Glory Youth crush Adelaide

Perth Glory’s National Youth League finals hopes remain alive following an entertaining 5-2 victory over Adelaide United at Intiga Stadium on Sunday.

Perth Glory’s National Youth League finals hopes remain alive following an entertaining 5-2 victory over Adelaide United at Intiga Stadium on Sunday.

Chris Harold, Ryo Nagai, Riley Woodcock, Borbor Sam and Ndumba Makeche all found the net as Gareth Naven’s side produced a dominant performance to avenge the 6-2 defeat inflicted upon them by the Reds just last month.

The visitors headed west unbeaten in four games seeking a victory that would have propelled them into the top three, but although second-half strikes from Jacob Melling and Dion Kirk briefly put them back in the contest, they were largely outplayed by a rampant home side.

Glory wide men Nagai and Adrian Zahra were the architects of the Reds’ demise and the latter played a vital role in his side’s opening goal which arrived after 12 minutes.

Centre-back Jack Clisby picked out the former Melbourne Heart man with a superb cross-field ball and he cut into the box before teeing up Harold who calmly found the back of the net from 12 metres out.

Clisby then went close to doubling the hosts’ advantage himself, testing Paul Izzo in the visitors’ goal with a thumping long-range drive. Moments later, Makeche was narrowly off target with a header having climbed highest to meet a lofted Ryan Lowry free-kick.

Unable to break Glory’s stranglehold on the game, Adelaide offered little going forward and managed to create only one meaningful chance in the opening stanza when Nigel Boogaard got on the end of a Thomas Briscoe, but saw his headed effort tipped over the bar by home keeper Lewis Italiano.

Glory’s response to that scare was to swiftly reassert their dominance and they came close to claiming a deserved second goal when Nagai again left the Adelaide defence chasing shadows before squaring for Zahra who fired wastefully over the bar.

Having clung on to go to the break only one goal down, United may have fancied their chances of forcing their way back into the contest in the second period, but they left themselves a mountain to climb by conceding two goals within six minutes of the restart.

Firstly Zahra left Scott Nagel trailing in his wake down the right flank before finding Nagai who could hardly miss the simplest of chances from five metres out and the Reds were still reeling when Izzo only managed to parry a fierce shot from Brandon O’Neill and Woodcock rifled home the rebound.

To their credit, Adelaide did hit back shortly after the hour mark, Melling capitalising upon some hesitant defending from the home side to rifle a shot past Italiano from just inside the box, but it was Glory who remained very much in the ascendancy.

And there was almost a fairytale finish as Evan Berger, making his first appearance after nearly a year out with a serious hamstring injury, latched onto a fine cross from Matthew Davies but saw his looping header creep over the crossbar.

Kirk’s goal eight minutes from time then briefly gave the Reds some hope, but that glimmer was swiftly snuffed out as Sam and Makeche both found the net to ice the cake for the hosts.

Perth Glory 5 (Chris Harold 12, Ryo Nagai 48, Riley Woodcock 51, Borbor Sam 84, Ndumba Makeche 90)
< b>Adelaide United 2 (Jacob Melling 66, Dion Kirk 82)
@Intiga Stadium, Perth

Perth Glory:1. Lewis Italiano (GK), 2. Matthew Davies, 3. Ryan Lowry (12. Storm Roux 55′), 4. Jack Clisby (C), 5. Riley Woodcock, 6. Brandon O’Neill, 7. Adrian Zahra, 8. Blamo Quaqua, 9. Ndumba Makeche, 10. Chris Harold (13. Borbor Sam 58′), 11. Ryo Nagai (14. Evan Berger 58′)
Substitutes not used: 16. Jordan Franken (GK)

Adelaide United: 20. Paul Izzo (1. John Hall (GK) 55′), 2. Shaun Harvey (6. Jake Monaco 55′), 3. Jordan Elsey (C), 4. Osama Malik, 5. Scott Nagel, 7. Jacob Melling, 8.Thomas Briscoe (12. Allan Welsh 55′), 9. John Karatzas, 10. Dion Kirk, 13. Anthony Costa (15. Anthony Trimboli 55′), 16. Nigel Boogaard