Glory go down in Grand Final

Glory's search for a maiden Westfield W-League Championship goes on after they were beaten 4-2 by Sydney FC in Saturday's Grand Final at Netstrata Stadium.

The Sky Blues led 2-1 at the break after Sofia Huerta's early strike and Savannah McCaskill's close range finish sandwiched Sam Kerr's successful penalty for Glory.

McCaskill then headed her second and Sydney's third close to the hour-mark and although Alyssa Mautz's swift response gave the visitors hope, a stunning effort from Chloe Logarzo ultimately sealed a third W-League Championship for the New South Wales side.

Glory battled gamely to the last but were ultimately unable to muster another response and Head Coach Bobby Despotovski had no complaints about the result.

"They [Sydney FC] scored three world class goals to beat us," he said, "so you can't take that away from them.

"They are a very good team, but on the flip side, we started very poorly. We were slow and sluggish and couldn't get into the rhythm of the game quickly enough.

"But in saying that, Sydney FC are a very well organised team and they deserved what they got today; 100%."

The game exploded into life as early as the second minute when Princess Ibini got away down the left and delivered a fine cross which US international McCaskill volleyed against the crossbar from close range.

And moments later, the fast-starting hosts hit the front in spectacular style as Huerta found the top corner from the edge of the box with an unstoppable strike.

Glory responded well to the early setback, going close to levelling it up when Kerr's header from a Nikki Stanton corner flashed narrowly wide.

The skipper was not to be denied midway through the half, however, firing home from the spot having earned the penalty when she was brought down by Danielle Colaprico.

The chances then dried somewhat at both ends until four minutes before the break when the Sky Blues restored their lead, McCaskill beating Eliza Campbell in the Glory goal with a looping header from Caitlin Foord's clever, chipped through-ball.

The hosts began the second half as brightly as they had ended the first, with Campbell called into action to save bravely at the feet of Foord and then react smartly to claim a curling effort from Ibini.

But she was helpless to prevent Sydney from extending their lead on the hour-mark as Glory's defence failed to clear their lines and McCaskill pounced to fire an angled drive  into the bottom corner.

Undaunted, the visitors hit back eight minutes later, Mautz converting from Stanton's corner, only for Ante Juric's side to restore their two-goal advantage almost immediately courtesy of Logarzo's sublime strike from just outside the box.

And with the effects of their demanding travel schedule and last week's 120 minute-battle with Melbourne Victory perhaps finally catching up with them, Glory were unable to haul themselves back into what was a compelling contest played out in front of a W-League Grand Final record crowd of 6127.

Westfield W-League 2019 Grand Final 

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Sydney FC 4 (Huerta 6', McCaskill 41', 61', Logarzo 70') Perth Glory 2 (Kerr 23', Mautz 68')

Half-time: 2-1

Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah

Attendance: 6127

Referee: Kate Jacewicz

Assistant Referee 1: Sarah Ho

Assistant Referee 2: Renee Coghill

Fourth Official: Ellie Hayes

Additional Assistant Referee 1: Casey Reibelt

Additional Assistant Referee 2: Rebecca Durcau

Sydney FC: 1.Aubrey BLEDSOE (gk), 2.Teresa POLIAS (c), 4.Elizabeth RALSTON, 5.Ally GREEN, 6.Chloe LOGARZO (8.Amy HARRISON 82'), 9.Caitlin FOORD, 10.Savannah McCASKILL (17.Angelique HRISTODOULOU 90+2'), 14.Alanna KENNEDY, 20.Princess IBINI (11.Lisa DE VANNA 75'), 22.Sofia HUERTA, 23.Danielle COLAPRICO

Substitutes not used: 3.Shay EVANS, 30.Trudy BURKE (gk)

Yellow cards: Colaprico, Harrison

Red cards: Nil

Perth Glory: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Alyssa MAUTZ, 5.Shannon MAY (14.Caitlin DOEGLAS 67'), 7.Nicole STANTON, 9.Rachel HILL, 11.Leticia McKENNA (15.Alexia MORENO 77'), 13.Jamie-Lee GALE, 20.Sam KERR (c), 24.Natasha RIGBY, 25.Katie NAUGHTON

Substitutes not used: 2.Sarah CARROLL, 12.Jenna ONIONS, ,21.Morgan AQUINO (gk) 

Yellow cards: Stanton

Red cards: Nil

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