W-League: Gill scores brace as Glory upset Roar

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A new-look Perth Glory has upset Brisbane Roar 2-1 at Ashfield Sports Club in the opening round of the Westfield W-League.

The strong off-season, which saw the recruiting of four lured Matildas players to Perth, paid instant dividends for Glory coach Jamie Harnwell as his revitalised team upstaged a Roar outfit boasting a number of national representatives.

Matildas regular Kate Gill scored in both halves, but it was her partnership with the returning Sam Kerr that had everyone talking and is certain to make Glory a serious threat to this season’s W-League title.

Glory’s defence was equally impressive, with new recruits Alanna Kennedy and Canadian Shelina Zadorsky successfully combining as centre halves despite having limited time to train together.

The only defensive blunder came deep into injury time when Emily Gielnik was able to sneak a late consolation goal past new Perth goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold.

Arnold was rarely called into action in the preceding 93 minutes, with the Roar forced to shoot from beyond the penalty area on several occasions.

Gill went agonisingly close to opening the scoring in the fifth and 10th minutes, but was unable to convert the chances presented to her from Kerr and veteran teammate Elisa D’Ovidio.

However, she made no mistake on the third attempt in the 12th minute, knocking the ball into the back of the net on the goal-line after Kerr threaded the ball through the Brisbane defence and past hapless goalkeeper Kate Stewart.

Gill and the speedy Kerr dominated the first half, creating endless headaches for central Roar defenders Brooke Goodrich and Kim Carroll.

Marianna Tabain was also influential in a high attacking role behind the main strikers.

Stewart kept Roar in the contest in the first half with a number of spectacular saves as Gill and Kerr continued to wreak havoc up front.

Kerr – back in her hometown after two seasons with Sydney FC and US outfit Western New York Flash – had several of chances throughout the match to put her own name on the scoresheet.

Her best chance came six minutes after half-time when she charged towards goals only to be brought down by Brisbane’s Hayley Raso in the box.

Gill stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the resulting penalty into the bottom left corner to register her second goal of the afternoon.

Glory captain Collette McCallum made a successful return from the knee injury which cut short her campaign last season, controlling the midfield and winning her battle with Roar pair Clare Polkinghorne and Elise Kellond-Knight.

Brisbane was by no means disgraced, but struggled to find avenues to goal without injured Matildas squad member Amy Chapman, who was forced to miss the opening round with a knee injury.

Perth Glory: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD (GK), 2. Sarah CARROLL, 4. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 6. Alanna KENNEDY, 9. Caitlin FOORD, 12. Kate GILL, 13. Elisa D’OVIDIO, 14. Collette MCCALLUM (c), 15. Shelina ZADORSKY, 17. Marianna TABAIN, 20. Sam KERR

Subs: 7. Gabrielle MARZANO, 8. Shawn BILLAM, 16. Thia EASTMAN, 18. Gabrielle DAL BUSCO (GK)

Brisbane Roar: 2. Laura ALLEWAY, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Hayley RASO, 7. Kim CARROLL, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 9. Larissa CRUMMER, 10. Katrina GORRY, 13. Tameka BUTT, 15. Brooke GOODRICH, 17. Emily GIELNIK, 19. Ayesha NORRIE, 20. Kate STEWART (GK)

Subs: 11. Vedrana POPOVIC, 14. Natasha WHEELER, 16. Angela BEARD, 21. Teagan MICAH (GK)

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