Perth Glory defeated Adelaide on the road on Saturday night, coming away with a comfortable 4-1 defeat.
The win sees the team from the West move to second on the ladder, only separated from Canberra United who sit on first by goal difference. Melbourne City’s second consecutive loss, this time defeated by the Western Sydney Wanderers, means they have slipped to third position.
Perth proved too strong against a wounded Adelaide side, who were notably missing key players Monica, Rachel Quigley and Alex Chidiac.
The opening thirty minutes presented a tight battle between the two sides as both teams fought for a highly contested ball, each coming away with multiple offensive chances early on.
It wasn’t until Kerr’s beautifully timed chip sailed over Eliza Campbell’s outstretched hand in the thirty fifth minute, resulting in a goal, that the momentum shift in Perth’s favour and Adelaide’s initial kinks become problematic.
While Marijana Rajcic was able to be a pivotal feeder up front for Adelaide early on, Glory were receptive to Adelaide’s style and prevented Rajcic from feeding the attack.
Adelaide’s dependency on one or two feeders to produce opportunities in the forward line resulted in United consistently trying to force the ball long for either Adriana Jones or Sofia Huerta to run onto, rather than working the ball into the attacking third.
Glory were able to achieve this throughout the match as standouts Sam Kerr and Vanessa Di Bernardo (fellow Chicago Red Stars teammate of Huerta, Colaprico and Naughton) broke lines and threaded play beyond the Adelaide defensive line consistently.
Considering the threat these two players present, Naughton and Adelaide youngster Scalzi, taking on Monica’s role, did well in Adelaide’s backline under such pressure.
Offensively, Jones and Huerta showed great hustle despite frustrating lost opportunities, while Colaprico fought hard in the midfield.
Perth outplayed Adelaide in the second half, able to make the most of offensive opportunities, while displaying sound defense skills and cohesion between the various positions.
When Rosie Sutton slipped one past Campbell in the 62nd minute, Adelaide looked down and out.
To their credit however, the team lifted and were able to find an answer to Perth just three minutes later when a beautiful through ball was gifted to Adelaide United’s Sofia Heurta, who managed to out muscle her defender and powered the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
The jubilation was short lived however, when Sam Kerr dashed the hopes of the Adelaide crowd after a cleaver Rosie Sutton flick allowed Kerr t power home her second.
Second half additions included Ally Ladas and Georgia Iannella for United, and Jaymee Gibbons and Caitlin Doeglas for Glory.
Adelaide lost Hodgeson and Scalzi after two tough challenges, but Ladas and Iannella proved to be up to the task.
Adelaide continued to fight their way back, with Jones placing immense pressure upon Perth’s defense, but were unable to capitalise. The dagger to the Adelaide heart came in the 82nd minute when Di Bernado converted a penalty that made the final scoreline 4-1.
Naughton was a standout in the defense for the Reds, especially given that Sam Kerr could have easily had two more on the board but for Naughtons efforts. Huerta showed glimpses of flash but overall Adelaide lacked the cohesion displayed in earlier games, with no effective transition from the midfield to the forwards.
Perth continued to build as the evening went on, and ably countered Adelaide’s attack. They relied heavily on Kerr, Sutton and Di Bernado in the attack, but were steadfast in defense, over cutting out Adelaide’s through balls, forcing them to play over the top
Adelaide will have a chance to regroup next week, before facing Newcastle Jets in Round 9. Perth Glory are on the road again next week, taking on Melbourne City at AAMI Park. Kick of is slated for 5:05pm local time, with the game being broadcast live on Fox Sports.
Adelaide United 1 (Sofia Huerta 64’)
Perth Glory 4 (Sam Kerr 36’/ 68’, Rosie Sutton 62’, Vanessa DiBernardo 83’ pen)
Saturday 17 December 2016
Venue: Elite Systems Football Centre
Kick-Off: 7:30PM (Local)
Referee: Katie Patterson
Adelaide United: Eliza Campbell (gk), Emily Hodgson (Georgia Iannella 66’), Stella Rigon (c), Marijana Rajcic (Dragana Kljajic 46’), Sofia Huerta, Adriana Jones, Grace Abbey, Georgia Campagnale, Isabella Scalzi (Ally Ladas 79’), Danielle Colaprico, Katie Naughton
Substitutes – Sarah Willacy (gk)
Cautions – none
Perth Glory: Gabrielle Dal Busco (gk), Sarah Carroll, Kim Carroll, Alyssa Mautz, Nicole Stanton (Caitlin Doeglas 93’), Shawn Billam (Jaymee Gibbons 76’), Rosie Sutton, Vanessa DiBernardo, Natasha Rigby, Sam Kerr (c), Arianna Romero
Substitutes – Morgan Aquino (gk), Patricia Charalambous
Cautions – none