Late Castro strike secures away point


Glory remain unbeaten on their travels this season after Diego Castro’s late goal secured a 1-1 draw with Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium.


The Spaniard fired home through a crowded box in the 86th minute to cancel out Jason Hoffman’s first-half finish for the hosts.

Chris Ikonomidis and substitute Chris Harold also hit the woodwork for the visitors who finished the game with ten men after Alex Grant received a second yellow following his tangle with Angus Thurgate close to the end of full-time.

The result extended Glory’s unbeaten record in the Hunter Valley which stretches back to 2011 and means that they have now picked up five points from their three away games thus far this season.

Saturday’s game also saw Tony Popovic hand Glory debuts to James Meredith, who started at left-back and Gabriel Popovic, who was introduced from the bench, while Harold drew level with Josh Risdon as the club’s A-League record appearances-holder when he was brought on in the second half.

And the Head Coach was pleased with his side’s overall performance.


“In the end, we’ve come from behind and got a point on the road,” he said.

“It’s a difficult trip for us.

“The result is one thing, but I thought the players were outstanding today.

“It was a top-class performance coming after a difficult result last week at home.

“I thought a point was the least they deserved.

“The key for us was that we dominated the game, but when we went a goal behind, we didn’t crumble which, after last week’s disappointment, you can feel a bit sorry for yourself and the game can get away from you.

“But they stuck in there, they fought and had the desire and kept creating and creating.

“It was a very good performance away from home.”

Although Glory looked the more threatening of the two sides in the opening minutes, it was the Jets who created the first meaningful chance as Matt Millar picked out Abdiel Arroyo and the Panamanian striker’s toe-poke drew a reflex save from Liam Reddy.

The visitors’ response came via Ikonomidis on 17 minutes, with the Socceroos forward seeing his low shot blocked by Glen Moss after fine approach work from Castro.

But the WA side found themselves trailing just after the half-hour mark as the Jets broke the deadlock against the run of play.

Steven Ugarkovic was the creator, slipping a clever reverse ball into the path of Hoffman who finished emphatically into the roof of Reddy’s net to bag what was Newcastle’s first goal against Glory since December 2017.

And the hosts went close to doubling their lead shortly before the break when Dimi Petratos’ free-kick was knocked back across the face of goal by Lachlan Jackson and Millar was just unable to scramble the ball home.

There was another let-off for Glory early in the second half, Reddy blocking Nick Fitzgerald’s initial shot after he burst through on goal and Grant then doing brilliantly to clear the former Brisbane man’s follow-up effort off the line.

The ebb and flow duly continued as Ivan Franjic saw his effort from just outside the box parried by Moss in the Newcastle goal, before Fitzgerald blazed wildly over the bar after again finding himself well-placed.

Ikonomidis was the next to threaten, crashing a superb strike against the bar in the 77th minute and then hitting the side-netting moments later having been teed up by Castro.

Glory thought their luck was out again four minutes from time when Harold struck the woodwork following a goalmouth scramble sparked by Franjic’s surge into the box, but this time Castro was on hand to sweep home his 43rd goal for the club.

The drama continued unabated as Grant picked up a second yellow for his aerial challenge on Thurgate, but the ten men dug deep to see out five minutes of stoppage-time and secure a deserved share of the spoils.

Match Details

Newcastle Jets 1 (Hoffman 31′) Perth Glory 1 (Castro 86′)

Half-time: 1-0

McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Referee: Jonathan Barreiro

Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher

Assistant Referee 2: James Cleal

Fourth Official: Stephen Laurie

VAR: Kate Jacewicz

Newcastle Jets: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 9.Abdiel ARROYO (2.Bobby BURNS 85′), 10.Dimi PETRATOS, 11.Nick FITZGERALD (32.Angus THURGATE 80′), 16.Matt MILLAR, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Matt RIDENTON (5.Ben KANTAROVSKI 70′), 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c)

Substitutes not used: 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO, 28.Pat LANGLOIS

Yellow Cards: Ridenton

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Gregory WUTHRICH, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE (14.Chris HAROLD 64′), 8.James MEREDITH (12.Kim SOO-BEOM 64′), 9.Bruno FORNAROLI (28.Gabriel POPOVIC 76′), 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 27.JUANDE, 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 20.Jake BRIMMER

Yellow Cards: Juande, Grant

Red Cards: Grant