The Western Sydney Wanderers finished the season in style defeating Perth Glory 2-0 (Halloway 87’ Beard 91’) in front of an ecstatic home crowd at Popondetta Park.

Five Things We Learned – Western Sydney Wanderers:

1. Leading by Example: Club captain, Caitlin Cooper used the last outing of the regular season to showcase the type of dominant performance that has earned her recent Matildas camp selection. From the heart of the Wanderers defence, Cooper was assertive in mitigating the impact of Perth danger woman, Vanessa DiBernardo and effective in pushing momentum forward making strong runs into the attacking half.

2. Fitting End: In what has been a truly standout season, it was only fair that it was Erica Halloway who broke the deadlock on the 87 minute. Her ability to stretch play, draw defenders and cut back inside has caused havoc in her debut W League season.

3. Young Gun: Here it is, the part of the review everyone present at yesterday’s game is waiting for… Pegged as ‘one to watch’ and entering the season as the W Leagues youngest player, Ellie Carpenter has been, put simply, an absolute joy to watch. Far and away exceeding all expectation, Carpenter has been the headline of the Wanderers outfit showing confidence, poise and skill beyond her fifteen years. Her ability to surge forward, track back and create is equalled only by her unbelievable one on one skill, winning majority of defensive duels and making it look easy in the process. An incredible prospect for the national team, Carpenter will be ‘one to watch’ for years to come.

4. International Impact: Despite the final score, Perth Glory were no easy beats pressing the Wanderers and threatening to draw first blood. Credit, again, goes to Wanderers internationals Keelin Winters and Carmelina Moscato whose organisation minimised strong counter attack. Their contributions have been paramount for the red and black this season and the final round was no exception.

5. Spark: In a reshuffled starting eleven, Eliza Ammendolia and Alix Roberts were each given a start and both made their inclusions count. Roberts’ tireless work on the wing was rewarded with an assist as she drew the defence and provided dangerous crosses. Ammendolia injected a sense of urgency and positivity to the midfield as she, along with Roberts and Carpenter, were unlucky not to find the back of the net.

Five Things We Learned – Perth Glory

1. Wow Factor: If ever there was a shinning light for Perth Glory, it was the contribution and presence of Vanessa DiBernardo. Taking the majority of the attacking workload in her stride, DiBernardo burst between the midfield and forward line, turning her markers and creating space. Unlucky not to have scored, DiBernardo lacked that little bit of luck as she faced a run of great saves from Wanderers keeper, Teagan Micah.

2. Pressure: Well prepared for their opponents Perth were efficient in absorbing pressure, particularly in the first half. Happy to sit back, play patient and wait for the break, Perth kept themselves in the contest, frustrating the Wanderers and making an opener impossible to find.

3. Chances: It may have been the one that got away from Perth Glory as the team from the west weren’t without their chances. Despite having to defend early it was the Glory with the first real chance of the match as a well placed Carla Bennett cross went wide from the head of lively winger, Caitlin Doeglas.

4. Between the Sticks: The Glory started second choice goalkeeper, Gabby Dal Bosco but after a string of fantastic saves in the opening exchanges, you could hardly tell. Dal Bosco covered good ground and rose high to fingertip a Rachel Soutar attempt over the bar to keep the scores level.

5. Concentration kills: Despite a strong defensive first half performance, the Glory were ultimately undone late in the dying minutes by two, almost consecutive, lapses of concentration in the defence. The Wanderers, backed by an encouraging 583 strong home crowd who rallied around their team, were given too much time and space in the danger zone and the Glory were twice punished.

Match Details

Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Erica Halloway 87’, Hannah Beard 91’)

Perth Glory 0

Sunday 17 January 2016

Popondetta Park, Sydney

Kick-off: 3pm

Referee: Kate Jacewicz

Western Sydney Wanderers: Teagan Micah (gk), Caitlin Cooper (c) (Chloe O’Brien 80’), Carmelina Moscato, Rachael Souter (Demi Koulizakis 69’), Erica Halloway, Liz Grey (Hannah Beard 64’), Michelle Carney, Keelin Winters, Eliza Ammendolia, Ellie Carpenter, Alix Roberts

Substitutes – Lisa Farrington (gk)

Cautions – Michelle Carney 46’, Demi Koulizakis 72’, Caitlin Cooper 80’, Eliza Ammendolia 89’

Perth Glory: Gabrielle Dal Busco (gk), Sarah Carroll (Angelique Stannett 69’), Kim Carroll (c), Shannon May, Carla Bennett, Nicole Stanton, Shawn Billam (Katie Holtham 56’), Danielle Brogan, Caitlin Doeglas (Emily Henderson 26’), Thia Eastman, Vanessa DiBernardo

Substitutes – Evangeline Gooch (gk)

Cautions – Thia Eastman 29'