American import Vanessa DiBernardo has marked her Glory debut with a stunning brace to give Perth its second win of the season and lift the team to fourth place on the Westfield W-League table.
It was a bitter-sweet win though, as Glory striker Sam Kerr was forced to come off the pitch in the first-half, after sustaining an ankle injury.
It was Kerr who was the protagonist in opening Glory’s goal after smothering a clearance from Roar ‘keeper Haley Kopmeyer. Kerr fired from point-blank range but Kopmeyer saved the shot. DiBernardo came rushing in and pounced on the loose ball and drove it into the back of the net from the top of the box.
Glory searched for another and it almost came within five minutes after Kerr cleverly flicked a ball to Caitlin Foord who fired on goal but sent the ball over the bar.
In the 20’ Kerr lunged for an incoming ball on the right flank but abruptly fell to the ground after her leg seemed to give way due to a non-contact ankle injury.
Roar looked for the equaliser but a tough Glory defence thwarted most of Brisbane’s attacks leaving Perth ’keeper Mackenzie Arnold little to do.
In the 36’ Foord had another opportunity to extend Perth’s lead but sent the ball over the bar again.
On the cusp of half time, Kim Carroll sent in a teasing free kick but Katie Holtham wasn’t’ able to connect properly and hit the ball just wide of the post.
Glory looked to extend its lead in the second half with Foord again proving to be a major threat. The striker was fouled on the 18-yard line but the resulting free kick didn’t test the Roar’s defence.
Foord again found herself one-on-one with Kopmeyer after a good through ball minutes later but Roar’s defence helped avert the danger.
It wasn’t until the 59’ when Roar fired its first shot on goal. That however sparked Brisbane into gear who dominated play for most of the half from there on.
The hosts came close to levelling in the 68’ in a goal mouth scramble but a frantic and desperate Glory defence managed to keep Perth’s lead intact.
Five minutes from time, Roar’s Kirsty Yallop had a chance to put the ball into the net but her shot went just wide of the post.
Foord was named best player on the day and her hard work deserved a goal but it was new import DiBernardo who stole the show with a brilliant half-volley from 30-metres out which is set to be a goal of the year contender.
The 23-year old’s shot lobbed into the back of the net beating Kopmeyer who was lost in no man’s land.
Foord, whose game time for Glory this year has been limited due to national team commitments said today’s result was vital.
“It was a much needed three points and I was happy to get through the match with no injuries” she said.
Glory coach Bobby Despotovski said Sam Kerr’s injury didn’t appear to be as bad as initially thought.
“Our physio and doctor tell us that it’s not that serious. We’ll have scans when we get back to Perth but hopefully she’ll be ok for our next match in a couple of weeks.”
Glory has a bye next week before hosting Victory in RD 7 at Ashfield Reserve.
Scorers: DiBernardo 8’ 88’
Brisbane Roar 0
Perth Gory Women 2
Perth Glory Women squad: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD (go), 3. Kim CARROLL, 4. Katie HOLTHAM, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Carla BENNETT, 7. Nicole STANTON, 9. Caitlin FOORD, 23. Vanessa DiBernardo, 12. Katie Schubert, 13. Danielle BROGAN, 14. Caitlin DOEGLAS, 16. Thia EASTMAN, 18. Gabby DAL BUSCO (gk), 19. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 20. Samantha Kerr (c)
Brisbane Roar Women squad: 1. Haley Kopmeyer (gk), 3. Amy Chapman, 4. Clare Polkinghorne, 6. Angela Beard, 7. Gabe Marzano, 8. Ayesha Norrie, 9. Cortnee Vine, 10. Katrina Gorry, 11. Kirsty Yallop, 12. Alisha Foote, 13. Tameka Butt, 15. Ruth Blackburn, 16. Ashley Spina, 17. Emily Gielnik, 18. Maili Forbes, 20. Carrie Simpson (gk)