Perth Glory show extraordinary focus in victory over Wanderers

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Their minds may have been elsewhere prior to the match but as soon as Perth Glory stepped onto the pitch their focus was firmly on the football.

On the other side of the country from Western Australia, the Glory looked right at home in Gosford as they hosted Western Sydney Wanderers in the A-League Women on Sunday.

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In the end, the scoreline flattered the ‘away’ side as some last-ditch defending and an impressive performance from Wanderers goalkeeper Sarah Langman kept it at 1-0.

“It was the best performance we’ve had in the two seasons I’ve been here,” Glory coach Alex Epakis said post-match.

Producing it in these circumstances makes it even more special and provides a much-needed boost for the squad.

Mark McGowan’s decision on Thursday night to indefinitely delay WA’s border re-opening has put Glory’s season into disarray.

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They were planning to return to the state after the border opened on February 5 to play out their remaining home games.

The women’s team in particular will feel the effects as many of the players have jobs back home, leaving them uncertain of their future.

To put these problems aside and play as well as they did for 90 minutes shows the mentality this group possesses.

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Epakis says the group was able to channel the difficulties from the past week into the match.

“The group was fantastic all week and despite the difficult news that came through in the week, we drew a line in the sand and said to the players that the only way we can respond to this is in our performance on the field,” he said.

“That was a huge motivator today.”

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The joy was plain to see on the players’ faces as they celebrated De La Harpes stunning free-kick, which no doubt was made that much sweeter after the week they’ve experienced.

Lisa De Vanna’s 72 minutes was another promising sign for Glory as she builds her fitness.

While 18-year-old Hana Lowry produced another impressive display as the attacking midfielder picked up player of the match.

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Despite the complications caused by COVID-19 this season, Glory currently find themselves one point off a finals spot behind Adelaide United.

They will look to build on this result ahead of fixtures against Wellington Phoenix and Canberra United.

The Glory have picked themselves up and emerged from a difficult week triumphant, showing they aren’t a side to underestimate this season.

Feature image credit: Tom McCarthy

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Lachlan Allen
Lachlan is a recent Journalism graduate from Curtin University. He will be covering Perth Glory for the 2021/22 A-league season

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