Marianna Tabain can’t hide her disappointment. Photo: Getty Images

Coach praises gallant Glory

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Coach Jamie Harnwell has praised Perth Glory Women players for their record-breaking season in the wake of today’s disappointing Westfield W-League Grand Final defeat to Canberra United at nib Stadium.

Football West News

Glory’s season of highs came unstuck at the final hurdle as two goals in three minutes from Ashleigh Sykes sealed a 3-1 win for Canberra.

After making the best start to a W-League season, Glory wrapped up the league title with a record number of goals and points before sweeping past Sydney FC 3-0 in last weekend’s semi-final.

But Canberra were on song today and wrapped up their second title despite Glory goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold saving Grace Gill’s late penalty.

Harnwell felt the score flattered Canberra but conceded his side had not performed at the best.

After former Glory goalkeeper Chantel Jones saved Kate Gill’s penalty in the second half with the score at 2-1, Sykes bagged her second of the game to effectively finish the contest.

“It wasn’t our best performance by any means,” he said. “I don’t think it was a 3-1 game and we had the opportunity to go back 2-all and I think it would’ve broken their backs.”

“We played about 30 minutes of real football, which wasn’t enough for a good Canberra side.”

But Harnwell was full of praise for the entire squad.

“They’ve had an incredible season,” he said. “They’ve been the best team in the league all season by far but on the day we were beaten. That can happen on any day in football.

“I’m so proud of the girls. We’ve broken records and no-one can deny who the best team is, we just couldn’t be the best team in the Grand Final.”

With the scores locked at 1-1 for the majority of the second half, Sykes scored her first of the game to put Canberra in front.

Glory fluffed their chance to find the equaliser after Marianna Tabain was taken down in the box and Kate Gill’s penalty was saved by former Glory keeper Chantel Jones.

Sykes sealed the game with her second goal.

Canberra had taken the lead on 21 minutes as Stephanie Ochs stepped inside and curled a brilliantly placed shot off the post and into the bottom corner of the net.

Glory had the first big chance of the game as McCallum knocked a great ball over the top for Caitlin Foord whose shot was brilliantly saved by Jones.

Glory found their equaliser early in the second half through a wonder free-kick from Glory captain McCallum, which flew into the top corner.

Canberra dominated the first half and were deserving of their half-time lead, which could have been even more if not for good defending from Shelina Zadorksy and some great saves from goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold.

Glory started the second half stronger and looked capable of going on to win it after their equalizer until Sykes seized the initiative.

After twice finding the net, Sykes was brought down in the box by Zadorsky to give Canberra another opportunity. But substitute Grace Gill’s spot-kick was saved by Arnold in the last play of the game.

Perth Glory 1 (McCallum 63′)
Canberra United 3 (Ochs 21′, Sykes 75′, 78′)
Sunday 21st December 2014
nib Stadium
Kick -off:
Referee: Kate Jacewicz
Assistant referees: Tanya De Boer, Renae Coghill
4th official: Casey Reibelt

Perth Glory: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD, 2. Sarah CARROLL (3. Carys HAWKINS 60′), 4. Bronwyn STUDMAN 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Alanna KENNEDY, 9. Caitlin FOORD, 12. Kate GILL, 13. Elisa D’OVIDIO (7. Gabrielle MARZANO 78′) 14. Collette McCALLUM, 15. Shelina ZADORSKY, 17. Marianna TABAIN
Substitutes not used: 8. Shawn BILLAM, 16. Thia EASTMAN, 18. Gabrielle DAL BUSCO
Yellow cards: Foord 64′, Carroll 49′, Zadorsky 90′
Red cards: nil

Canberra United: 1. Chantel JONES, 2. Catherine BROWN, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 10. Grace MAHER (3. Julia DE ANGELIS 55′), 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJHAN, 13. Nicole BEGG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 16. Lori LINDSEY (9. Grace GILL 90′), 22. Stephanie OCHS
Substitutes not used: 5. Grace FIELD, 15. Tegan RIDING, 20. Melissa MAIZELS
Yellow cards: Brown 62′, Munoz 85′
Red cards: nil