Perth Glory has secured a crucial win for their finals hopes, trumping Western Sydney Wanderers by a solitary goal.
It was a quiet start to the match with just three shots after 25 minutes, as both sides looked to feel their way into the game.
In the 28th minute, a wonderful chance was presented to Mie Leth Jans from a corner, but a fantastic save from Sarah Willacy blocked Perth Glory from breaking the deadlock.
The half ended 0-0, but shortly after the break, Perth got a deserved opening goal.
Lisa De Vanna drew a foul in a dangerous position just outside the box, and Deborah Anne De la Harpe drilled a thunderous right-footed effort into the top corner off the resulting freekick.
Both sides managed to create half-chances in the aftermath, but the 49th-minute set-piece was enough to secure Perth their third win of the campaign.
WANDERERS GOALSCORING WOES CONTINUE
Western Sydney Wanderers have been praised for their well structured, strong defence this campaign, but despite having conceded just five goals in seven games this campaign, they have only won the solitary affair.
Their defensive structure hasn’t been backed up by their play in possession, as they’ve scored just two goals this season – an average of 0.3 per match.
They struggled to progress play when in possession this evening, with their midfield three unable to penetrate the space in between the lines to any effect.
Their backline was unable to play through Perth’s press, while their final third play was more individualistic than systemised.
They improved after substitutions as they prioritised direct passes into the box, but they still struggled to create sustainably goalscoring opportunities.
While their defence remains strong with goalkeeper Willacy outstanding in her shot-stopping, the goalscoring woes remain for Wanderers, having not scored in
PERTH PUSHING FOR FINALS
Perth Glory’s win against the Wanderers comes at an important time, now leaving them just the solitary point behind Adelaide United in fourth.
After their matches against Wellington Phoenix and Canberra United, they will then play the four top sides in succession, with a crunch match against current closest contender Adelaide United in the penultimate matchday.
Perth consistently pinned back the Wanderers in a dominant display, with the fluidity of their front four impressing.
Lisa De Vanna had spells when she wasn’t involved in the match, but showed her quality in key moments, particularly in one on one situations.
Their structure in possession blocked chances of counter-attacks from Wanderers and allowed Perth to pin them in their defensive half.
However, the majority of their chances came from quick transitions through their possession phases, where they were able to exploit the Wanderers’ high backline with lofted passes in behind.
The versatility in Perth’s chance creation puts them in a good position for the last six matches of the campaign, but a finals place won’t come easy with majority of their season still left to play.
HANA LOWRY IMPRESSES
At just 18 years of age, Hana Lowry is establishing herself as one of the brightest lights in a vivid Perth Glory side.
Playing as the sole attacking midfielder in Perth’s system, her energy, technique and positional intelligence shone through.
She would consistently find herself in threatening positions in between the lines and was always offering an option to help progress play centrally.
She made clever runs to help stretch the Wanderers’ defensive line, showing an ability to play as a second striker when required.
When in possession, Lowry added sparkle to Perth’s play, as she guided the ball around the field with ease on her left foot in a dazzling fashion.
She created a ray of chances for Perth with well-timed passes in behind, with Lisa De Vanna squandering multiple opportunities created by Lowry.
While her all-round game on the ball and pressing and crucially scanning needs refinement, her intelligent movement is extraordinary, and at 18 years old, she remains some prospect for Perth.
Perth Glory 1 (Deborah Anne De la Harpe 49m)
Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Image source – Perth Glory