ALW Match Report: Perth Glory 2-0 Western United

Western United A-League Women

Western United suffered defeat in its first match of the 2023/24 Liberty A-League Women season, falling 2-0 to Perth Glory on Saturday night.

After spurning a couple of chances in the first half, United was punished by Susan Phonsongkham’s opener soon after the restart.

As United continued to push for an equaliser, Perth sprung a counter attack and Grace Jale doubled the lead with just over 10 minutes remaining to all but secure the win for the hosts.

Team News

Mark Torcaso’s first starting XI of the season featured 10 players from last season’s side with Grace Maher slotting in at the back to make her debut for the Club.

Would-be debutants in Keiwa Hieda and Kiara De Domizio lay in waiting on the bench, while Alyssa Dall’Oste made the first start of her professional career in goal. Chloe Logarzo missed due to personal reasons and will return in Round 2 against Melbourne Victory.

First Half

It was a high energy start as United immediately got on the front and won a corner in the opening seconds before Perth forced a turnover in United’s box and nearly created a chance on goal.

The first shot on target came from the hosts after Maher’s delicately lifted ball from a free-kick invited Emma Robers to leap, but her header looped comfortably into Morgan Aquino’s arms.

Perth enjoyed a period of dominance early on but United’s threat going forward remained superior with Hannah Keane coming close, forcing a good save after pinching the ball in the box.

Adriana Taranto had perhaps the closest chance in the game’s opening quarter when she rippled the side netting with a sweeping effort before she came even closer just before the half hour mark.

Vlajnic whipped a superb cross into the box and Taranto took up a perfect position in between two Perth defenders, but Aquino was equal to her powerful header to push it around the post.

Despite having the better of the chances overall, United was unable to take advantage and break the deadlock in the first period, leaving work to be done in the second half.

Second Half

United’s inability to convert in the first half proved pivotal as Perth came roaring out of the interval to snatch the lead within five minutes of the restart.

It was a turnover from United that sent Perth on their way and when the ball made its way to Phonsongkham on the edge of the area, the Thai-born attacker bent a shot into the back of the net with Perth’s first shot on target of the contest.

Torcaso turned to the bench to hand De Domizio a professional debut and one of her first contributions helped to win a free kick on the right wing.

Vlajnic saw an opportunity to swing the dead ball towards goal and couldn’t believe she hadn’t scored when her effort crashed onto the crossbar before falling right on the goal line and being whisked away by Perth’s scrambling defence.

A series of corners failed to produce a Western United equaliser and the left the door open for Perth to kill the game off with a second.

That’s exactly what they did with 10 minutes remaining as Jale was played through on goal before rifling a strike into the roof of the net.

That took the sting out of any potential Western United comeback, ultimately consigning the Green and Black to a defeat in the opening round of the new season.