Bruno Fornaroli helped himself to both goals as Glory secured a vital 2-0 victory over Brisbane Roar at Launceston’s UTAS Stadium on Sunday.
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In what was the first game of three at their temporary home in Launceston, Richard Garcia’s side hit the front in the eighth minute as Fornaroli converted from the spot following Henry Hore’s foul on Pacifique Niyongabire.
And the Uruguayan took his tally for the season to five 17 minutes from the end, this time swivelling in the box to lose his marker before firing an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.
The result moved Glory to within seven points of third-placed Adelaide United with five games in hand and while Garcia conceded that there was room for improvement from his charges, he was naturally very pleased with the outcome.
“It was a bit of an indifferent performance,” he said.
“We started very well, then went off the boil a little bit, but then as the game went on and the subs came on, we started to get a hold of it again, which was great.
“I thought the subs that came off the bench did a fantastic job in having an impact on the match.
“It’s a sign of a decent team that they actually win when they’re not at their best.
“I saw glimpses of some very good stuff and I never really felt like the guys were out of control, but just the simple basics were not at their best today.
“That probably had a little bit to do with the new surface, the new environment and the wind swirling and things like that, but at the same time, they know they need to improve that area of their game.
“It’s something you can’t pay too much attention to at the moment, the league table.
“We’ve got so many games coming up in a row and it’s been a very even league this year.
“It’s really about making sure that we keep chipping away at it, keep making sure our performances improve week by week and keep getting the results we want.
“We’ve just got to be fully focused on our performances and progressing as a team.”
In cool and breezy conditions at UTAS Stadium, Glory began brightly and made a breakthrough almost immediately, Hore’s challenge on Niyongabire in the box giving referee Daniel Elder no alternative but to point to the spot and Fornaroli successfully finding the net.
It wasn’t until the 35th minute that Roar managed to muster a serious response, Liam Reddy marking his return to the side by foiling Nicholas Olsen at point-blank range.
It was Glory’s turn to go close shortly early in the second half, Brandon O’Neill sending his shot centimetres wide of the far post following intelligent approach work from Niyongabire and Fornaroli, before Reddy was again called upon at the other end, this time to parry a strike from Brisbane substitute, Luke Ivanovic.
Any suggestion that Warren Moon’s side might force their way back into the contest, however, was effectively dismissed in the 73rd minute when Fornaroli struck again.
The Roar defence were the architects of their own downfall, giving possession up cheaply on the edge of the box and allowing substitute Giordano Colli to pick out Glory’s top scorer whose smart turn was followed by an equally impressive finish.
The best the Queenslanders could muster in response was a close-range effort from Anton Milanaric, which Reddy was equal to and the men in purple were able to see out the final moments without any further scares.
Perth Glory 2 (Fornaroli (pen) 8′, 73′) Brisbane Roar 0
Referee: Daniel Elder
UTAS Stadium, Launceston
Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (GK), 2.Aaron CALVER (22.Josh RAWLINS 14′), 8.Kosuke OTA, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 11.Nick FITZGERALD (26.Giordano COLLI 71′), 13.Brandon O’NEILL (C) (10.Andy KEOGH 62′), 18.Daniel STYNES (19. Callum TIMMINS 46′), 21.Antonee BURKE-GILROY, 23.Mitch OXBORROW, 24.Pacifique NIYONGABIRE (15.Daniel STURRIDGE 71′), 29.Darryl LACHMAN
Substitutes not used: 12.Cameron COOK (GK), 14.Jack CLISBY
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Brisbane Roar: 12.Jordan HOLMES (GK), 2,Scott NEVILLE, 3.Corey BROWN, 7.Rahmat AKBARI, 8.Matti STEINMANN (4.Anton MILINARIC 61′), 13.Henry HORE (11.Jez LOFTHOUSE 81′), 19.Jack HINGERT (9.Luke IVANOVIC 61′), 21.Nicholas OLSEN (35.Louis ZABALA 61′), 23.Juan LESCANO (29.Cyrus DEHMIE 40′), 26.Jay O’SHEA (C), 27.Kai TREWIN
Substitutes not used: 15.Jesse DALEY, 1.Macklin FREKE (GK)
Yellow Cards: Akbari, Neville
Red Cards: None