Giant killing Glory

Perth Glory has reaffirmed their top-four ambitions in emphatic style as they toppled league leading Melbourne Victory 3-1 at Members Equity Stadium on Saturday evening.

Perth Glory has reaffirmed their top-four ambitions in emphatic style as they toppled league leading Melbourne Victory 3-1 at Members Equity Stadium on Saturday evening.

A first half brace from Eugene Dadi and a stunning long-range strike from Adriano Pellegrino late in the match secured a resounding victory over the title favourites.

The impressive win came as leading scorer Nikita Rukavytsya watched from the sidelines after being unable to overcome a calf strain in time to take his place in the squad.

Perth thou came out of with plenty of purpose and turned in arguably their most fluent attacking performance of the season as they extended their unbeaten run at home to six games and closed to within four points of a coveted finals place.

“I would have been happy to play an ugly game and get the win but we played exceptionally well for the most part and got the result which was very pleasing,” Coach Dave Mitchell said following the match.

“It was a fantastic effort by the players. I think we-ve been playing well enough the past month but haven-t got the rewards for our efforts. We rode our luck this time and came out on top and thoroughly deserved to win.

“It-s a massive lift, a massive boost… it was a joy to watch the way we played and the goals we scored were great,” Mitchell said.

Scott Bulloch was given the nod to replace Rukavytsya and was the only change from the side that started last week against Newcastle.

Glory served warning of their attacking intentions on 11 minutes as Adrian Trinidad fired narrowly wide after reacting first to a Jamie Harnwell knock down just inside the box and moments later Scott Bulloch saw a well-struck long-range shot deflected over the bar following fine approach work from the overlapping Jimmy Downey.

Encouraged by the growing dominance of Wayne Srhoj and Jamie Coyne in central midfield, Glory broke the deadlock on 18 minutes.

Bulloch latched onto a Dadi flick-on, but opted to spread the ball wide to Trinidad rather than take a shot himself. The Argentinean cut in from the left and squared the ball neatly into the path of the onrushing Dadi whose powerful strike was adjudged to have crossed the line after crashing against the underside of the crossbar.

Glory was in full flight and Victory seemed to have no answer to the home side-s rampaging attacking forays. Adriano Pellegrino gained the ascendancy in his personal duel with Matthew Kemp down the right and came close to increasing the lead as he forced a sharp save from Victory ‘keeper Michael Theoklitos at his near post.

That proved to be a brief reprieve for Ernie Merrick-s side however as on 22 minutes Glory engineered another break through and again it was Dadi who applied the finishing touch.

A Pellegrino corner from the right caused all sorts of problems for the Victory defence and Dadi capitalised on their hesitancy as he swivelled to fire in a crisp shot that flashed under Theoklitos and into the back of the net.

His exuberant celebrations with the Glory faithful earned the former Ivory Coast International a yellow card, but that did little to take the shine off Perth-s best period of play this season.

Clearly fired-up by Ernie Merrick-s stern half-time teamtalk, Victory started the second period in a far more purposeful manner and within ten minutes had reduced the deficit courtesy of Ney Fabiano.

The Brazilian frontman was fed by Kemp and cut into the box from the right to skilfully slide the ball past Tando Velaphi.

The visitors pushed an extra man into midfield as they upped their search for an equaliser and Glory-s defence found themselves under increasing pressure but managed to restrict the Victory to just a few half-chances.

Melbourne-s attacking formation left them vulnerable at the back and Glory came close to increasing their advantage on several occasions. A neat one-two between Djulbic and Bulloch saw Theoklitos forced into a smart save to keep out the latter-s angled shot, while Dadi and substitute Naum Sekulovski both just failed to finish off a sweeping cross-field move featuring Coyne and Pellegrino.

Sekulovski was perhaps unfortunate not to earn his side a penalty moments later as he looked to be wrestled to the ground by former Glory player Nick Ward, but just as the home faithful braced themselves for another tense finale, Pellegrino strode onto centre stage.

With some 12 minutes of normal time remaining the diminutive midfielder won possession raced goal-ward and then unleashed an unstoppable left-foot screamer from 22 metres out to claim a memorable maiden A-League goal and seal a thrilling win for Perth.

Hyundai A-League Rd 14

Perth Glory 3 (Eugene Dadi 18-/22-, Adriano Pellegrino 78-)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Ney Fabiano 55-)
Saturday 6 December at Members Equity Stadium

Crowd: 6621

Referee: Peter Green

Perth Glory: 30.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 4.Jamie COYNE (c), 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 9.Adrian TRINIDAD (19.Naum SEKULOVSKI 52-), 11.Scott BULLOCH (25.Marc ANTHONY 77-), 14.Eugene DADI, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.James DOWNEY, 22.Wayne SRHOJ (7.Nick RIZZO 89-)

Substitutes not used: 1.Jason PETKOVIC (gk)
Yellow cards: Eugene DADI 22-

Melbourne Victory: 1.Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (Captain), 3.Michael THWAITE (22.Nick WARD 60-), 7.Matthew KEMP, 8.Grant BREBNER, 9.Danny ALLSOPP, 11.NEY FABIANO (16.Carlos HERNANDEZ 68-), 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 14.Billy CELESKI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 17.Jose LUIS LOPEZ,

Substitutes not used: 20.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 10.Archie THOMPSON
Yellow cards: Billy CELESKI 43-, Matthew KEMP 45-, Carlos HERNANDEZ 91-