Glory come up just short after dramatic fightback


Despite a dramatic second-half fightback, Glory were edged out 3-2 by Melbourne City in a pulsating Round 22 clash at HBF Park.


The visitors were clinical in the first-half, finding the net through Rostyn Griffiths, Florin Berenguer and Markel Susaeta to take a commanding 3-0 lead into the break.

But Glory roared back in the second half, Joel Chianese soon reducing the arrears and then turning provider for Bruno Fornaroli as he added a second to set up a thrilling final quarter.

Diego Castro and Fornaroli would both go on to strike the woodwork as the hosts gave everything in search of an equaliser which ultimately proved elusive.

While conceding that his side had left themselves a mountain to climb after the first-half, Head Coach Tony Popovic was heartened by the way the men in purple set about scaling it.


“They [Melbourne City] had a very good lead at half-time,” he said, “and then the reaction was fantastic and we could have won two or three football games in the second half.

“But in the end we just couldn’t manage to get another goal or another couple of goals.

“Moments change games and they [Melbourne City] took advantage of their moments. 

“I’m just disappointed that our players didn’t get any reward for the great mentality they showed in the second half.

“I can only credit the players for their effort, but conceding some soft goals makes it difficult and that’s something we have to learn from moving forward.”

The drama began early on a warm afternoon in the West, former Glory man Jamie Maclaren firing across the face of Liam Reddy’s goal with 12 minutes on the clock.

The hosts’ response came via an intricately-worked free-kick which culminated in James Meredith crossing for Alex Grant whose downward header was cleared off the line by the alert Craig Noone.

And City soon made the most of that let-off as Susaeta’s corner found Griffiths lurking at the far post.

He missed with his first attempt to steer the ball home, but was allowed another bite at the cherry and this time picked out the bottom corner.

After Fornaroli had been denied by Tom Glover in the City goal, the visitors again reacted with clinical precision, this time skipper Scott Jamieson surging away down the left before squaring for Berenguer who found a pocket of space just outside the box and curled a stunning strike past Reddy.

And Jamieson was also involved in his side’s third goal which arrived in the 34th minute, the defender’s mis-hit shot turning into a perfect low cross for Susaeta who ghosted in at the far post and applied the simplest of close-range finishes.

Glory needed a quick response at the start of the second half and they got exactly that as a cross from half-time substitute Ivan Franjic was nodded goalward by Fornaroli and parried by Glover to the feet of Chianese who forced the ball home to make it 3-1.

Fornaroli then blazed over having been teed up by Chianese, but the same duo combined again moments later and this time the Uruguayan made amends by sweeping the ball past Glover.

With The Shed in full voice, Glory poured forward and came agonisingly close to finding the equaliser when Franjic’s cross sat up nicely for the onrushing Castro whose curling volley struck the post.

Reddy was then forced to produce a fine double save to prevent firstly Maclaren and then Luna from punishing a defensive mistake, but that was a rare attacking moment for City as the WA side dominated the final stages of the game.

In the last minute of normal, substitute Kristian Popovic teed up Fornaroli, but his volley was spectacularly tipped onto the bar and over by the impressive Glover and Glory’s hopes of salvaging a point went with it.

Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season Round 22

Perth Glory 2 (Chianese 52′, Fornaroli 64′) Melbourne City 3 (Griffiths 24′, Berenguer-Bohrer 30′, Susaeta 34′)

Half-time: 0-3

HBF Park, Perth

Attendance: 8107

Referee: Kurt Ams

Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella

Assistant Referee 2: Arvin Shanmuganathan

Fourth Official: Adam Fielding

VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY, 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Greg WUTHRICH, 7.Joel CHIANESE (18.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO 78′), 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 20.Jake BRIMMER (29.Kristian POPOVIC 46′), 21.Tarek ELRICH (5.Ivan FRANJIC46′), 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jacob TRATT, 27.JUANDE, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC

Yellow Cards: D’Agostino

Red Cards: None

Melbourne City: 1.Tom GLOVER (gk), 3.Scott JAMIESON (c), 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (2.Scott GALLOWAY 73′), 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Florin BERENGUER, 11.Craig NOONE, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON (4.Harrison DELBRIDGE 60′), 14.Markel SUSAETA (19.Lachlan WALES 59′), 20.Adrian LUNA, 22.Curtis GOOD

Substitutes not used: 17.Denis GENREAU, 23.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 30.Moudi NAJJAR, 34.Connor METCALFE

Yellow Cards: Griffiths, Berenguer, Luna, Noone, Galloway

Red Cards: None