Glory Women undone in opener

Perth Glory Women were able to take some key learning points from their opening encounter but ultimately were left empty handed against a physical Melbourne Victory outfit at Etihad Stadium.

Perth Glory Women were able to take some key learning points from their opening encounter but ultimately were left empty handed against a physical Melbourne Victory outfit at Etihad Stadium.

Goals from Victory midfielder Enza Barilla and striker Katie Thorlakson in each half sealed the 2-0 win in the opening round of the 2009 Westfield W-League competition.

Glory head coach John Gibson was disappointed with the result but only had praise for his troops who came up against some physical opposition.

“We weren-t good enough on the night. The Victory are a physical side with some mature bodies and they played well, and we didn-t play to our best” said Gibson.

“We were a bit conservative away from home with the opposition and surroundings, the girls defended well but some lapses in concentration and a lack of quality on the night cost us.

Melbourne raced out of the blocks early, immediately asserting its dominance on the game and creating two half-chances in the opening minutes.

Perth striker Lisa De Vanna looked the most likely to score for the visitors, but despite a number of menacing runs, she lacked support and Victory keeper Melissa Barbieri was rarely tested in the opening half.

The closest the Glory came to scoring was early on when De Vanna attempted to latch onto a through ball, only to see Barbieri race off her line and arrive at the same time with the ball ricocheting out for a goal kick much to the relief of the Victory players.

The goal finally came for the home side in the 34th minute when a miscued pass out of defence allowed Thorlakson to collect the loose ball. She then sent it out wide to Sitch, who showed great poise before delivering a perfect pass to the onrushing Barilla, who calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.

The goal seemed to spring the Glory into action with midfielder Shannon May hitting their first shot on target, although Barbieri was up to task and ensured the home side took their one goal advantage into half-time.

Victory forward Kara Mowbray almost gave the home side the perfect start to the second half by producing a brilliant run down the left flank and attacked the box but tried to cross instead of taking the shot.

Melbourne eventually got a second goal when Thorlakson capped off a fine team move. Right-back Vedrana Popovic won the ball in the midfield before playing a fine one-two pass with Kurulay and then delivering a perfect cross along the ground for Thorlakson to easily finish.

The Glory threatened the goals in the final 10 minutes when midfielder Samantha Kerr unleashed a shot from outside the penalty area but again Barbieri was easily able to gather.

Victory midfielder Selin Kuralay was sent off late for a second bookable offence but it didn-t allow Perth to make use of their numerical advantage.

Gibson said the side was looking forward to returning to Perth for their first home match of the season.

“The team is focused next week on getting a result on the board against the Jets. We need to keep working hard, every game is crucial in this league” said Gibson.

“Being a short season (10 weeks) next week is vital and we need to make sure we are challenging for the three points.”

Westfield W-League - Rd 1

Melbourne Victory 2 (Barilla 34', Thorlakson 71') Perth Glory 0 Saturday, 3 October 2009 at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Referee: Jacqui Melksham

Perth Glory: 1. Emma WIRKUS (GK), 3. Carys HAWKINS, 4. Sam KERR, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Ella MASTRANTONIO (14. Collette McCALLUM 58-), 7. Elissia CANHAM (9. Dani CALAUTTI 62-), 8. Tanya OXTOBY (C), 11. Lisa DE VANNA, 13. Elisa D-OVIDIO, 15. Alex SINGER, 16. Sadie LAWRENCE (18. Ellis GLANFIELD 75-), 17. Marianna TABAIN

Substitutes not used: 15. Alex SINGER Yellow Cards: Elisa D-OVIDIO 91-

Melbourne Victory: 1. Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 2. Vedrana POPOVIC, 3. Marlies OOSTDAM, 4. Tal KARP, 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 7. Sarah GROENEWALD, 8. Katie THORLAKSON (13. Katrina GORRY 78-), 11. Julianne SITCH, 12. Monnique HANSEN KOFOED, 15. Jessica HUMBLE, 19. Enza BARILLA (14. Selin KURALAY 58-), 21. Kara Mowbray (9. Stephanie CATLEY 73-)

Substitutes not used: 20. Nicole PAUL (gk) Yellow Cards: Selin KURALAY 79-, 90- Red Cards: Selin KURALAY 90-