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Oct 28, 2023   |  2:57PM AET

Glory edged out in dramatic Distance Derby

Glory edged out in dramatic Distance Derby

Glory succumbed to their first defeat of the new Isuzu UTE A-League season as they were edged out 2-1 by Wellington Phoenix at Sky Stadium on Saturday.

Click HERE to view full match highlights.

There was no shortage of drama in what was the 50th instalment of the Distance Derby, culminating in the 87th minute when Adam Taggart saw his penalty saved by Alex Paulsen.

Earlier, Oskar Zawada had cut out a pass from Glory ‘keeper Oli Sail and chipped the hosts into an early lead, before Mark Beevers nodded the visitors level just shy of the hour-mark.

Click HERE for Beevers’ post-match interview.

Bozhidar Kraev duly restored Phoenix’s lead 11 minutes from time and Taggart was then unable to restore parity for a second time from the spot after Lukas Kelly-Heald was penalised for handball.

Glory Head Coach, Alen Stajcic, felt that his side were very unfortunate to come away from Sky Stadium empty-handed.

View his full post-match media conference HERE.

“We were away from home, but we took the initiative, we had plenty of shots on goal and plenty of chances,” he said.

“I thought the first 20 minutes, they [Wellington] were maybe on top, but after that, the last 15-20 of the first half I thought we were on top and for the majority of the second half I thought we were on top in terms of momentum.

“For us to be brave and take the initiative away from home, I was really happy with that and with the preparation as well and ultimately it’s just disappointing that we couldn’t convert those opportunities into goals and pick up the three points that we’ve left behind.

“I thought throughout the first half and even with the second goal they [Wellington] were dangerous in transition… and we didn’t deal with those moments very well.

“We gifted them three or four opportunities on that.

“We’ve got to ensure that we do better as a group and as a team and for me, there were too many moments that we could have capitalised on to score, first and foremost and prevent some of the counter-attacks where they looked dangerous.

“That’s two weeks in a row where we’ve probably been the better team and we’re on one point, when we could easily have been on four or six points.”

An unchanged Glory starting side found itself trailing inside the opening nine minutes as Zawada opened his account for the season with a nerveless finish and Phoenix came close to doubling their advantage midway through the first half when Kraev’s shot struck the foot of the post.

As the half wore on, however, the men in purple began to look more dangerous going forward and twice went close to finding the net before the break.

Johnny Koutroumbis saw his cross-shot parried by Paulsen and David Williams, an early replacement for the injured Luke Ivanovic, beat Paulsen only for his effort to be blocked on the line by the alert Tim Payne.

Glory continued to knock on the door in the early stages of the second half and earned their reward when Beevers rose highest in a crowded box to meet an Oliver Bozanic free-kick and head home his third career Glory goal.

At that stage, the visitors looked the most likely to go on and win it, but instead it was Wellington who restored their lead, Kosta Barbarouses driving towards the box before finding Zawada whose inviting pass was swept past Sail by the overlapping Kraev.

And even when Glory were handed an ideal opportunity to secure a share of the spoils, they were unable to capitalise as Paulsen produced a smart save, low to his right, to keep out Taggart’s penalty.

Match Details

Isuzu UTE A-League 2023/24 Season Round 2

Wellington Phoenix 2 (Zawada 9′, Kraev 79′) Perth Glory
1 (Beevers 59′)

Half-time: 1-0

Sky Stadium

Saturday 28 October 2023

Referee: Daniel Elder

Wellington Phoenix: 40. Alex PAULSEN (GK), 3. Finn SURMAN, 4. Scott WOOTTON, 6. Tim PAYNE, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES (26. Isaac HUGHES 83′), 9. Oskar ZAWADA, 11. Bozhidar KRAEV, 12. Mo AL-TAAY (42. Fergus GILLION 81′), 14. Alex RUFER (c) (8. Ben OLD 70′), 15. Nicholas PENNINGTON, 18. Lukas KELLY-HEALD

Substitutes not used: 25. Jack DUNCAN (GK), 10. David BALL, 34. Josh RUDLAND, 52. Jackson MANUEL

Yellow Cards: Barbarouses, Zawada

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 1.Oli SAIL (GK), 2.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 5.Mark BEEVERS (co-captain), 12.Luke IVANOVIC (9.David WILLIAMS 18′), 15.Aleksandar SUSNJAR (3.Jacob MUIR 82′), 17.Jarrod CARLUCCIO (7.Stefan COLAKOVSKI 46′), 20.Giordano COLLI, 22.Adam TAGGART (co-captain), 23.Daniel BENNIE (77.Bruce KAMAU 58′), 24.Oliver BOZANIC (19.Trent OSTLER 82′), 29.Darryl LACHMAN

Substitutes not used: 13.Cameron COOK (GK), 14.Riley WARLAND

Yellow Cards: Susnjar, Coalkovski

Red Cards: None

#ONEGlory