Franjic goal seals Premiership Glory!


It was tight, it was tense, but in the end, it was simply joyous.

On an historic night at HBF Park, Glory secured the Hyundai A-League Premiers’ Plate as Ivan Franjic’s second-half goal proved enough to down Newcastle Jets.


The defender’s goal, his second of the season arrived midway through the second half, prompting wild scenes of celebration among the home fans.

And those scenes were repeated when the final whistle confirmed that Glory had bagged their first silverware of the Hyundai A-League era and in doing so, secured a maiden appearance in the Asian Champions League next year.

Head Coach Tony Popovic was unstinting in his praise of his charges, urging them to enjoy the moment.

“I’m just so proud,” he said.

“To see the joy on the faces of the players, the staff, the owner and the members and fans; you could see how long they’ve been wanting to have some success and everyone has played their part.

“Football clubs always go on a journey and this club has had some good times and some tough times.

“This is actually a special time for everyone associated with the club. 

“We’ve won the Premiers’ Plate and the club has gone into Asia for the first time.

“It was a fantastic night and a great result for everyone involved and we all need to embrace the moment and enjoy it.”

Urged on by a vocal home support, Glory began the game purposefully and created the game’s first chance when Dino Djulbic headed a Neil Kilkenny corner narrowly over the bar with four minutes on the clock.

The Jets responded in some style, however, Roy O’Donovan crashing a stunning long-range volley against the crossbar and the Irishman was then denied by the VAR after straying fractionally offside before firing home Ivan Vujica’s low cross.

The VAR was again consulted moments later and this time confirmed referee Kurt Ams’ original decision not to award Glory a penalty after Joel Chianese tumbled in the box under pressure from John Koutroumbis.

Kilkenny then stung Glen Moss’ palms with a fierce drive from outside the box as the hosts continued to threaten and only a timely intervention from Nikolai Topor-Stanley prevented Andy Keogh from latching on to a neat cut-back from Diego Castro.

Five minutes before the break, Keogh’s close-range effort cannoned against the bar and there was still time for Chianese to be foiled by a fine, sprawling save from Moss before the half-time whistle sounded.

There was no respite for the Newcastle defence at the start of the second half, Jason Davidson drawing a fingertip save from Moss with a fierce, angled strike.

That was followed by two efforts from Chianese and Castro that were both ruled out for offside, before the latter forced Moss into yet another save with a left-foot shot from just inside the box.

But finally, on 65 minutes, the goal Glory had been pressing for arrived, Castro bisecting the Jets defence with a superb pass and Franjic gleefully picking out the bottom corner.

The Jets, to their credit, responded immediately through two O’Donovan headers, the first of which was tipped over by Liam Reddy, while the second landed on the top of the net.

And Ernie Merrick’s side continued to press in the latter stages, with five minutes of additional time stretching the nerves of the home supporters who were baying for the final whistle.

But when it eventually sounded, the joy for those of a purple persuasion was all-consuming.

Match Details

Perth Glory 1 (Franjic 65′) Newcastle Jets 0

Half-time: 0-0

Attendance: 11,349

Referee: Kurt Ams

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 3.Jason DAVIDSON (22.Fabio FERREIRA 89′), 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC (23.Scott NEVILLE, 73′), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 9.Andy KEOGH, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 17.Diego CASTRO, 27.JUANDE (20.Jake BRIMMER 31′), 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 11.Brendon SANTALAB

Yellow cards: Kilkenny

Red cards: None

Newcastle Jets: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 9.Roy O¹DONOVAN, 13.Ivan VUJICA (22.Lachlan JACKSON 70′), 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 23.Matt RIDENTON (10.Ronald VARGAS 57′), 24.Joe CHAMPNESS (14.Kaine SHEPPARD 65′), 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

Substitutes not used: 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 32.Angus THURGATE

Yellow cards: Vujica, Vargas

Red cards: None