Glory downed by Reds in dramatic goal-fest
Glory remain in fifth spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder despite suffering a 5-3 defeat against Adelaide United in Thursday evening’s clash at Bankwest Stadium.
In what was an action-packed 90 minutes, Liam Reddy saved a Riley McGree penalty before Michael Jakobsen and Lachlan Brook put the Reds 2-0 up inside the opening half-hour.
Kristian Popovic’s second goal of the season brought the visitors back into it, but further efforts from Kristian Opseth and Ben Halloran took United out to a commanding 4-1 lead at the break.
Substitute Pacifique Niyongabire added a well-taken fifth for the South Australians just after the hour-mark and although Bruno Fornaroli subsequently claimed his 13th goal of the campaign and Juande converted from the penalty spot, it was too little too late for Tony Popovic’s men.
And Glory’s Head Coach pulled no punches in his assessment of his side’s defensive display.
“We were very vulnerable defensively throughout the first half and throughout the whole game,” he said.
“I thought we improved in the second half, definitely and that’s credit to the players, but we still looked vulnerable throughout.
“They had four attempts and scored four goals and when that happens, it’s very hard to come back.
“We got punished for mistakes and gave away two goals from corners, so defensively it was not a good night and our opponent punished us for the gifts we gave them tonight.
“In the second half the players came out and started well… but the story of the night was that with their first attack of the second half, they scored.
“That summed up the night for us.
“We’ve lost 5-3 and we’ve identified what the main issues were.
“We have to accept it, talk about it and move on.
“After a result like that, it’s probably a good thing that we have another game on Tuesday and we’ll start preparing for that Wanderers game tomorrow.”
Glory began sharply, moving the ball with confidence and pace and they created the first chance of the night with eight minutes on the clock, Dane Ingham cutting in from the right and unleashing a goalbound strike which was blocked by a cluster of United defenders.
In a lively opening, Adelaide also looked threatening going forward and were handed a gilt-edged opportunity to hit the front when Jacob Tratt was adjudged to have clipped Halloran as the former Brisbane Roar man burst into the box.
Reds’ top scorer Riley McGree took responsibility for the spot-kick, but Reddy was equal to it, making a fine save low to his left.
Glory’s reprieve was to prove short-lived, however, as Adelaide struck twice in as many minutes.
Jakobsen claimed the first, meeting an enticing corner from Taras Gomulka with an unstoppable header and the second was added by Brook after Kristian Opseth capitalised upon some hesitant Glory defending to tee up the teenager for a simple finish.
The frenetic pace of the opening period duly continued as Glory halved the arrears on 32 minutes, Neil Kilkenny’s lofted pass picking out Kristian Popovic who showed impressive composure to beat Paul Izzo with a hooked half-volley.
But the men in the white found themselves trailing by two goals again almost immediately, another Gomulka corner causing problems for the defence and Opseth seizing the chance to nod home his fourth goal in as many games.
And on the stroke of half-time 3-1 became 4-1, Halloran getting away down the left before unleashing a low shot which took a deflection off Osama Malik on its way into the back of the net.
Desperate to try and regain a foothold in the game, Glory poured forward immediately after the restart and came close to pulling one back when Fornaroli saw his close-range strike bravely blocked by Jordan Elsey.
But there were undone defensively again in the 63rd minute, this time Ryan Kitto surging his way into the box before Niyongabire took over and rifled in his first senior goal.
Alex Grant drew a save from Izzo as Glory attempted to muster a response and the WA side did manage to pull one back moments later, Fornaroli chesting the ball down neatly ahead of sliding a pinpoint shot into the bottom corner.
When substitute Jake Brimmer was bundled over in the box by Kitto with seven minutes left, Juande made no mistake from the spot to claw back another goal, but any hopes of a remarkable comeback were ultimately to prove unfounded.
Adelaide United 5 (Jakobsen 27′, Brook 29, Opseth 38′, Halloran 45′, Niyongabire 63′) Perth Glory 3 (K.Popovic 32′, Fornaroli 74′, Juande (pen) 83′)
Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta
Referee: Stephen Lucas
Assistant Referee 1: James Cleal
Assistant Referee 2: Brad Wright
Fourth Official: Ben Abraham
Adelaide United: 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 4.Ryan STRAIN, 6.Stefan MAUK, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.Riley McGREE (14.George BLACKWOOD 84′), 11.Kristian OPSETH (49.Mohamed TOURE 84′), 18.Lachlan BROOK (24.Pacifique NIYONGABIRE 60′), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN (c), 23.Jordan ELSEY, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 42.Taras GOMULKA (27.Louis D’ARRIGO 75′)
Substitutes not used: 2.Michael MARRONE, 26.Noah SMITH, 40.Dakota OCHSENHAM (gk)
Yellow Cards: Halloran, Mauk, D’Arrigo
Red Cards: None
Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jacob TRATT (21.Tarek ELRICH 46′), 8.James MEREDITH (5.Ivan FRANJIC 46′), 9.Bruno FORNAROLI (25.Carlo ARMIENTO 77′), 13.Osama MALIK, 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO (28.Gabriel POPOVIC 73′), 23.Dane INGHAM, 27.JUANDE, 29.Kristian POPOVIC, 88.Neil KILKENNY (C) (20.Jake BRIMMER 60′)
Substitutes not used: 22.Vince LIA, 50.Daniel MARGUSH (gk)
Yellow Cards: Meredith
Red Cards: None