Did Glory, Roar play out match of the season?


Don’t look now but after a sluggish start to 2015/16 and a raft of off-field controversies, the Hyundai A-League is returning to its brilliant – yet crazy – best on the pitch.

With Central Coast Mariners, Perth Glory, Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets generally struggling, the opening months of this campaign seemed to include an above average number of dull matches, with crowd figures and TV ratings causing concern amongst some pundits and fans.

But since the start of 2016, the rise of Adelaide and Glory, plus an overall condensing at the top of the table has seen amazing contests on an almost weekly basis.

Melbourne Victory’s comeback against Central Coast Mariners to earn a 3-3 draw in Geelong seemed to kick-start the season, while the Sydney and Melbourne derbies have also provided plenty of entertainment whether it be tense or frenetic.

While many have been agonising over flares over the past fortnight, the A-League has quietly ratcheted up the drama.

However, Glory’s 6-3 win over leaders Brisbane Roar took the A-League’s reputation for ridiculous spectacles to another level on Saturday night.

The nine-goal thriller matched the A-League’s record for the most goals in a game, while seven goals in the first half set a new mark for Australia’s top tier.

Keogh got the ball rolling in Perth before Brisbane surged back through Jamie Maclaren and Dimi Petratos from the spot.

Harold struck just after the half-hour mark in the first of four goals in nine minutes, with Jade North, Nebojsa Marinkovic and Shane Lowry also getting on the scoresheet, as Glory led 4-3 at the break.

Glory's Shane Lowry and Chris Harold celebrate one of their side's six goals against the Roar at nib Stadium.

Diego Castro’s second-half penalty and Richard Garcia’s late goal saw the hosts run out three-goal winners.

In front of an impressive crowd – a season best of 12,156 spectators turned up at nib Stadium – both Perth and Brisbane went all out for victory in a pulsating end-to-end contest.

The victory extended Glory’s winning run to a club record of five matches, while they moved within a point of Sydney FC, Victory and Melbourne City (all 29) – with the latter having a game in hand.

It seems almost certain that Kenny Lowe’s men will make the top six due to their momentum and after stunning the leaders, it appears Glory won’t just be making up the numbers either.

Harold continued his amazing run, scoring in his sixth consecutive game, and he will equal the A-League record set by Marc Janko last season if he hits the back of the net against Western Sydney Wanderers on February 26.

With Keogh (3 goals in 4 games) and Castro (10 goals in 15-16) also in brilliant touch, Glory have scored 18 goals in their past five fixtures and no opposition coach will want to meet Lowe’s side in the finals if they’re in this kind of form.