Sam Kerr leads Perth Glory over Melbourne City, to top of table

Tim Grainey December 27, 2016 25
Sam Kerr celebrates a goal in Perth Glory's 3-2 win over Melbourne City. (photo by Perth Glory)

Sam Kerr celebrates a goal in Perth Glory’s 3-2 win over Melbourne City. (photo courtesy of Perth Glory)

On Tuesday, December 27, Perth Glory came from behind in the final 18 minutes to defeat Melbourne City on the road 3-2, behind two late goals from Sam Kerr (77th and 84th minute). Perth’s win—their fourth straight victory—gave the Western Australian team the sole lead at the top of the W-League table on 16 pts, one point ahead of FC Sydney. Melbourne City has lost three straight after opening the season with four consecutive wins, and fell to fourth place on 12 points, one point behind third place Canberra, who have played one less game than City and the two sides above them.

All the scoring came in a scintillating second half. Rosie Sutton scored her fourth goal of the season to open the scoring for the visitors in the 47th minute. Jess Fishlock (Seattle Reign) and Aivi Luik (Notts County and ex-FC Indiana/University of Nevada-Reno) scored in the 60th and 72nd minute respectively to give City the lead in front of an AAMI Park crowd of 1,938. Sam Kerr scored her first goal from a Sutton assist five minutes after Luik’s score. Two minutes later Lauren Barnes (Seattle Reign) was sent off the field with her second yellow card. Kerr then scored the winner for Perth from a tight angle against international teammate and City goalkeeper Lydia Williams. Kerr, with the brace, increased her league scoring lead to seven goals, three ahead of the nearest challengers—which include Sutton and Fishlock, as well as NWSL loanees Melbourne Victory’s Natasha Dowie (Boston Breakers), Western Sydney Wanderers’ Katie Stengel (Washington Spirit) and Newcastle Jet’s Jen Hoy (Chicago Red Stars).

For Perth, Alyssa Mautz (Chicago Red Stars), Nikki Stanton (Sky Blue FC), Vanessa Di Bernardo (Chicago Red Stars), Arianna Romero (ex-Houston Dash and University of Nebraska) and Kerr all started, with Di Bernardo subbing out in the 71st minute. For City, NWSL loanees Lydia Williams (Houston Dash), Laura Alleway (Orlando Pride), Steph Catley (Orlando Pride), Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City), Bev Yanez, Fishlock and Barnes (all Seattle Reign) started, with Tymrak subbing out with 25 minutes left and Barnes dismissed with 11 minutes remaining.

Western Sydney Wanderers 2, Newcastle Jets 1

Katie Stengel (Washington Spirit) scored two first-half goals to overturn an early Jets lead and give Western City Wanderers a 2-1 win over host Newcastle Jets before a Boxing Day crowd of 2,268, the largest of the round. Australian full and youth international forward Jenna Kingsley gave the Jets an early lead with an 8th minute goal, but Stengel scored in the 11th and 30th minutes and the Wanderers held on for the win as the Jets missed narrowly on two excellent scoring chances in the second half. Chicago Red Stars Jen Hoy missed a chance to tie the game when her penalty kick bounced off the post in the 51st minute, after 17-year-old Wanderers goalkeeper Jada Whyman (a U-17 and U-20 Matilda) had taken Hoy down in her box. With less than 10 minutes left, Hoy again hit the woodwork, this time from the field of play.

Western Sydney, with its second consecutive win after last week’s shock defeat of slumping Melbourne City, now is tied for fifth with Brisbane on 10 points, just two points out of fourth in their quest for a first-ever playoff berth in their fifth season. Newcastle, with one point in their last four games, is in seventh with 7 points and five points from of a playoff spot.

Western Sydney’s American imports Kendall Fletcher (Seattle Reign) and Paige Nielsen (ex-Seattle Reign) all played 90 minutes, with Stengel (Washington Spirit) subbing out in the 70th minute while Alex Arlitt (FC Kansas City) did not play. For Newcastle, Katelyn Rowland (Western New York Flash) in goal, Megan Oyster (Boston Breakers), and Hoy all played 90 minutes. Arin Gilliland (Chicago Red Stars) did not play.

