Glory suffer unfortunate defeat in Ballarat

Glory were unable to close the gap on the top six as they suffered an unfortunate 2-1 defeat to Western United at Ballarat’s MARS Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

View full match highlights HERE.

Jordan Elsey headed the visitors in front midway through the first half, but the complexion of the game changed completely on the cusp of half-time when Tongo Doumbia nodded United level and moments later, Noah Botic fired them in front.

Glory proceeded to hit the post through Salim Khelifi in the second half and dominated in terms of territory, possession, final-third entries and chances created, but were ultimately unable to grab the equaliser their performance warranted.

Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich was naturally disappointed that his charges’ efforts had gone unrewarded on the road once again.

View his full post-match media conference HERE.

“I felt like we had the better of the game,” he said.

“We knocked the ball around well at times and created some really good opportunities, but we didn’t take those opportunities and that’s a big part of what hurts us away from home.

“They were soft goals we conceded from our point of view and then you have to score three goals to win away from home which is difficult.

“It’s very, very frustrating because the players have worked really hard.

“You don’t have 60% of the ball and all those shots on goal without working hard.

“It just shows how hard the boys are fighting and working and the belief is there in what we’re doing, but individually, there were some lapses of concentration in key moments and those are hurting us.

“I’m proud of the way the guys fought.”

The men in white got off to the best possible start when Elsey grabbed his first goal for the club, reacting smartly to fire home the loose ball after his initial header from a Jack Clisby corner had been parried by United ‘keeper Jamie Young.

Lifted by that goal, Glory continued to impress for much of the first half and came close to doubling their lead when Adam Taggart shrugged off the attentions of Tomoki Imai and raced in on goal, only to place his shot over the bar.

That miss assumed a greater level of significance four minutes before the break when Doumbia took advantage of some hesitant defending to head a Neil Kilkenny corner past Cameron Cook.

In a helter-skelter end to the first half, Glory almost replied immediately as Taggart just failed to force home a Khelifi cross under pressure from Imai.

And United’s reaction to that let-off was to race upfield through Lachlan Wales whose deep cross was emphatically dispatched by Botic to make it 2-1.

Zadkovich’s side again created the better chances in the second half, with both Keegan Jelacic and Clisby forcing Young into action.

Khelifi then came agonisingly close to making it 2-2, thumping the upright with a crisp drive and when the rebound fell kindly for Clisby, his strike was beaten away by Young.

A couple of half-chances for substitute Alessando Diamanti were all United could muster in the final quarter, but by defending deep and in numbers, they succeeded in keeping a frustrated and luckless Glory side at bay.

Match Details

ISUZU UTE A-League 2022/23 Season Round 19

Western United 2 (Doumbia 42′, Botic 45+3′) Perth Glory
1 (Elsey 22′)

Half-time: 2-1

MARS Stadium, Ballarat

Referee: Jonathan Barreiro

Western United: 1. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 4. Leo LACROIX, 6. Tomoki IMAI, 7. Tongo DOUMBIA, 8. Lachie WALES, 11. Connor PAIN (5. Dylan PIERIAS 70′), 14. James TROISI (23. Alessandro DIAMANTI 40′), 17. Ben GARUCCIO, 19. Josh RISDON (c), 38. Noah BOTIC (99. Aleksandar PRIJOVIC 78′), 88. Neil KILKENNY (10. Steven LUSTICA 70′)

Substitutes not used: 9. Michael RUHS, 37. Ryan SCOTT (gk), 44. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY 

Yellow Cards: Prijovic

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 13.Cameron COOK (gk), 2.John KOUTROUMBIS (21.Antonee BURKE-GILROY 70′), 5.Mark BEEVERS, 6.Aaron MCENEFF, 8.Mustafa AMINI (c) (19.Zach DUNCAN 70′), 10.Salim KHELIFI (20.Giordano COLLI 75′), 14.Jack CLISBY, 15.Jordan ELSEY, 16.Keegan JELACIC, 18.David WILLIAMS, 22.Adam TAGGART (43.Adam ZIMARINO 73′)

Substitutes not used: 4.Luke BODNAR, 30.Pierce CLARK (gk), 37.Jacob MUIR

Yellow Cards: Elsey, Amini, Beevers

Red Cards: None