Despite controlling a majority of the match, WA has emerged victorious over Perth Glory Women in the Challenge Cup with a 2-0 win at Inglewood Stadium on Wednesday night.
Goals from WA captain Nadene Caldwell and the influential Kat Jukic were enough to secure victory against Glory in front of 612 fans.
The pre-season match, which helped raise awareness and funds for the Pink Ribbon Cancer Council initiative, was a fantastic night showcasing the state’s finest women’s football in front of a packed crowd.
After a frantic opening five minutes, Glory was able to take control of the match through some composed play at the back from acting skipper Kim Carroll and Shawn Billam in midfield.
Despite great link up play from new signing Rosie Sutton and Roisin Connelly in the attacking third, Glory was unable to break through the disciplined WA defence, with keeper Evangeline Gooch denying Sutton on a number of occasions in the opening 15 minutes.
With Glory dominating play, WA looked to hit on the counter-attack with Caldwell and Jukic launching promising attacks.
After such an impressive start to the game for WA player Gooch, the keeper sustained a knock following a Perth set-piece and had to be replaced by Morgan Aquino after 25 minutes of play.
Aquino was quickly under pressure with shots from range by Jamie Gibbons (33′) and Connelly (37′) coolly dealt with by the number 18.
Following a flurry of Glory attacks, WA opened the scoring on 39 minutes thanks to an expert one-on-one finish from WA captain Caldwell. The midfielder had been lively throughout the first half and was rewarded for her performance with a tidy finish past Glory keeper Maizels.
Perth entered half-time 1-0 down but certainly not out of the contest.
The second-half continued in the same vein as the first, with Sutton’s tireless work and superb interplay with Connelly causing WA’s defence plenty of issues.
Sutton came closest to leveling the ledger in the 71st minute, as her strike from the left-hand side of the box required a desperate lunge from Katie Evans to clear the danger.
WA doubled their lead at the 74th-minute mark courtesy of midfielder Jukic. The number 8 was able to dribble her way through the right-hand side and dispatch a shot from an acute angle into past Gabby Dal Bosco, who replaced Maizels just minutes earlier.
The game finished 2-0, as WA claimed the Challenge Cup.
WA State Team: Gooch (GK), Van Heurck, Evans, Waltman, Caldwell (C), Vance, Jukic, Campbell, Dunn
Subs: Rigby, Lawrence, Winchcombe, Cawley, Aquino (GK)
Perth Glory: Maizels (GK), Heakins, Stannett, Carroll (C), Henderson, Billam, Bennett, Gibbons, Sutton, Doeglas, Connelly
Subs: Moreno, Randzo, Dal Bosco (GK)