Fornaroli opens account as Glory down State Team


Bruno Fornaroli bagged his first goal for the club as Glory claimed the annual Challenge Cup with a resounding 5-1 win over a spirited WA State Team at Frank Drago Reserve.

The Uruguayan put Tony Popovic’s side ahead in the 16th minute and although Calum O’Connell drew the State Team level almost immediately, Jacob Tratt duly headed his second goal of pre-season and Chris Harold also found the net to make it 3-1 at the break.

Ivan Franjic added Glory’s fourth with a crisp finish just after the hour-mark, before Ethan Brooks stroked home the fifth 16 minutes from time, leaving Popovic happy with another solid hit-out ahead of next week’s FFA Cup clash with Western Sydney.

“There were a lot of good things to come out of tonight,” he said.

“We tried to press a lot and get a lot out of the game physically.

“We were very demanding on the players and we’ve been training extremely hard, so it would have been tough for them, but I’m pleased we got no injuries and Bruno scored which was nice to see.

“Bruno has been a breath of fresh air since he came in and not just in terms of his playing.

“He has a smile on his face, he’s enjoying his football and we’re all very happy to have him at the club.

“Overall, I think we’re a little ahead in terms of the speed of our play compared to where we were at this stage last year.

“We probably had more senior players available back then, but players are coming at different stages and over the next three or four weeks, we hope to have all the players fit and available for some more games.

“The FFA Cup is a week away and that is what this game was for; to try and play a good opponent who would give us a challenge and they [the State Team] did that.

“They were aggressive and quick, which was good for us.

“We’ll be as ready as we can be for next week, we’re confident we can get the result and we’ll give it everything.” 

Despite Glory dominating possession in the early stages of the game, it was the State Team who created the first chance, Liam Reddy forced to beat away a close-range strike from Joe Knowles in the 11th minute.

Having survived that scare, the men in white responded by opening the scoring moments later from what was their first corner of the night.

Neil Kilkenny’s deep delivery found Tomislav Mrcela, he headed back across the box to Chris Harold and he in turn teed Fornaroli up to open his Glory account with the simplest of finishes.

Nine minutes later, however, the State Team hit back, also from a corner, as Knowles picked out O’Connell at the far post and the Balcatta man drilled the ball emphatically past Reddy.

The successful set-piece sequence then continued when Glory restored their lead courtesy of Tratt who rose highest to nod home Kilkenny’s corner.

And 2-1 became 3-1 just after the half-hour mark as Fornaroli’s cross-shot fell kindly for Harold who finished past the helpless Luke Radonich from inside the six-yard box.

Fornaroli then came close to extending his side’s lead in spectacular style on the cusp of half-time, but his acrobatic overhead kick flashed centimetres wide of Radonich’s right post. 

Substitute Brooks saw his stinging shot tipped over by Radonich early in second half as Glory continued to press, but the fourth goal was not long in coming as Jake Brimmer’s ball into the box fell at the feet of Franjic who crashed a ferocious shot into the roof of the net.

Brooks rounded off the scoring when he produced an equally accomplished finish, having been picked out superbly by Luke Bodnar, before the State Team were denied a consolation goal right at the death when Tando Velphi foiled Perth SC’s Paul Zimarino from point-blank range.

Match Details

WA State Team 1 (O’Connell 20′) Perth Glory 5 (Fornaroli 16′, Tratt 27′, Harold 32′, Franjic 61′, Brooks 74′) 

Half-time: 1-3

Referee: Adam Fielding

WA State Team: 1.Luke RADONICH, 2.Sam RIAK (13.Daniel DOLS 46′), 3.Scott ROBERTSON (10.Sam GARCES 46′), 5.Calum O’CONNELL (4.Justis BRADLEY 46′), 7.Joe KNOWLES (8.Paul ZIMARINO 46′), 11.Anthony BAFOBUSHA (6.Ollie ANNIS 46′), 12.Thomas SOUTHGATE (14.Yagoub MUSTAFA 46′), 16.Chok DAU (18.Matthew MILENKOVIC 46′), 17.Danny JONES (25.Shane CASSIDY 46′), 19.Jakub PRAJRZA,  21.Abdul OSMAN (26.David STOKOE 46′)

Substitutes not used: None

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (GK) (1.Tando VELAPHI 68′), 3.Jacob TRATT (2.Daniel WALSH 68′) , 4.Shane LOWRY (C) (6.Luke BODNAR 68′), 5.Ivan FRANJIC (22.Riley WARLAND 68′), 7.Joel CHIANESE (11.Ethan BROOKS 46′), 10.Bruno FORNAROLI (9.Luke SALMON 68′), 14.Chris HAROLD (26.Gabriel POPOVIC  46′), 15.Brandon WILSON (12.Trent OSTLER 68′), 16.Tomislav MRCELA (21.Zayd FARAH 68′), 20.Jake BRIMMER (17.Josh SAMSON 68′), 88.Neil KILKENNY ( 68′) (19.Jordan ABRAHAMS 68′)

Substitutes not used: 18.Alessandro CIRCATI 

Yellow Cards: Tratt

Red Cards: None