Glory edged out in Unite Round goal-fest

A roller-coaster Unite Round clash at Sydney’s CommBank Stadium ended with Glory being edged out 4-3 by new Isuzu UTE A-League leaders, Wellington Phoenix.

View full match highlights HERE

View Alen Stajcic’s post-match media conference HERE

A powerful header from Adam Taggart gave Alen Stajcic’s side an early lead on a wet afternoon in New South Wales, but goals from Kosta Barbarouses and Alex Rufer saw Phoenix go into the break 2-1 up.

A sensational strike from Aleks Susnjar duly drew Glory level early in the second half, only for Tim Payne to fire the Kiwi side back in front seven minutes later.

And that scoring pattern was then repeated as Jarrod Carluccio made it 3-3 with his first Glory goal, before Wellington responded almost immediately when Barbarouses stabbed home what proved to the winner.

Cheered on by a vocal band of travelling supporters, the men in white made the best possible start as, with just seven minutes on the clock, Salim Khelifi picked out Taggart and he claimed his eighth goal of the campaign with a thumping header from the penalty spot.

Daniel Bennie and Mustafa Amini then went close to doubling Glory’s lead, but the next goal was destined to come at the other end where the lively Barbarouses cut inside from the right and found the net with a left-foot shot.

And despite having been second-best for much of the first half, Phoenix headed into the sheds with their noses in front after the ball broke for Rufer on the edge of the box in stoppage-time and he picked out the bottom corner.

Glory have made a habit of battling their way back into games this term and did so again in stunning style just short of the hour-mark, Susnjar charging to the edge of the box and hammering a ferocious shot past Alex Paulsen.

The goals continued to flow as the second half wore on, starting with Payne sweeping home a cross from Barbarouses to make it 3-2 to Phoenix.

Glory dug deep and replied once again with 20 minutes left, Carluccio slamming the ball into the roof of the net only seconds after being introduced from the bench.

But parity was again to prove short-lived as Payne returned the favour by teeing up Barbarouses for Wellington’s fourth goal and despite their best efforts in the final minutes, the WA side were unable to add yet another twist to a breathless Round 12 clash by grabbing a last-gasp leveller.

Match Details

Isuzu UTE A-League 2023/24 Season Unite Round (12)

Perth Glory 3 (Taggart 7′, Susnjar 50′, Carluccio 70′) Wellington Phoenix 4 (Barbarouses 29′, 73′ Rufer 45+2′, Payne 57′)

Half-time: 1-2

Commbank Stadium, Sydney

Sunday 14 January 2024

Referee: Tim Danaskos

Perth Glory: 13. Cameron COOK (GK), 2. Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (19. Trent OSTLER 68′), 3. Jacob MUIR, 8. Mustafa AMINI (4.Luke BODNAR 64), 10. Salim KHELIFI (17. Jarrod CARLUCCIO 68′), 12. Luke IVANOVIC, 14. Riley WARLAND, 15. Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 20. Giordano COLLI, 22. Adam TAGGART (co-c), 23. Daniel BENNIE (9. David WILLIAMS 68′)

Substitutes not used: 1. Oli SAIL (GK), 27. Jayden GORMAN, 28. Kaelan MAJEKODUNMI

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Wellington Phoenix: 40. Alex PAULSEN (GK), 3. Finn SURMAN, 4. Scott WOOTTON, 6. Tim PAYNE, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10. David BALL, 11. Bozhidar KRAEV (26. Isaac HUGHES 85′), 12. Mo AL-TAAY (8. Ben OLD 74′), 14. Alex RUFER (c), 15. Nicholas PENNINGTON, 19. Sam SUTTON (18. Lukas KELLY-HEALD 74′)

Substitutes not used: 5. Fin CONCHIE, 23. Luke SUPYK, 25. Jack DUNCAN (GK), 51.Gabriel SLOANE-RODRIGUES

Yellow Cards: Kraev, Sutton, Surman

Red Cards: None