02/03/2024

Cyera Hintzen celebrating a goal. (Photo: Keep Up)

Perth Glory have cemented it’s second win of the  A-League Women's season, with a 2-0 win in the distance derby against the Wellington Phoenix, in what was Kim Caroll’s 150th A-league match

Perth Glory have cemented it’s second win of the A-League Women’s season, with a 2-0 win in the distance derby against the Wellington Phoenix at Macedonia Park, in what was Kim Carroll’s 150th A-league match.

Glory got off to the perfect with two goals within the first 14 minutes of the match. They didn’t have to wait too long to open up the scoring with Cyera Hintzen converting a long range shot in the sixth minute after receiving the pass off Hana Lowry.

Not long after Susan Phonsongkham converted from a penalty given against Wellington Phoenix’s Mackenzie Barry. Phonsongkham was able to hit the back of the net after sending it past goalkeeper Brianna Edwards. 

The match itself didn’t come without its controversy, with a double red card after a melee between Emma Ralston and Ella Mastrantonio which saw both teams playing with 10 for the rest of the match. 

In the second half, Glory sat off a bit after converting those two goals early in the first half, with Perth Glory coach Alex Epakis saying it’s all part of human nature. 

“I think it’s human nature when you’re defending something you’re always going to sit off,” Epakis said. 

“We spoke at half time, we still want to play, we still want to go after them. A third goal would have cooled the game off but none the less we didn’t concede. We may have stepped the gas off or maybe we were smarter with how we positioned ourselves.” 

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The win was also Glory’s first clean sheet of the season, with goalkeeper Sarah Langman finishing the match with two saves. Langman was supported by Glory defenders Elizabeth Anton (12 clearances, two intercepts, one tackle) and Natasha Rigby (three clearances, five tackles).  

With Epakis especially pleased with the performance from Anton as well as her combination with milestone women Carroll.

“I told Liz (Anton) today that I want her to be the best Kiwi on the field and I think she liked that and I certainly think that she stepped up and rightly so. It was a very good performance, it was calm, it was physical, when it needed to be physical,” He said.

“Her and Kim, they complement each other so well and I think the back four and the goalkeeper did really well. “ 

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From a Wellington Phoenix perspective, it was a disappointing encounter. The damage was already done before Ralston was sent off with a red card, but Phoenix coach Natalie Lawrence was pleased with the way her side came out in the second half. 

“I think the damage had been done, I think we got punished for two mistakes which I’ve spoken to the team about that we’ve got to hold ourselves accountable for those and you know I want us to play football, I want us to be able to build up, I don’t want us to just kick and chase and hope to win seconds,” Lawrence said.

“The team buys into that, they want to be part of that, but we’ve got to stop making these mistakes that are leading to these goals and start taking our chances as well. One player getting sent off may be a turning point but if you actually look at the momentum of the game, how we responded was exactly how I wanted and we dominated from that point. 

“We had a chat at half time and changed our formation, we went to a back three. We felt that Perth had a lead that they didn’t have to come out and necessarily get more goals, they were already 2-0 up so we obviously weren’t scoring a heap so they kind of sat back, we knew they would.

“Credit to the players, we talked about it and went to a 3-4-2 to see if we could cause some different problems and cause possession. If you look at our first 15 minutes, if a goal gets scored then maybe it’s a different ball game but from a building perspective we had more possession, we had the pass completion, we had more shots. We’ve had more final third entries then any other game this season so we’re building and we’re getting better and better.” 

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Despite the Phoenix currently 11th place at the bottom of the Liberty A-League ladder, Lawrence is looking forward to building over the 10 remaining games in the season. 

“Eight games in, yeah one point on the board but me, the team and the staff believe that we’ve still got ten games to fight for and those ten games we’re going to stay in the fight for as long as we can. As long as we keep sticking with our process we believe that that outcome will happen,” She said.

Wellington Phoenix will face Canberra United next Sunday at Skybus Staduim, while Perth Glory will have a three week hiatus, due to a postponed match against Sydney FC. With Epakis not impressed with the long lay off period for his side. 

“It’s three weeks and I’m not happy about it,” Epakis said post match. 

“The APL made a decision to postpone our game against Sydney and that was due to be this upcoming weekend, they’ve made that postponement due to Sydney FC not being able to source a venue in the largest state of venues so now we’ve been punished.

“We’re going to play three games in six days at the end of the season across three different states, which isn’t fair.

“It compromises the run we need to have and it’s also most importantly a wellbeing and a safety issue. So to have the break now might be good but what’s it going to look like at the tail end, I don’t think it’s going to look good.

“I’m not going to sit here and say I agree with it because I don’t and I think it needs to be looked at, there needs to be some type of alternative.

“[There has been] no feedback or no correspondence to my email.” 

Glory will next face ladder leaders Western United on the 4th of February at Morshead Park Stadium in Ballarat.

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