Perth Glory Women have kicked off their Westfield W-League campaign with a convincing 4-2 win over Western Sydney at nib Stadium.
Glory skipper Sam Kerr scored a second-half brace to seal the three points for the home side after the Wanderers fought back from 2-0 down in front of a 2011-strong crowd, following the Glory men’s 2-2 draw with Western Sydney.
Perth took the lead after just 18 seconds when Kerr intercepted the ball inside her team’s attacking half before feeding it off to Caitlin Doeglas, who completed the easiest of finishes for her first W-League goal.
Returning striker Rosie Sutton doubled Glory’s lead in the 22nd minute, hammering the ball home after a goalmouth scramble from a corner kick.
Wanderers midfielder Paige Nielsen provided a spark for her side just past the half-hour mark when she caught Glory goalkeeper Melissa Maizels off her line, but her chip shot cannoned into the woodwork.
Former Matildas winger Joanne Burgess pulled one back for the visitors in the 39th minute and almost drew her side level during added time, but was expertly denied by Maizels on the goal-line.
Burgess continued to be a thorn in Glory’s side after the break, firing in a low cross for Helen Petinos to put the match back on even terms.
Both teams squandered chances for a third goal until Kerr brilliantly sidestepped her rivals and curled the ball past Wanderers custodian Casey Dumont in the 68th minute.
Kerr assured the result for Perth seven minutes from full-time when she pounced on a goalkeeping mishap by Dumont, who failed to cleanly grasp the preceding shot from Nikki Stanton.
Glory coach Bobby Despotovski was delighted with how Stanton and fellow international imports Alyssa Mautz, Arianna Romero and Vanessa DiBernardo gelled with the local Perth players.
“The mix we have now is amazing,” Despotovski said.
“They’re spirit and camaraderie is unbelievable. It’s very pleasing to see and it makes it easier for them to gel.
“We started the game extremely well and deservedly gone 2-0 up, but then just fell in a little bit of a hole but we dug ourselves out of that hole in the second half.”
Despotovski said he was letting his players set expectations for where they wanted to finish this season.
“I’m not setting any expectations for the girls, they come up with the expectations themselves,” he said.
“They want to be in the top four and then try to win it from there.”
Glory’s next match is against Brisbane Roar on Saturday, November 12 at Dorrien Gardens.
Kick-off is at 4pm.
PERTH GLORY: 1. Melissa MAIZELS (GK), 2. Sarah CARROLL, 3. Kim CARROLL, 4. Alyssa MAUTZ, 5. Patricia CHARALAMBOUS (17. Natasha RIGBY 84’), 6. Carla BENNETT (10. Vanessa DIBERNARDO 61’), 7. Nicole STANTON, 9. Rosie SUTTON, 14. Caitlin DOEGLAS (8. Shawn BILLAM 78’), 20. Samantha KERR, 22. Arianna ROMERO
WESTERN SYDNEY: 2. Caitlin COOPER, 3. Nikola ORGILL, 5. Helen PETINOS (17. Sophie HANCOCK 64’), 6. Kendall FLETCHER, 9. Katherine STENGEL, 10. Paige NIELSEN, 13. Eliza AMMENDOLIA, 14. Alexis ARLITT, 16. Alix ROBERTS, 22. Casey DUMONT (GK), 23. Joanne BURGESS (4. Chloe O’BRIEN)
PERTH GLORY: Caitlin Doeglas 1’, Rosie Sutton 22’, Samantha Kerr 68’, 83’
WESTERN SYDNEY: Joanne Burgess 38', Helen Petinos 50'
YELLOW CARDS: PERTH GLORY: Kim Carroll 20’, Patricia Charalambous 64’, Nicole Stanton 69’, Shawn Billam 92’