Defending champions find form

A string of personnel changes failed to change Perth Glory’s luck on Sunday afternoon as they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Sydney FC.

A string of personnel changes failed to change Perth Glory-s luck on Sunday afternoon as they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Sydney FC.

“It wasn-t good enough pure and simple.

“That performance was not Perth Glory like and it-s very disappointing,” Perth Glory interim Head Coach Ian Ferguson said.

Ferguson had promised to shake things up in a bid to end Glory-s run of defeats and he certainly proved true to his word, bringing Jamie Harnwell, Robbie Fowler and Branko Jelic into the starting eleven, moving Mile Sterjovski and Anthony Skorich to the bench alongside the recalled Ryan Pearson and opting to rest defensive duo Andy Todd and Naum Sekulovski.

Fowler, Jelic and Michael Baird were employed as an attacking trio in a re-jigged 4-3-3 formation, but Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka had also freshened things up with his team selection and it was the visitors who settled quicker and carved out the early goalscoring opportunities.

With less than two minutes on the clock, Nicky Carle forced Aleks Vrteski into a smart stop with a snap-shot struck from just inside the box and moments later Bruno Cazarine fired over the bar after Glory had only managed to half-clear a Hirofumi Moriyasu corner.

Stung into action by those early half-chances, Glory duly carved out a couple of their own with Hayden Foxe sparing goalkeeper Ivan Neecvski-s blushes after he had been caught out by Baird-s persistence in chasing down a Harnwell long ball, before the former Queensland Roar man again went close on 17 minutes, heading a deep Adriano Pellegrino cross narrowly wide.

The game was becomingly increasingly keenly-contested in midfield, with Jacob Burns and Carle engaging in a running feud that eventually prompted referee Ben Williams to issue both with yellow cards and thus rule the Glory skipper out of next week-s clash with Central Coast.

With Sydney FC beginning to edge the arm-wrestle that was developing in the middle third they again began to threaten Glory-s goal, with Vrteski forced to palm a curling Shannon Cole free-kick wide on 19 minutes, only to be beaten six minutes later as the visitors broke the deadlock.

Sung-Hwan Byung was the provider, swinging in a deep cross from the right to pick put Cazarine who got above Todd Howarth to power a classic centre-forward-s header into the far corner of the net.

Lavicka-s men then came close to doubling their advantage as half-time loomed, with only Scott Neville-s perfectly-timed last-minute challenge foiling Alex Brosque as he prepared to pull the trigger from close range.

Glory did threaten to restore parity in first-half stoppage time, but the lively Baird just failed to latch onto a finely-weighted through ball from Steven McGarry that split the visitors- defence wide open.

Baird had another sight of goal three minutes into the second period, angling a low drive narrowly wide of Necevski-s right-hand post, but just as Glory looked set to crank up the pressure in search of an equalizer, they fell victim to a sucker punch.

A rapid breakaway from the Sky Blues culminated in Cole picking out Cazarine with a fine cross from the right and although the Brazilian-s initial headed effort was blocked, the impressive Brosque was on hand to gleefully ram the ball home from just inside the box.

Ferguson-s response was instant, introducing Sterjovski for the hard-working Baird and replacing Pellegrino with Pearson and the changes almost yielded an immediate result as Jelic climbed highest to meet an inswinging Howarth cross, only to see his firm header flash centimetres wide.

Pearson and Neville wasted no time in re-forming their promising partnership down the right and the latter came close to grabbing his side a lifeline shortly after the hour-mark, his low cross almost forcing Foxe into putting through is own net before Necevski intervened to spare the former Glory man an embarrassing return to his former stamping ground.

At the other end, meanwhile, Vrteski was forced to block two well-struck efforts from Broque in the space of thirty seconds, but that was a rare threatening moment from the visitors as the game moved into it-s final quarter, with Lavicka-s side understandably content to get numbers back behind the ball and sit on their two-goal advantage.

For all their endeavour, Glory found it all but impossible to break their determined and disciplined opponents down, Cole typifying the Sky Blues- approach as he threw himself full-length to block a goal-bound effort from McGarry on 80 minutes.

Moment later the game was over as a contest as Cazarine took advantage of Glory having committed men forward to shrug off the attentions of two defenders, cruise in on goal and calmly angle a low shot past the despairing dive of the helpless Vrteski.

“All the boys need to put their hand up, there are no excuses after six,” Baird said.

Hyundai A-League Round 11

Perth Glory 3-0 Sydney FC (Half-time 0-1 )
nib Stadium, October 24 2010
Attendance: 8870
Referee: Ben Williams

Perth Glory: 20. Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 3. Jamie COYNE, 5. Jamie HARNWELL, 7. Jacob BURNS (C), 9.Robbie FOWLER, 10. Michael BAIRD (21. Mile STERJOVSKI 54-), 11. Branko JELIC (22. Anthony SKORICH 73-), 12.Scott NEVILLE, 14. Steven McGARRY, 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO (25. Ryan PEARSON 55-), 17. Todd HOWARTH

Substitutes not used: 1. Tando VELAPHI (gk),

Yellow cards: Pellegrino 22-, Harnwell 31-, Burns 43-, Baird 53-

Red cards: Nil

Sydney FC: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 3. Stephan KELLER, 5. Hayden FOXE, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU (2. Sebastian RYALL 83-), 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. Bruno CAZARINE, 10. Nicky CARLE (19. Mark BRIDGE 63-), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN (21. Scott JAMIESON 83-)

Substitutes not used: 1. Liam REDDY (gk),

Scorers: Cazarine 25-, 82-, Brosque 53-

Yellow cards: Byun 12-, Carle 32-

Red cards: Nil