A stunning goal from skipper Sam Kerr helped Perth Glory upset second-placed Sydney FC 1-0 at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday.
Kerr was at her destructive best, scoring the only goal of the match – her of third of the season – early in the first half and regularly putting the Sky Blues defence under pressure.
The hard-fought win lifted Glory to fourth on the Westfield W-League table, equal on points with third-placed Canberra United and just two behind leaders Melbourne City and Sydney.
“This is a huge three points for us,” Kerr said. “We’re always happy when we get the win, especially when it’s two in a row, and Sydney’s a great side.”
After a tight opening to the match, played out in front of 481 fans, Kerr made the breakthrough in the 18th minute when she slammed the ball into the top left from the right side after being brilliantly fed by Shawn Billam.
Kerr almost doubled the home side’s lead seven minutes later when she wrong-footed Sydney goalkeeper Sham Khamis and played the ball towards the open goal, only to be denied on the line by quick-thinking defender Alanna Kennedy.
Kerr and American import Vanessa DiBernardo combined for a number of chances during the match, but were unable to add a second goal for their team.
Sydney’s first scoring chance came in the 32nd minute, but the visitors rarely troubled Perth stopper Gabby Dal Busco, such was the dominance of Glory’s defence, led by veteran Kim Carroll and Mexican international Ariana Romero.
Despite losing the match, Sydney trio Kennedy, Liz Ralston and Teresa Polias were among the best players on the pitch, regularly being called into action to shut down attacks from Kerr, DiBernardo and Rosie Sutton.
Polias said her defeated side had plenty of room for improvement and would use their upcoming break to freshen up for the second half of the season.
“We weren’t good enough today, our passing let us down,” Polias said. “Credit to Perth, they were very dangerous on the counterattack and controlled the game.”