The Finals Reckoning


As Glory prepare to embark upon the club’s latest Finals campaign this weekend, we’re taking a look back at our Hyundai A-League knockout-stage story to date…

Early Learnings

It wasn’t until the fifth A-League season that we managed to progress beyond the regular campaign, securing an Elimination Final away at Wellington Phoenix which was to provide a rude introduction to the roller-coaster nature of knockout football.

Also making their Finals debut, the ‘Nix were brimming with confidence off the back of three straight wins and led at half-time courtesy of a goal from Chris Greenacre.

Just after the hour-mark, however, Glory hit back via a Scott Neville header and when Jon McKain saw red for the hosts during the first-half of extra-time, the pendulum seemed to have swung the WA side’s way.

Yet it was not to be.

2010 Wellington v Glory - Liam Reddy and co celebrate

To penalties we went and with Liam Reddy performing the kind of heroics in goal that he would repeat in Glory colours some nine years later, Wellington took the honours and Dave Mitchell’s men saw their Finals charge end at the first hurdle.

Paying the Penalty

If that 2010 clash with Wellington was a roller-coaster, Glory’s next Finals experience took the club’s members and fans to the next level in terms of dizzying heights, crushing lows and everything in between.

Having produced a remarkable upsurge in results during the second half of the regular season, Ian Ferguson’s side secured an all-important home final and made light work of opponents Melbourne Heart, Shane Smeltz’s second-half hat-trick earning an emphatic, first-up victory.

That paved the way for an epic Finals re-match against Wellington and this time the men in purple gained their revenge.

Glory v Wellington 2012 - Todd Howarth celebrates

With the two sides locked at 2-2 after 90 minutes, extra-time was required to separate them and Todd Howarth took the opportunity to do just that in the 112th minute, also managing to separate himself from his shirt during a wild celebration of his winning goal.

A trip to Gosford beckoned, so long a graveyard of Glory ambitions, but this time, it was the well-fancied Mariners who were to endure the misery.

After Smeltz had almost immediately cancelled out Adam Kwasnik’s opener, the game went to penalties and when Michael McGlinchey sent his effort so off-target it threatened the wildlife on Brisbane Water, Jacob Burns calmly stepped up to send Glory into a first ever A-League Grand Final.


Let’s not dwell too much on what subsequently transpired at Suncorp Stadium, shall we?

Suffice to say, Glory led until the 84th minute when and then two goals from Besart Berisha either side of a red card for Dean Heffernan ensured that Brisbane Roar were crowned Champions.

In, Then Out

Victory v Glory - 2013 Elimination Final - Archie Thompson scores

Three wins in their last five games enabled Glory to snag a spot in the 2012-13 Finals series, but as it had been in 2010, their involvement was short-lived.

A trip to Etihad Stadium to face Melbourne Victory was always likely to be a big ask and yet Alistair Edwards’ side came close to springing an upset.

Ryo Nagai gave the visitors the lead and it took a shocking, last-minute penalty decision for Victory to level things up.

Steve Pantelidis saw red for his involvement in conceding that controversial spot-kick and deep into stoppage-time, Archie Thompson swooped to rub salt into the wound and send Glory tumbling out.

More Melbourne Misery

Melbourne City v Glory 2017 - Bruno Fornaroli celebrates

With ten wins from their final 12 games of the regular season, Glory were the form team heading into their next Finals appearance in 2015-16, but again, their dreams were shattered within 90 minutes.

This time it was Melbourne City who applied the pin to the purple balloon and in particular, future Glory signing Bruno Fornaroli who scored both of the hosts’ goals in a 2-0 win at AAMI Park.

A Modicum Of Revenge

Joel Chianese shooting v Melbourne City - Elimination Final 2017

A year later, Glory were back at AAMI Park taking on City once again and this time, victory would be theirs.

First-half goals from Diego Castro and Joel Chianese dealt the home side a double blow from which they were unable to recover.

It was unfortunate for Kenny Lowe’s men that they subsequently ran into a Sydney FC locomotive going at full steam and went down to a 3-0 defeat.

Premiership, Penalties And Pain

And so to last season and a Semi-Final clash with Adelaide United which must rank as one of the most dramatic and memorable games in the club’s history.

Leading 2-0 with nine minutes left in front of nearly 18,000 home fans, reigning Premiers Glory were pegged back to 2-2 and forced into extra-time.

Again they took the lead, this time through Scott Neville, but the Reds responded to make it 3-3 and set the scene for a penalty shootout that can only be described as epic.

In between rifling home from the spot himself, Liam Reddy produced an astonishing four saves before Chianese slotted the winner to send Glory to another Grand Final.


Penalties were again required at Optus Stadium nine days later, but instead of euphoria for those of a purple persuasion, there was despair as Andy Keogh and Brendon Santalab were both denied, allowing Sydney FC to extend our wait for an A-League Championship title.