Defiant Glory hold league leaders

A defiant Perth Glory has come away with a hard fought 1-1 draw against runaway Hyundai A-League leader Brisbane Roar who have now extended their unbeaten streak to a record 20 matches.

A defiant Perth Glory has come away with a hard fought 1-1 draw against runaway Hyundai A-League leader Brisbane Roar who have now extended their unbeaten streak to a record 20 matches.

Mile Sterjovski opened the scoring for the visitors in the 31st minute, linking up with Robbie Fowler as the Glory went into the break with a 1-0 lead, before Mitch Nicholls equalised for the Roar with a second-half header at Suncorp Stadium.

Perth matched Brisbane despite the home teams record breaking season, as they frustrated their more fancied opposition for much of the match.

But it was the Roar who should have taken the lead though just after the opening five minutes when Kosta Barbarouses capitalised on a lucky ricochet.

The ball fell nicely for the kiwi after he tried to bully his way through the Perth defence but Barbarouses skewed his shot wide from eight metres.

The brilliant Fowler showed his class on 15 minutes when he played in Sterjovski but the former Socceroo was unable to hold off his opponent.

Fowler was involved again as Glory continued to push forward, setting up Adriano Pellegrino at the top of the box but the midfielder’s shot was blocked and the move broken down by Brisbane.

On the half hour, Sterjovski and Fowler combined again to give Perth the lead.
Sterjovski collected a loose ball in midfield and carried it to the box before laying off to Fowler who baulked Matt Smith and returned a pass to Sterjovski.

The Perth striker found the back of the net from 10m courtesy of a deflection from the Roar defence.

On the stroke of half-time, ‘keeper Tando Velaphi kept Perth in front with a brilliant reflex save after a Luke De Vere header.

A free kick was whipped in from the right for the Roar and although the stopper was sandwiched between two Perth defenders, he managed to get his head to the ball, only for the Glory shot stopper to tip over the bar.

Perth persisted, not satisfied with a 1-0 lead, and Jamie Coyne lofted one to the back post to find Sterjovski who was alone in space after losing his marker.

The goal scorer’s side-footed shot went straight into the body of Michael Theoklitos.

But, as it did last week against Adelaide United, the arrival of Henrique changed the match and swung the contest Brisbane’s way, with the Brazilian instrumental in the Roar’s equaliser just after the hour.

Fresh from the bench, Henrique got past Josh Mitchell and whipped in an inviting cross.

Mitch Nicholls timed his run well and got in front of his marker to header past Velaphi and bring Brisbane level.

As the match drew to a close, Brisbane continued to push for maximum points at home while Perth were looking to exploit the hosts on the break.

Brisbane Roar: 1 (NICHOLS 63-)
Perth Glory: 1 (STERJOVSKI 31-)
Friday, 7 January 2010
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Crowd: 11,574

Brisbane Roar line-up: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matthew SMITH, 3. Luke DeVERE, 4.Shane STEFANUTTO (c) (12. Matthew MUNDY 89-), 5. 6. Erik PAARTALU (18. Luke BRATTAN 70-), 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA (10. HENRIQUE 59-), 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 17. Mitchell NICHOLS, 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk)

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil

Perth Glory line-up: 1. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2. Josh MITCHELL, 3. Jamie COYNE, 4. Andy TODD, 7. Jacob BURNS (c), 9. Robbie FOWLER (22. Anthony SKORICH 79-), 12. Scott NEVILLE, 14. Steven McGARRY, 16. Adrian PELLEGRINO (15. Howard FONDYKE 85-), 17. Todd HOWARTH, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI (5. Jamie HARNWELL 90+1-)

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Alex PEARSON (gk)

Yellow Cards: Jacob BURNS 58-, Andy TODD 73-

Red Cards: Nil