Sydney FC 1, Brisbane Roar 0

Sixteen-year-old Australian youth international forward Princess Ibini scored her first goal of the season to give Sydney FC a narrow 1-0 win over visiting Brisbane Roar on December 23 in front of 714 fans. Ibini scored on a tap-in when Australian international goalkeeper MacKenzie Arnold could not hold a shot by Australian international Georgia Yeoman-Dale, who was last capped in 2012. For Sydney, Australian NWSL players Alanna Kennedy (Western New York Flash) and Kyah Simon (Boston Breakers) played 90 minutes, Caitlin Foord (ex-Sky Blue FC) subbed in for the final 19 minutes and Nigerian international forward Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit)—the team’s newest signing—played the last half hour. Maddy Evans (Orlando Pride) played 90 minutes for the Roar.

Sydney now is in second place on 15 points, one point behind Perth Glory. Brisbane’s loss was its second in five days and though Brisbane is tied for fifth with Western Sydney and only two points behind Melbourne City in their quest for the playoffs, they have played one more game than City and WSW.

Adelaide United, Canberra United and Melbourne Victory all had byes this round.

Table After Eight Rounds

  1. Perth Glory (5-1-1, 16 pts., +8)
  2. Sydney FC (5-2-0, 15 pts, +5)
  3. Canberra United (4-1-1, 13 pts, +8)
  4. Melbourne City (4-3-0, 12 pts, +3)
  5. Western Sydney Wanderers (3-3-1, 10 pts, -3)
  6. Brisbane Roar (3-4-1, 10 pts, -3)
  7. Newcastle Jets (2-4-1, 7 pts, -1)
  8. Melbourne Victory (0-4-3, 3 pts, -10)
  9. Adelaide United (0-4-2, 2 pts, -7)

Round Nine

Melbourne Victory vs Canberra United, 1:05 am EST (Wednesday)
Adelaide United vs Newcastle Jets, 3:30 am EST (Thursday)
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Sydney FC, 3am EST (Friday)

  • Rdalford

    Enjoy being able to watch live stream ( WatchESPN ESPN3 in USA ) of some of these Australian W-league matches. Two matches live this week. Watched the Perth Glory v Melborne City match streamed live on ESPN3 last night and planning to watch the Canberra v Melborne Victory live stream tonight. Replays also available on ESPN3 as well as on FOX Sports Australia site for the matches originally broadcast on TV in Australia by FOX Sports Australia.

    With Australian W-league being a development league each team has a number of young amateur (15 and up) players on the rosters so it is interesting to see some of the young rising stars of the future playing along side Fishlock, Kerr etc.

  • Tom F

    You can’t tell that by the lack of posts on this threat, but in my book, Sam Kerr could possibly be the most exciting player in the world! She needs to get just a little more accurate with her shots, but I’ve seen that with a lot of speedsters who with their momentum pushing them so quickly forward, not being able to settle themselves for a better, final shot

    • GT

      Absolutely agree. I am really hoping that she returns to Sky Blue in the spring. (After last year’s high number of departures, I don’t take anything for granted.) Plus she can do a “back flip”.

      • Steglitz49

        Has she had any offers? if so, by whom?

    • DNG

      She’s extremely talented I’m kind of surprised Sky Blue has managed to hold onto her.

      • Steglitz49

        Where else would she go?

    • Steglitz49

      Not convinced.

      I am convinced that this extensive link between the NWSL and Australia helps the Matildas to grow, which is good for all WoSo.

      • Rdalford

        Australian WNT players play in NWSL but also play in Japan, S Korea and in Europe, all of which helps Australian WNT and woso in general.

        The Australian W-league has maintained a development mission (many W-league players are young (15 and up) amateurs) while also seeing more investment (and more men’s A-league ownership arrangements) and improved level of w-league play (with many Australian WNT players and international (up to 4 per team) players participating). This W-league play gives the young (future) Matildas good experience playing along side the more experienced/older WNT and international players and the Australian coaches seem to follow w-league play and have history of given the youngsters WNT opportunities.

        • Steglitz49

          Pia gave youngsters a chance in the USWNT. Six to be exact. She tested more.

          A lot of European players play abroad but the number form the EU leagues who play summer seasons than go down under seems to to have gone down.

          Fishlock helped Frankfurt win the Champions League. Now she plays in Australia. Lowered her sights? Nothing left to win except the Euro and WC?

          • Rdalford

            In addition to playing for Melbourne City the past 2 (15/16 & 16/17) seasons Fishlock has also had an assistant coaching job with Melbourne City so perhaps preparing for future coaching career (while collecting 2 paychecks – only 1 of which counts against the w-league team salary cap limits).

