Diego Castro and Adam Taggart provided the goals as Glory kept their finals hopes alive with an impressive 2-0 win over the high-flying Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The Spaniard struck his seventh goal of the season from the spot after nine minutes and Glory doubled their lead just short of the half-hour mark when Taggart followed up last week’s brace against Sydney by converting from close range.
The victory extended Glory’s unbeaten run in this fixture to a remarkable ten games and ensured that the race for sixth spot will go down to next week’s final round of the regular season if Brisbane Roar fail to beat Western Sydney on Saturday.
Inspired by a vintage display from Castro and strong supporting performances from Joel Chianese, Alex Grant and Neil Kilkenny, Kenny Lowe’s men troubled the Jets’ defence throughout a lively clash and even a partial floodlight failure late in the game failed to distract them as they calmly secured three well-deserved points.
Glory set the early pace and soon made that pressure count as Riley McGree’s foul on Joseph Mills in the box allowed Castro to beat Jack Duncan from the spot.
As the visitors continued to press, Taggart went close twice in the space of three minutes, firstly firing wide after producing a wonderful touch to cushion down an Andy Keogh cross and then latching on to another defence-splitting ball from Castro, only to see his goalbound effort blocked by the sliding Nikolai Topor-Stanley.
Castro was next to go close for the WA side, meeting Joel Chianese’s cut-back with a fierce strike that thumped against the crossbar.
But Glory were not to be denied a minute later when Castro’s perfectly-timed through-ball sent Chianese away and the former Sydney FC winger showed great awareness to draw Duncan out before slipping the ball to Taggart who was left with the simplest of finishes.
A lively first half ended with the Jets still on the back foot and only a sprawling block from Duncan prevented Chianese from making it 3-0 after he had again been the beneficiary of another sublime pass from the ubiquitous Castro.
The hosts were always likely to start the second half with intent and duly did so as Ronald Vargas immediately drew a regulation save from Liam Reddy.
And the Glory ‘keeper was called into action again on the hour when he got down well to his right to keep out a fizzing effort from McGree.
There was another anxious moment for the visitors shortly afterwards when a partial floodlight failure briefly threatened to force play to be suspended.
But fortunately enough light remained for the game to go on and with the exception of a header from substitute Joey Champness which was well saved by Reddy, the men in white negotiated the final quarter with relative ease.
Glory return to action next Saturday when Brisbane Roar will provide the opposition at nib Stadium (kick off at 8pm).
Newcastle Jets 0 Perth Glory 2 (Castro (pen) 9′, Taggart 27′)
Referee: Chris Beath
Newcastle Jets: 1.Jack DUNCAN (Gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Ronald VARGAS (11.Patricio RODRIGUEZ 58′), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 16.Nick COWBURN (10.Wayne BROWN 58′) (24.Joseph CHAMPNESS 66′), 27.Riley MCGREE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c)
Substitutes not used: 20.Glen MOSS (Gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON
Yellow cards: Ugarkovic
Red cards: None
Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (Gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Shane LOWRY (66.Dino DJULBIC 48′), 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.Xavi TORRES (20.Jake BRIMMER 90+2′), 9.Andy KEOGH (c), 16.Joseph MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 22.Adam TAGGART ( 14.Chris HAROLD 79′), 23.Scott NEVILLE, 88.Neil KILKENNY
Substitutes not used: 13.Nick FEELY (Gk), 18.Andreu GUERAO
Yellow cards: Castro
Red cards: None