Perth Glory women ended a tough week with their third win of the A-League season on Sunday, a 1-0 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers at Central Coast Stadium.
Glory Coach Alex Epakis was worried his side would be deflated by the border closure news and there was obvious relief for players on the final whistle.
Back on the sideline after COVID-quarantine, Epakis said: “Over the moon. Very happy.
“It’s the best performance we’ve had in two seasons. We controlled the match from start to finish.”
Epakis said the players were “absolute champions”.
“We drew a line in the sand and said the only way we can respond is our performance on the field, go out and do it in a way we’re all proud of,” he said.
“That was a huge motivation.”
The win put Glory into fifth, one point out of finals contention.
They completely dominated with 14 shots, seven in each half, and 12 corners but somehow the first 45 minutes ended goalless.
Deborah-Anne de la Harpe broke the deadlock with her first A-League goal, an unstoppable free-kick five minutes into the second period.
Glory survived a couple of early scares before seizing control and Sofia Sakalis was a menace to the Wanderers defence.
Wanderers goalkeeper Sarah Langman shut her down in the box, she was denied by a Clare Hunt goal line clearance, fired high with a long range effort and hit the crossbar with a fierce header.
Glory had successive corners and from one Mie Leth Jans’ powerful header was brilliantly saved by Langman while de la Harpe was denied by some great defending by Rosie Galea.
But her terrific free-kick deservedly gave Glory three points.
They could have been more comfortable but Hanna Lowry had a shot deflected, Leena Khamis forced Langman into a great save, she had another shot cleared off the line and Natasha Rigby fired wide.