W-League | Glory book place in Grand Final

Perth Glory have cemented their spot in the W-League Grand Final, easily sweeping Sydney FC 5-1 in the first Semi Final at NIB Stadium.

Four second half goals from Perth turned the game on its head, with Vanessa Di Bernardo bagging a brace in what was another superior performance from the WA side.

The match began in a tentative nature and both sides had numerous opportunities in the early stages of the match to take the lead, but failed to make the most of their chances.

The game burst alive in the 23rd minute after Caitlin Foord easily swept pass Sarah Carroll to smash in a ball that fell invitingly to Kyah Simon, who acrobatically put her team ahead.

The Glory struck back four minutes later courtesy of a Vanessa Di Bernardo penalty, after Sky Blues defender Georgia Yoeman-Dale cynically pulled down Alyssa Mautz inside the box. The scores were locked at 1-1 after 27 minutes.

Both sides continued to apply pressure, but ultimately couldn’t be separated and entered the half time break locked at 1-1.

Perth signalled their intent early in the second half and nearly took the lead in the 46th minute after Samantha Kerr floated a teasing ball over Claire Coehlo, only for Alyssa Mautz to scuff her attempted finish.

Alannah Kennedy produced a match changing moment 12 minutes later, miscuing an attempted clearance from a Di Bernardo cross into her own net to put Perth ahead 2-1.

From that point on, the momentum shifted and Perth completely outplayed Sydney in all facets.

Di Bernardo doubled her tally in the 77th minute, cannoning her superb left-footed strike off the post to put her team ahead 3-1.

It was clear Perth weren’t finished there and two minutes later Samantha Kerr found space down the left flank, knocked the ball past two Sydney defenders and fired a shot on goal.

Claire Coehlo diverted the fierce effort directly into the path of Rosie Sutton, who easily finished to make it 4-1 to the home side.

Sydney would have been hoping that was the end of the torment, however substitute Shawn Billam had other ideas and smashed home a 20-yard strike in stoppage time, that ended a perfect afternoon at NIB Stadium for Perth.

It is shaping up to be a fairy tale season for the Glory, who advance to the W-League Grand Final where they will face either table-topping Canberra United or reigning champions Melbourne City.

Perth Glory 5 (Di Bernardo (PEN) 28’, 77’, Kennedy 58’ (OG), Sutton 79’, Billam 90+3’)
Sydney FC 1 (Simon 23’)

Attendance: 1592
Stadium: NIB Stadium, Perth

Referee: Casey Riebelt
Assistant Referees: Avrol Beecham, Delfina Dimoski
Fourth Official: Lara Lee

Perth Glory: 18. DAL BUSCO Gabrielle (GK), 2. CARROLL Sarah, 3. CARROLL Kim, 4. MAUTZ Alyssa, 7. STANTON Nicole, 9. SUTTON Rosie Dee (6. BENNETT Carla 87’), 10. DI BERNARDO Vanessa, 13. GIBBONS Jaymee (8. BILLAM Shawn 68’), 17. RIGBY Natasha 20. KERR Samantha (C), 22. ROMERO Arianna
Substitutes: 1. MAIZELS Melissa (GK), 5. CHARALAMBOUS Patricia, 14. DOEGLAS Caitlin

Sydney FC: 1. COEHLO Claire, 2. POLIAS Teresa (C), 3. SIEMSEN Remy (8. HARRISON Amy 68’), 4. RALSTON Elizabeth, 6. UZUNLAR Servet, 7. BOLGER Nicola (20. IBINI-ISEI Princess 82’), 9. FOORD Caitlin, 13. YOEMAN-DALE Georgia, 14. KENNEDY Alanna, 17. SIMON Kyah, 19. KHAMIS Leena
Substitutes: 15. EASTHORPE Sarah (GK), 10. ORDEGA Francisca

Featured image credit: Matt Johnson

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Football lover so feeling lucky to be following Perth Glory for season 16/17.