Plenty of positives in season ender

If Glory striker Nikita Rukavytsya is to set sail for the top echelons of European football then he will do so with a fine depart gift following another cracking goal in Perth’s final match of the season against Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.

If Glory striker Nikita Rukavytsya is to set sail for the top echelons of European football then he will do so with a fine depart gift following another cracking goal in Perth-s final match of the season against Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.

Perth however might have already seen the emergence of a replacement up front as Youth Team striker Anthony Skorich knocked home a debut Hyundai A-League goal in his first start for the Glory senior side.

On a steamy night in Brisbane the Glory gave the home side a run for their money and showed plenty of encouraging signs for a more prosperous 2009/10 but it was the Roar that took all three points in a 4-2 score line that flattered the Queenslanders.

“The effort was there tonight, we wanted to make a good game of it and I think we gave them a scare,” said Coach Dave Mitchell.

“While we didn-t take the points tonight we have seen that some of the young players coming through are definitely going to give us great service into the future and that we have the basis of a side that can make an impact in the league,” Mitchell said.

An offer for Rukavytsya from Dutch first division side FC Twente arrived just prior to the match but Mitchell had no hesitation in giving the youngster what could be a final fling in Glory colours.

“Word only came through late today that they (FC Twente) had made an offer and so we weren-t quite sure if he was going to play but he was still our player and he gave everything out there, you could see why he is in demand.

“Nikita has a great future in front of him and if the negotiations are successful and he leaves Perth Glory then he will do so with our blessing and the best wishes for a successful career,” said Mitchell.

While Queensland was eyeing a top two-spot they knew they weren-t going to have it all their own way as Perth gave the home side more that a little to think about in an entertaining 90 minutes.

The Glory opened the scoring through a piece of Rukavytsya brilliance that came about through football nous and not just his trademark searing pace. Surrounded by what looked like the entire Roar defence, Rukavytsya showed patience and intelligence to find space away from goal and then turn to torch the back of the net from outside the box.

Queensland were then lucky to find themselves back on level terms after Perth midfielder Adriano Pellegrino was flattened in the centre of the park and the referee swallowed his whistle to let play continue to the Roar-s advantage.

Sergio Van Dijk the beneficiary of a great cross but the big Dutchman-s powerful header was brilliantly tipped onto the post by Glory keeper Tando Velaphi however the rebound fell to a lurking Mitch Nichols who slotted home an easy tap in.

Velaphi was in fine touch for the visitors and made several good saves to start the second half but could do nothing about a Danny Tiatto long range screamer. The veteran notching his first Hyundai A-League goal in style with an unstoppable left-foot drive from well outside the area to give the home side the lead.

The Glory continued to fight and was back on level terms four minutes later after Pellegrino delivered a beautifully weighted free kick for Skorich who beat Tiatto and Craig Moore in the air to head home off the upright.

A battling point looked on the cards but with so much at stake Frank Farina-s side lifted themselves once again and managed two late goals to ice the match.

The first coming from some slack Glory marking in defence which allowed Matt McKay to slip a low cross to Van Dijk who side-footed his 11th goal of the season from close range while Josh McCloughan headed home a corner in the 82nd minute.

Those two late goals were the only disappointment for Mitchell in an otherwise enterprising performance from Perth. The club now switching their focus to next season and ensuring the positives from an impressive second half of 2008/09 are put into action.

“We are thinking forward now and will concentrate on acquiring good quality recruits that can be with us during all of pre-season so we can hit the ground running from the outset,” said Mitchell.

2008/09 Hyundai A-League: Rd 21

Queensland Roar 4 (Mitch Nichols 28-, Danny Tiatto 63-, Sergio Van Dijk 77-, Josh McCloughan 82-)
Perth Glory 2 (Nikita Rukavytsya 21-, Anthony Skorich 67-)
Saturday, 24 January 2009 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Crowd: 17,367

Perth Glory: 30.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 11.Scott BULLOCH, 13.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO (32.Dean EVANS 71-), 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 22.Wayne SRHOJ (7.Nick RIZZO 46-), 24.Anthony SKORICH (15.Hayden DOYLE 70-), 29.Victor SIKORA, 31.Scott NEVILLE.

Substitutes not used: 1.Jason PETKOVIC (gk).
Yellow cards: Sikora 25-, Neville 54-

Queensland Roar: 20.Griffin McMASTER (gk), 2.Andrew PACKER, 4.Craig MOORE (c), 5.Josh McCLOUGHAN, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA (14.Ben GRIFFIN 89-), 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 12. Tahj MINNIECON (10. Charlie MILLER 46-), 15.Matthew McKAY, 17.Mitch NICHOLS (19. Isaka CERNAK.
71-), 18.Danny TIATTO.

Substitutes not used: 1. Liam REDDY (gk)
Yellow cards: Tiatto 65-