Westfield Matildas in Westfield W-League Finals Series: Kerr hat-trick leads the charge, Foord fires once more
It’s becoming a recurring theme in the Westfield W-League: Just when you thought Sam Kerr couldn’t outdo herself, the Westfield Matildas forward did just that.
Kerr had a frustrating first half, finding herself in goalscoring positions but denied at the last moment by desperate defending.
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The second half appeared to be following a similar pattern, but fans should by now know that if you keep giving Kerr chances, she will eventually punish teams.
And punish Melbourne Victory she did, latching onto a Leticia McKenna cross to hammer home on 72 minutes.
Ever the team player, Kerr then turned provider as she danced around the edge of the box and placed the ball on a silver platter for Rachel Hill. From less than six yards out, Hill was never going to miss.
After a last-gasp equaliser by Melbourne Victory, there was only ever going to be one player who would take the game by the scruff of the neck.
On 97 minutes, Kerr found herself in on goal with only a defender and goalkeeper to beat.
With only one conclusion likely, Kerr delicately chipped the ball over an onrushing Bethany Mason-Jones and into the open net to give Perth the lead.
McKenna would tee up Kerr once more, this time in the second half of extra time, cutting the ball back into the path of Kerr who found the back of the net — and, with that, helping Perth Glory find their mojo at just the right time.
The goals took Kerr’s tally for the 2018/19 Season to 16 goals in 12 matches, a staggering amount for someone who is only just hitting her peak.
Melbourne Victory had two of their Westfield Matildas feature, too.
Both Laura Alleway and Emily Gielnik played the full 120 minutes, putting in mammoth performances on a warm Melbourne afternoon.
Alleway contributed with the all-important assist which teed up Grace Maher’s injury-time equaliser, while Gielnik assisted Nairn’s opener and won six duels.
Foord drives Sydney to a home Grand Final
Just like Kerr has made herself the talisman of Perth Glory, it seems Caitlin Foord is pushing her case for being Sydney FC’s go-to player.
Of course, that is not to discredit the rest of the squad which oozes with quality and class.
But, in the past few weeks, Foord has risen head and shoulders above the pack to stake a claim as the Sky Blues’ most reliable player.
Foord’s first touch in the 32nd minute opened up a seemingly non-existent space, giving her just enough room to rocket her shot past Mackenzie Arnold.
Alanna Kennedy got in on the action too, though this time not in the form of a sizzling free-kick.
The Westfield Matildas defender set up Sofia Huerta who found the back of the net for her third goal of the campaign while giving Kennedy her second assist.
Chloe Logarzo played a full game for the Sky Blues while Princess Ibini was given an early rest, taken off on 81 minutes.
Clare Polkinghorne and Mackenzie Arnold played the full 90 minutes for Brisbane, but were unable to influence a win for Brisbane Roar despite Arnold's four saves.