A brace to star import Vanessa DiBernardo was not enough to stop Perth Glory Women from falling to a 4-2 defeat to Sydney FC at Ashfield Reserve on Sunday.
Di Bernardo put the home side ahead after just five minutes with a cracking strike from outside the penalty area, using the right post to register her third goal since arriving at the club last month on loan from the Chicago Red Stars.
Silly mistakes proved costly for Glory as Jasmyne Spencer found an equaliser in the 26th minute when she latched on to a low cross from teammate Princess Ibini-Isei.
Sky Blues star Kyah Simon netted the first of her two goals for the afternoon 11 minutes later when she ran on to a brilliant through pass from teammate Leena Khamis, poking home past Perth Glory ‘keeper Mackenzie Arnold.
Khamis added her name to the scoresheet three minutes after half-time when she capitalised on some hard running from Amy Harrison.
Simon sealed the three points and helped Sydney consolidate third spot on the Westfield W-League table with her second goal in the 83rd minute.
DiBernardo was brought down in the box in the 86th minute and was awarded a penalty. The US international stepped up to the spot and pushed the ball into the bottom right corner as Sky Blues goalkeeper Michelle Betos dived in the opposite direction.
Fellow American import Nikki Stanton, Matildas star Caitlin Foord and veteran defender Danielle Brogan worked tirelessly to keep Glory in the contest, but the Sky Blues proved too strong on the day.
“We had a good start, we came out strong but I think once we gave up the first goal we kind of dropped a little bit and gave up another one,” DiBernardo said.
“We’ve just got to learn from that. They are very similar goals that we are giving up so we can definitely go back and learn from it.
“I think most of their goals came from our mistakes, so that’s a positive because we can learn from that.”
Despite the loss, DiBernardo said the team had shown plenty of improvements over the past few weeks despite missing a host of key players, including injured trio Sam Kerr (foot), Sarah Carroll (toe) and Carla Bennett (fractured wrist).
Glory will look to bounce back against Melbourne City at C.B. Smith Reserve next Sunday and become the first team to claim points off the unbeaten league leaders.
“Once we get a healthy squad and have a consistent line-up I think we’ll do well,” DiBernardo said.
“City have some good players and I know some of them from the US league, so Nikki and I can share what we know of those players. We’ll come together this week, work hard at training and see what happens.”