Kerrspiration: Perth too hot for Sydney


Perth Glory hosted Sydney FC in a W-League/A-League double header today, as superstar Sam Kerr aptly melted Sydney’s resistance with a double header of her own.

The women had to endure a starting temperature of 35.6 Centigrade/96 Farenheit in the shade. But there was certainly no shade to be found on the pitch at 3.30pm, so goodness knows the temperature these players had to contend with.

W-League temperature provisions were triggered as drinks breaks occurred every 15 minutes. But this was not enough for referee Kate Jacewicz who had to be replaced at half-time due to dehydration.

Sydney players relish the 30′ drink break as Perth swelters in 35C.

Sydney started the brighter of the two teams as they initially seemed to adapt better to the hot conditions. They took the lead with a spectacular free kick from the left edge of the penalty box. Centre half Alanna Kennedy curled it over the wall to the top left corner, leaving Glory keeper Eliza Campbell leaden-footed with no chance. The 23-year-old Matilda is fast cementing her reputation as the W-League’s pre-eminent dead ball exponent.

This one from Kennedy ends up in the top left. Photo credit: SBS.

Sydney continued to have the better of the first half as a lot of tired tackles were inflicted while the heat seemed to inhibit concentration and focus on both sides. However, Sydney seemed the better disciplined and their preponderance of free kicks seemed likely to increase their scoreboard advantage.

However, with drinks breaks in the 15th and 30th minute, Sydney seemed unable to sustain their rhythm.

Glory were first out of the blocks in the 2nd half equalising in the 47th minute. Kerr rose with impeccable timing to meet a corner kick to cancel out Sydney’s slender advantage.

As the game wore on in the punishing heat, it became clear that Bobby Despotovski’s Glory may have cannily reserved their energies for a second half push.

It therefore seemed inevitable when after 85 minutes, the Perth team took the lead. Rachel Hill floated a tantalising ball forward where Kerr, despite the close attentions of 2 Sydney defenders and keeper Aubrey Bledsoe, managed to direct her header to the goalkeeper’s left where it trickled into the net slo-mo style.

Sydney summoned a late rally which saw keeper Bledsoe coming up for a 93rd minute corner and even getting on the end of a shot, but she blasted it harmlessly over.

Sydney’s resistance was as over-cooked as a forgotten shrimp on the barbie.

Glory progress to 13 points, equal top with Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar, with Adelaide tucked a point behind courtesy of today’s 3-2 defeat of Victory.

Perth Glory:

Campbell, Onions, Carroll, Naughton, Gale, May, Stanton, Mautz, McKenna (Galabadaarachchi), Hill, Kerr. Bookings: Stanton, Mautz.

Sydney FC:

Bledsoe, Harrison (Green), Ralston, Kennedy, Huerta, Polias (Ray), McCaskill, Colaprico, Logarzo, Ibini-Isei (De Vanna), Foord. Bookings: Colaprico, Huerta


About Author

Scozzie reporting on A-League and other stuff from the Indian Ocean shores. St. Johnstone fan. Follow me on twitter @perthmcneela.

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