Four-midable Glory march on


Glory extended their unbeaten run to nine games as Nick D’Agostino (2), Tomislav Mrcela and Bruno Fornaroli all found the net in a thrilling 4-2 win over ten-man Wellington Phoenix at HBF Park.


Following a closely-fought opening 40 minutes, the momentum swung dramatically in the hosts’ favour just before the break as Mrcela’s header and D’Agostino’s first goal put them 2-0 up.

D’Agostino duly nodded home to make it 3-0 early in the second-half and the drama continued as substitute Gary Hooper pulled one back for Phoenix moments  before they lost Tim Payne to a second yellow card.

And although Hooper sent a ripple of anxiety through the home ranks when he grabbed his and Wellington’s second with 14 minutes left to play, Fornaroli sealed the three points for Glory with a trademark curling finish in the last minute of normal time.

The result sees the WA side maintain the pressure on the top two and Head Coach Tony Popovic was generally pleased with his charges’ display.


“It was good,” he said.

“Obviously there was a little period there in the second half after they scored where we looked a little bit nervous, but apart from that period, I thought we thoroughly deserved to win.

“We conceded a couple of soft goals, but prior to that, at 3-0, we had a couple of chances to make it four or five.

“In the end, I thought we deserved to get the fourth goal.

“Of course, I would have preferred that we saw the game out a lot easier, but we didn’t and that’s something we can keep improving on.

“You’re never the finished article and we certainly know we’re not.

“But we’re on a fantastic run and we just scored four goals at home, so there’s a lot to be happy about.”

Stefan Marinovic reacting smartly to tip Joel Chianese’s close-range half-volley over the crossbar and and an off-target header from Phoenix’s David Ball were the only notable chances of a bruising and evenly-contested opening to the game.

But just as the first half seemed destined to end goalless, Mrcela broke the deadlock.

Neil Kilkenny’s corner was flicked on by a combination of two Phoenix defenders and Joel Chianese and Mrcela shrugged off the attentions of his marker to nod home his second goal of the season.

1-0 then became 2-0 in first-half stoppage-time, Chianese and Fornaroli linking up cleverly to create a shooting opportunity for D’Agostino who showed no hesitation in rifling the ball past Marinovic.

And the in-form Olyroos frontman struck again shortly after the break, stooping to head home a sublime cross from Kim who had been released by a sumptuous, outside-of-the-boot pass from Fornaroli.

Phoenix did manage to force themselves back into the contest when Hooper headed home Payne’s cross from the right, but moments after claiming that assist, the Wellington midfielder picked up a second yellow card following an altercation with D’Agostino to leave his side to face the final 20 minutes with ten men.

Not that the numerical disadvantage fazed Hooper whose early shot on the turn flashed past Reddy to cut Glory’s lead to a single goal.

With their tails up, the visitors briefly threatened to claim an unlikely point, but Fornaroli dashed those hopes by bagging the goal his performance deserved, bending home a shot from the edge of the area to take his tally for the season to ten.

Match Details 

Perth Glory 4 (Mrcela 43′, D’Agostino 45′, 55′, Fornaroli 90′) Wellington Phoenix 2 (Hooper 69′, 76′)

Half-time: 2-0

HBF Park, Perth

Attendance: 7248

Referee: Adam Kersey

Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella

Assistant Referee 2: Arvin Shanmuganathan

Fourth Official: Shane Skinner

VAR: Craig Zetter

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Gregory WUTHRICH, 5.Ivan FRANJIC (21.Tarek ELRICH, 77′), 7.Joel CHIANESE, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 12.Kim SOO-BEOM (8.James MEREDITH 69′), 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 18.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 20.Jake BRIMMER (29.Kristian POPOVIC 73′), 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 22.Vince LIA, 23.Dane INGHAM, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC

Yellow Cards: Brimmer, Chianese, Popovic

Red Cards: None

Wellington Phoenix: 1.Stefan MARINOVIC (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 6.Tim PAYNE, 7. Reno PISCOPO (21.Callum MCCOWATT, 82′), 8.Cameron DEVLIN, 9.David Ball, 10.Ulises DAVILA, 11.Jaushua SOTIRIO (88.Gary HOOPER 55′), 13.Liberato CACACE, 14.Alex RUFER (4.Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI 73′), 27.Steven TAYLOR (c)

Substitutes not used: 12.Brandon WILSON, 20.Oliver SAIL (gk),  32.Sam SUTTON

Yellow Cards: Devlin, Sotirio, Payne

Red Cards: Payne