          • Steglitz49

            Smart lady, our Jess.

            The name Jessica seems useful: Jess Fishlock, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Jessica Samuelsson.

            Let’s find and list some more Jesses before the year is out.

      • Franky Ocean

        This is just a vacation league for bored NWSL players. They enjoy the beaches and the sun there. People try to hype it since they are also bored

        • Steglitz49

          Hopefully also the beer, the barbie and other extra-curricular activities.

    • Bruce

      I like Sam Kerr, but let’s not get carried away by her success in W-league.

      She’s making a habit at Perth of simply running away from defenders who can’t match her pace and physicality. She’s routinely getting the ball behind the back line two or three steps clear. Exploiting sub-par defense in W-League simply cannot be mapped directly to the NWSL.

      • Steglitz49

        Or to the FAWSL, Ladies Bundesliga not to forget the Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic leagues, ever one WoSo, football without end.

      • Tom F

        She owned Lauren Barnes in her last match. Barnes got a red card trying to keep up with her, plus made a brilliant game winning shot. She’s no doubt headed for mvp in this season’s W_League Here’s the action packed 2nd half. Can’t put the Aussie players down cause the 15 year old sub, Jackie G. looked weay more dangerous than Erika Tymrak when she subbed for her
        http;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ2Yc-t1w1k

        • Bruce

          Already watched the full match replay. I try to watch all of the W-League games and enjoy them, but will keep a level head about the level of play.

          Galabadaarachchi looks good for 15 years old, but again a little perspective.

          I’d say that Erika Tymrak is the 5th or 6th best attacking midfielder/forward for FCKC. She wouldn’t be in my top 30 in the NWSL because she absolutely disappears in games with physical play. That she at times seems dominant in W-League pretty much makes my case, I think.

          • mockmook

            “That she at times seems dominant in W-League pretty much makes my case, I think.”

            That’s what I was hoping for. But, when have you seen it?

          • Bruce

            I’ve seen four of the City games online this season. Tymrak was a huge threat against both Newcastle and Melbourne Victory with contants runs/balls into the box. She also was one of the better players on the pitch in an early match vs. Canberra.

            My take on her is that she’s a highly effective player when given space within which to operate. In most of the W-League games I’ve seen, she’s marked loosely and defenders don’t close aggressively on the ball. I spent an entire evening watching her live vs. CRS this year and she simply disappeared in a physical, swarming midfield. Huerta and Gilliland pretty much bullied her off the pitch that night.

          • mockmook

            I’ll have to take a look — the pieces of games I caught she was the same ol’ Tymrak of NWSL 2016

          • Steglitz49

            Verily.

          • Tom F

            Tymrak’s done well enough; she’s been a starter on a team that has the best record in NWSL short .history(though last season was a disappointment due to loosing so many other players).
            I agree, the W-League isn’t obviously the best; the season is a too short, Not a fan of putting 15 year olds into pro games, but even the best league in the world, the Bundesliga, it’s common. Despite it’s size, Australia only got 1/14th the pop of the US. It can’t produce no where near the amount of players America does. While maybe not the best US players are featured in the W-League, I think if your combined them into one team(and well coached) it be good enough to make it as a top 10 FIFA world ranked, probably ahead of #10 North Korea.
            The W-:League has it’s own style, one that’s even more direct than the NWSL. Americans have had mixed results in it. Katie Segal is looking good with 5 goals so far(she was a disappointment last year with the Spirit), but Jasmine Spencer & Bev Yanez haven’t exactly flown high. This last game proved it. on Perth’s side, the 3 Americans; DiBernadino was taken out early, Nikki Stanton should of gotten red carded due to her numerous fouls of just been to slow to the punch. Only Mautz had a fair game at fb. On MC side, Yanez & Tymrak didn’t provide much offence, Barnes got the red when she obviously couldn’t keep up with defending Kerr.
            Remember too, due to injuries or committed to other leagues several of the Matildas aren’t playing in this season; Kellond-Knight & Van Egmond are in the Bundesliga. Youth NT star Amy Harrison is still out with an ACL, and I’m not sure what happened to previous top scorers like Crummer & Devanna?

          • Steglitz49

            Australia has the population of the 5 Nordic nations combined. Thus, they should be able to field a more than decent team.

            Lariss Crummer is listed as playing for Melbourne City but whether she does I do not know. Lisa DeVanna is with Orlando but is meant to be with Canberra on loan.