Glory maintained their encouraging pre-season form on Sunday afternoon with a deserved 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory at Bunbury’s Hay Park.
Watch the match highlights HERE (courtesy of the Melbourne Victory Media Team).
Watch Alen Stajcic’s post-match interview HERE.
Adam Taggart bagged the first goal in the 17th minute, applying a cool finish having been played in by Daniel Bennie and 1-0 became 2-0 midway through the second half when Giordano Colli’s free-kick was bundled home from close range by Mark Beevers.
Luke Ivanovic then finished in a one-on-one situation to claim Glory’s third, thus rendering a late, deflected free-kick from Jake Brimmer nothing more than a consolation for the visitors.
Despite windy conditions and the occasional squally shower, a bumper crowd of around 2000 rolled into Hay Park and were rewarded with a fluent first-half performance from Stajcic’s side.
The breakthrough, when it came, owed much to the vision of Bennie who played Taggart in behind the Victory defence with an inch-perfect pass and the Socceroos frontman rifled a low shot past the advancing Christian Siciliano.
Siciliano then had to be alert to prevent a wind-affected Colli corner from creeping in and Roderick Miranda was forced to clear a Darryl Lachman header off the line as Glory pushed for a second goal before the break.
Victory’s best spell of the game, meanwhile, arrived immediately after the restart, with Oli Sail forced to make a smart save from Nishan Velupillay and Stefan Nigro volleying wide when well placed.
But any notion of Tony Popovic’s men gaining a foothold in the match were dismissed 20 minutes from time when Colli provided another fine set-piece delivery and in the midst of a goalmouth scramble, Beevers was able to force the ball over the line.
If Glory’s second goal was a touch scruffy, their third was slick.
Luke Bodnar found fellow-substitute Bruce Kamau in a pocket of space and he immediately released Ivanovic who outpaced the Victory backline and fizzed an unstoppable shot into the far corner of the net.
Brimmer’s late free-kick meant that Victory had the last word, but the afternoon belonged to Glory and the home Members and fans who braved the elements to provide fantastic support at Hay Park.
The two sides will meet again at Dorrien Gardens on Wednesday evening – kick-off is at 7pm and you can grab your tickets HERE.
Perth Glory 3 (Taggart 17′, Beevers, 70′, Ivanovic 81′) Melbourne Victory 1 (Brimmer 89′)
Hay Park, Bunbury
Referee: Shane Skinner
Perth Glory Line-Up: 1.Oli SAIL (GK), 14.Riley WARLAND (7.Stefan COLAKOVSKI 60′), 5.Mark BEEVERS (c), 29.Darryl LACHMAN (28.Kaelan MAJEKODUNMI 80′), 2.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (16.Joseph FORDE 46′), 9.Oliver BOZANIC (21.Antonis MARTIS 60′), 20.Giordano COLLI (4.Luke BODNAR 80′), 23.Daniel BENNIE (77.Bruce KAMAU 46′), 17.Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 12.Luke IVANOVIC, 22.Adam TAGGART (27.Jayden GORMAN 80′)
Substitutes not used: 13.Cameron COOK (GK)
Yellow Cards: Colakovski