Westfield Matildas striker Sam Kerr was the hero as she scored twice to help Perth Glory defeat Sydney FC 2-1 in sweltering conditions at HBF Park on Friday afternoon.
The Westfield W-League’s first ever marquee showed her worth with two second-half strikes to see off a Sky Blues outfit that headed into the match having scored 10 goals in their past two outings.
The Western Australian capital was in full summer mode with temperatures so high they required regular drinks breaks and as such the game started in a cagey fashion.
That being said both sides should have had a goal by the 20-minute mark after Sam Kerr’s header was tipped away by Aubrey Bledsoe and Alanna Kennedy’s headed attempt flew wide after being found unmarked at the far post off a corner.
Kennedy would make amends on 27 minutes however from a dead ball situation after Allyssa Mautz was fouled just outside the penalty area.
The Westfield Matildas defender stepped up and unleashed a pinpoint strike into the top left corner, grazing the post on the way in as Glory shot stopper Eliza Campbell could only watch.
Kerr would have squared things up just before the break if not for Campbell palming away her thunderous strike.
As it happened she wouldn’t have to wait long to do exactly that when, two minutes after the re-start, Kerr emphatically headed home from a cross after finding space amongst the Sky Blue defenders.
The home side should have gone ahead just after the hour mark when Kerr was released with a paddock of space between her and the retreating Bledsoe.
Instead of taking the shot on herself she laid the ball off to the oncoming Rachel Hill who had her shot thwarted courtesy of a brilliant lunging challenge from Chloe Logarzo.
The Kerr-Hill partnership wasn’t done for the afternoon however as they pounced in the 85th minute to seal all three points.
Hill gathered the ball and fired in a cross towards Kerr who outmuscled and outleapt Kennedy to head the ball just inside the far post in a fashion reminiscent of a certain Australian striker of years past.
Caitlin Foord went close to snatching a point deep into injury time but her shot was blocked by Kim Carroll as Perth held on to maintain their strong start to the season.