Late Kerr penalty sends Perth to top of Westfield W-League
Perth Glory have fired to equal-top of the Westfield W-League ladder thanks to a late Sam Kerr penalty on Thursday night that condemned Canberra United to a 1-0 defeat.
The Westfield Matilda turned Karly Roestbakken before inviting contact in the box, leaving the referee with no option but to give a penalty.
From 12 yards out, there was only ever going to be one result.
The win is Perth's second in three games, putting them on 16 points alongside Melbourne Victory.
The first half was a war of attrition as neither side could create clear-cut chances.
Kerr came closest on 18 minutes, latching onto a deep in-swinging corner, but she was unable to steer the shot on target.
Leading with her feet, the ball was just too high, resulting in an uncontrolled shot.
Minutes later, Maria 'Cote' Rojas drove into Perth's box and chipped a delightful dink to the far post, but it just out of reach of her onrushing teammates.
Perth turned the screws in the second half and assaulted Canberra's goal after the interval.
Rachel Hill received possession facing the goal and, approximately 20 metres out, let fly. While her shot had venom, it evaded the top-left corner by less than a metre, letting Canberra off the hook.
Nicole Stanton had a chance on 59 minutes, sizing up a free-kick from just over 25 metres out.
Canberra absorbed Perth's pressure and almost broke the deadlock on 67 minutes, but were denied by some Eliza Campbell heroics.
Flannery picked up the ball just outside the box and let fly with a shot destined for the top corner. Yet, Campbell scrambled and flung herself to her top-right corner, tipping the ball over the post.
As the game appeared to amble to a stalemate at Dorrien Gardens, Kerr latched onto a long, diagonal through-ball from Hill and had only Roestbakken to beat.
Kerr turned Roestbakken and invited contact from the young defender, resulting in a penalty.
Perth's leading goal-scorer stepped up to take the penalty she won, making no mistake from 12 yards out.
That goal galvanised United, but it was too little too late as Perth held on for the 1-0 victory, taking them on equal points at the top alongside Melbourne Victory - who have their second Melbourne Derby on Saturday afternoon.