2021 State Team

Western Australia 1 Perth Glory 0

Status: Friendly
Date: 2 October 2021
Venue: Percy Doyle Reserve, Duncraig, Western Australia
Western Australia: GK Ryan MONTGOMERY (RGK Johnny PERKINS 46), 4 Chris SALDARIS (3 Jordan BROWN 46), 5 Bojan RADINOVIC, 6 Calvin WHITNEY (14 Nick AMBROGIO 46), 9 Jesse LAZZARO (18 Alex SILLA 64), 10 Kosta SPARTA (15 Jon STYNES 64), 11 Cameron TEECE, 17 Kristian SANTICH, 19 Michael DOMFEH (24 Ndumba MAKECHE 46), 23 Sean MCMANUS (7 Steve SOKOL 64), 25 Lachlan BYRD (16 Ollie ANNIS 64) - Sub not used: None
Perth Glory: GK Cameron COOK, 5 Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS (20 Jacob MUIR 62), 10 Andy KEOGH (38 Ciaran BRAMWELL 62), 13 Luke BODNAR (23 Joshua ANASMO 62), 14 Jack CLISBY (6 Joseph FORDE 40), 16 Brandon O'NEILL (26 Giordano COLLI 51), 17 Stefan VALENTINI (21 Adam ZIMARINO 46) (18 Lewis TUCKER 74), 22 Josh RAWLINS (25 Aidan COYNE 68), 24 Daniel STYNES (19 Chris O'DONNELL 62), 29 Darryl LACHMAN (8 William FORMSTON 62), 32 Pacifique NIYONGABIRE, (4 Jack ANDREWS 62) - Subs not used: RGK Keegan GRANT
Referee: Matthew SOUTHERN

The WA Gold Fields State side have beaten Perth Glory 1-0 in Saturday's annual Gold Fields Challenge at Percy Doyle Reserve. The only goal of the game came seven minutes from time from Perth SC midfielder Kristian Santich, which came nine minutes after ECU Joondalup keeper Johnny Perkins had saved Giordano Colli's penalty for WA. “It was a great experience for the State Team players, a great opportunity for them to show some very interesting qualities and potential,” WA Gold Fields State coach Cris Ola said. “The result was outstanding, but also the fact that the players showed great attitude and character until the last whistle.”

Ola selected a strong side for the game, while Glory coach Richard Garcia also had some big names in his starting eleven in their first real hit out of pre-season. He gave starts to returning recruits Brandon O'Neill and Jack Clisby and new signing Pacifique Niyongabire, while A-League regulars Jonathan Aspropotamitis, Andy Keogh, Darryl Lachman, Daniel Stynes and Luke Bodnar also started, while former striker Stefan Valentini was also a surprise starter.

It was a positive start from the WA side and Bojan Radinovic saw his flick palmed away be Cameron Cook early, before the Perth SC defender headed straight at the keeper again moments later. It was one-way traffic as WA continued to dictate terms, and Perth SC duo Calvin Whitney and Cameron Teece saw shots go wide. Glory's first chance came on 16 minutes, O'Neill's ball in from the left picked out Valentini at the back post, but his header was saved by Perth custodian Ryan Montgomery.

WA skipper Santich was a constant threat and after good work on the left he cut the ball the back to Whitney, who couldn't keep his shot down. Glory then went close at the other end, Bodnar slipped Keogh in down the right, his low cross shot was well claimed by Montgomery. The best chance of the half fell to WA in the shadows of the break, Santich and Whitney combined to set up Teece, whose shot from the angle whistled inches past the far post.

There were a number of changes at the break as the game lost its shape slightly. Glory new recruit Niyongabire looked lively down the right and he raced into the box on the hour, but a great last-ditch tackle from Radinovic stopped the danger. The rain swept over "Windy Hill" but it was Glory who went close on 72 minutes, Joseph Forde's shot on the run saved by Perkins. Then two minutes later referee Matthew Southern pointed to the spot after WA defender Jordan Brown brough down Joshua Anasmo.

Colli stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but fired straight at Perkins who saved, and the keeper reacted well to save Ciaran Bramwell's follow up shot. That gave WA a lift and Teece's snap shot flashed wide of the target moments later, and on 83 minutes WA won it. Teece's cross from the left was hit back across goal to Santich, and the WA skipper fired home from six meters. It was the first win for the WA side in the annual game since 2011.

"It was a great game with a lot of quality players showing what they can do. For me personally, it was brilliant to be picked to represent WA for my first time and I really enjoyed the experience," Floreat Athena midfielder Sean McManus explained. “We had a training session together on Thursday night before the game and the boys gelled quickly. It was a good mix of young and experienced boys in the state team and we showed that today. We stuck together and played with confidence which ultimately got us the win. It was nice to lift the Gold Fields Cup at the end of the game too and a really good end to an enjoyable season for myself.”

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