourne Victory and Epakis certainly believes that their hopes of a Finals spot remain very much alive.
Listen to his full post-match interview HERE.
“It [the result] leaves us in a position where we have to work even harder now,” he said.
“That’s the reality of it.
“We obviously had a strong hold on competing for that fourth spot and we’re certainly not going to give up hope on that.
“We’re going to push ourselves and challenge ourselves to keep going with that drive for a top-four finish.
“Today was a performance that went down to fine margins and moments and on this occasion, Adelaide were better in those little moments.
“We had a good performance, but not a great performance and as a result, we left ourselves open to fine margins.
“Ultimately, we weren’t good enough in a few key areas today.”
Glory created the better of the chances in a hard-fought first half, home ‘keeper Annalee Grove making a scrambling save to keep Cyera Hintzen at bay and then producing a more acrobatic stop to prevent a Maruschka Waldus header from flying into her own net.
Hintzen also went close with a header before the break, but Glory were not to be denied for much longer once the second half got underway.
Four minutes in, Sofia Sakalis found Hintzen down the left, who in turn fed Hana Lowry and her cross was turned into the net by Blake at the far post.
Unfortunately for the visitors, they were pegged back almost immediately, Aquino the helpless scorer of an own-goal as Holmes’ shot cannoned back off the woodwork, into her legs and over the line.
Blake then missed a gilt-edged chance to restore Glory’s lead, placing her shot over the bar with the goal gaping having been picked out by Lowry and the Reds went on to capitalise upon that let-off.
It came as no surprise that it was Worts who bagged what proved to be the hosts’ winner, the English striker capping an all-action performance by racing in at the far post to nod a deep cross from the right past Aquino.
Glory mounted a sustained bid to claim an equaliser in the latter stages and came close to doing so on two occasions, but Jancevski’s chipped effort from a Demi Koulizakis cross drifted wide and Grove made another fine save to block Green’s stoppage-time effort at point-blank range.
Liberty A-League 2022/23 Season Round 17
Adelaide United 2 (Aquino (o.g.) 52′, Worts 70′) Perth Glory 1 (Blake 49′)
Service FM Stadium
Referee: Bec Mackie
Adelaide United: 1.Annalee GROVE (gk), 2.Emily HODGSON, 6.Jenna McCORMICK, 7.MelindaJ BARBIERI, 12.Nanako SASAKI, 14.Meisha WESTLAND, 15.Katie BOWLER (28.Chrissy PANAGARIS 84′), 16.Dylan HOLMES, 17.Zoe TOLLAND (4.Erin KONTOUTSIKOS 90+7′), 19.Maruschka WALDUS, 23.Fiona WORTS (9.Paige HAYWARD 89′)
Substitutes not used: 20.Jenna FARROW (gk)
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Perth Glory: 1.Morgan AQUINO (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY (9.Demi KOULIZAKIS 69′), 12.Sofia SAKALIS (17.Abbey GREEN 56′), 13.Sarah CAIN (21.Ella MASTRANTONIO 69′), 14.Hannah BLAKE, 15.Cyera HINTZEN, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE, 19.Izzy FOLETTA (23.Alana JANCEVSKI 77′)
Substitutes not used: 20.Sarah LANGMAN (gk)
Yellow Cards: Sakalis, Carroll, Anton
Red Cards: None