Sydney lull Perth into false sense of security
By Stephen Webb
Westfield W-League Season 2014-15
WIN Stadium. Wollongong
November 30, 2014, 3 pm
Sydney FC 0
Perth Glory 5 (Sam Kerr 7’, 56’, 73’, Kate Gill 25’ pen, Caitlin Foord 45’)
Following a dismal performance against Perth Glory last weekend, Sydney FC go into this weekend’s last match of the regular season needing to take points against Newcastle in order to scrape into the finals.
The Perth match was either a horrible capitulation or else Sydney were foxing, lulling Perth, the 2014 Premiers and their likely finals opponents, into a false sense of security.
It must have been galling for Sydney fans to see two of their former players tear the current team to shreds.
Sam Kerr seemed likely to score more than three as she and Caitlin Foord glided through what could hardly be called Sydney’s defence.
Perth’s players were so physically dominant it looked liked seniors playing juniors.
Sydney started the season with a neat, fast passing game, which seems to have passed them by. They couldn’t hold the ball or deliver it with anything approximating accuracy.
Captain Teresa Polias was the main exception (with perhaps Trudy Camilleri ) — hounding, tackling effectively, winning possession and finding teammates. Even Servet Uzunlar, usually reliable at worst, couldn’t find her groove. One good sign was late substitute Kyah Simon, returning from a long lay-off, keeping possession and attempting to create opportunities. But by then Sydney had given up the ghost.
The game began as a late afternoon storm hit Wollongong, sending fans of both sides (and there were quite a few Glory fans) scurrying for shelter.
Perth started with confidence and had the first shot on target.
Sydney started tentatively but in the third minute Camilleri won a free kick on the edge of the Perth penalty area. The ball eventually fell for Renee Rollason, who shot to the right of goal.
Perth responded two minutes later and Casey Dumont needed to make two saves before Foord shot wide to the left of goal.
A cross from Jasmyne Spencer, looking for Amy Harrison, was cut out in front of goal.
Perth’s direct play paid off in the seventh minute. Foord, strong on the left of the box, had a shot deflected to Kerr, who put Perth in the lead.
Shelina Zadorsky outmuscled Uzunlar and Spencer, Kathryn Gill outmuscled Alesha Clifford, and Collette McCallum was too strong for Uzunlar, setting up Kerr for a shot that was blocked.
Sydney countered, with Harrison bowing the crossbar from 25 metres.
Foord crossed from the left and Dumont came to collect over Gill.
In the 24th minute Clifford bundled into Gill and Perth were award with a penalty, which Gill easily converted into the top right corner.
Bronwyn Studman was awarded a yellow for standing on Camilleri.
In the 33rd minute Kerr hit a long lob from the right, trying to catch Dumont off her line, her effort sailing just over the crossbar.
Clifford cut out a cross for Kerr and in the 37th minute Spencer had an attempt at goal — with little prospect of scoring as it bounced into the ground and on to Mackenzie Arnold. At least it was on target.
Perth were pressing well and Sydney found it impossible to keep the ball. Polias did well to pinch the ball from Perth but her teammates could do nothing with it.
Kerr crossed from the right. Foord shot to the left post. Allen cleared off the line.
Arnold attempted to punch clear under pressure from Spencer but Sydney won a corner and then a free kick 20 metres from goal. The kick went just wide to the right.
As the first half wound down, Foord latched onto a loose ball 20 metres out and drove it low into the bottom left corner.
It was a heartbreaker for Sydney but Spencer almost offered some half-time hope, chasing a long ball, taking on her marker and hitting a great shot that was met with an equally good save from Arnold.
Early in the second half Polias pushed forward and laid the ball in from the right to Harrison on the left, who crossed/shot across the face of goal.
Polias was soon chasing down the left and crossing centimetres too far in front of Spencer.
In the 53rd minute Marianna Tabain flicked on a cross from the right to Kerr, who headed over the crossbar.
The Kerr-Foord combination produced Perth’s fourth goal. Foord down the right turned the ball in for Kerr, who headed toward goal with Sydney’s defenders first backing away and then surrounding her. Kerr beat them all and scored to the right of Dumont.
Allen conceded a corner, Dumont kept the ball from Carys Hawkins at the right post and Perth headed over the crossbar.
Kerr crossed from the right, finding the narrow gap between a teammate and Dumont.
Foord hit a long, low shot to Dumont. Then Arnold had to make a low save.
McCallum hit the crossbar from 25 metres.
In the 67th minute Harrison made a good run, cutting in from the left sideline and beating two defenders, only to see her shot tipped over by Arnold.
Perth put together a wonderful sequence of passes all across the pitch before the ball arrived at the feet of Kerr on the right edge of Sydney’s penalty area. She lifted her shot over Dumont into the top left corner. Five nil.
Again Harrison put the ball across the face of goal but no Sydney player was there to meet it.
Foord played through to Gill’s replacement, Gabrielle Marzano, who almost powered through Dumont.
Shannon May attempted to replicate Kerr’s last goal.
Harrison crossed again and Spencer fell but no penalty was awarded.
Marzano shot from the left of the box and the diving Dumont gathered the ball at her second attempt.
Sydney continued to load error onto error.
A strong run by Kerr direct to goal ended with a firm shot that Dumont saved well.
Great use of the body by Marzano won Perth a free kick at the top right corner of Sydney’s penalty area, touched over the crossbar by Dumont.
Spencer crossed from the left but Sydney couldn’t put the ball away.
Polias, still battling on, won a free kick on the right and, for Perth, Elisa D’Ovidio shot wide after Dumont punched away a cross from the left.
To cap off a depressing afternoon, I’d accidentally changed settings on my camera and all my wonderful of photos of Kerr in full flight were ruined. Shame.
1. Casey Dumont (gk), 2. Teresa Polias, 4. Alesha Clifford, 5. Jasmyne Spencer, 6. Servet Uzunlar, 7. Nicola Bolger, 8. Amy Harrison, 10. Renee Rollason, 13. Trudy Camilleri (17. Kyah Simon 66’), 15. Teigen Allen (12. Chloe Logarzo 82’), 16. Samantha Johnson (3. Liz Ralston 78’)
Substitutes not used: 21. Sian McLaren (gk)
1. Mackenzie Arnold (gk), 2. Sarah Carroll, 4. Bronwyn Studman (3. Carys Hawkins 52’), 5. Shannon May, 6. Alanna Kennedy, 9. Caitlin Foord, 12. Kate Gill (7. Gabrielle Marzano 79’), 14. Collette McCallum, 14. Shelina Zadorsky, 17. Marianna Tabain (13. Elisa D’Ovidio 64’), 20. Sam Kerr
Substitutes not used: 18. Gabrielle Dal Busco (gk)
Yellow cards: Alanna Kennedy 20’, Bronwyn Studman 26’
Referee: Kate Jacewicz
Assistants: Delfina Dimoski and Nia Southwell
Fourth Official: Kelly Jones
1. Sam Kerr (Perth Glory)
2. Caitlin Foord (Perth Glory)
3. Teresa Polias (Sydney FC)
Report and photographs by Stephen Webb