Adam Taggart marked his return to Glory colours in sensational style on Saturday evening, scoring twice as Ruben Zadkovich’s side downed Melbourne Victory 3-1 at Macedonia Park.
View full match highlights HERE.
The Socceroos frontman was introduced from the bench midway through the second half and bagged two quickfire goals in the final ten minutes after Ryan Williams’ first-half opener for Glory had been cancelled out by an acrobatic effort from Roderick Miranda.
By that time both sides had been reduced to ten men with Jack Clisby and Chris Ikonomidis each receiving their marching orders after clashing early in the second half.
The win means that only goal-difference is now keeping Glory out of the top six, but while pleased with the result, Zadkovich felt that there was room for improvement in terms of the performance.
View his full post-match media conference HERE.
“To get three points is always the main thing, but I thought we were patchy tonight,” he said.
“In moments we played really well and in other moments, I thought we kind of lost some structure and shape.
“But the nice thing about the game for me is just the character.
“There’s a real resilience and belief growing in that dressing-room and a real togetherness and I thought that was definitely on show tonight.”
In front of a sellout crowd on a sticky night in the west, it was Victory who began more brightly as former Glory trio Ikonomidis, Bruno Fornaroli and Jake Brimmer all tried their luck from outside the box.
But having survived those early scares, the hosts grew into the game and went close to opening the scoring twice in the space of three minutes when Keegan Jelacic fired wide having been teed up by Salim Khelifi and John Koutroumbis saw a stinging, first-time shot brilliantly saved by Matt Acton.
Shortly before half-time Glory did manage to find a way through, an intricate move involving Mustafa Amini and David Williams creating a chance for Ryan Williams who calmly drilled into the bottom corner to claim his second goal of the season.
The plot took another twist early in the second half when Clisby and Ikonomidis clashed and while referee Stephen Lucas initially showed the former a red and the latter just a yellow, VAR subsequently deemed that both should be sent off.
The dust had barely settled on the double dismissal when Khelifi led the Victory defence on a merry dance before curling in a shot which beat Acton, only to strike the post.
That slice of misfortune was compounded in the 69th minute when Miranda scored one of the most spectacular goals of the season, meeting Brimmer’s corner with an acrobatic scissor-kick which sent the ball searing its way past Cameron Cook.
The equaliser prompted Zadkovich to throw Taggart into the fray, however and it proved to be a game-defining moment.
With ten minutes left, fellow-substitute Jacob Dowse delivered an inviting cross in from the left and Taggart headed unerringly past Acton.
And then in the shadows of full-time, just as he did when he previously returned to the club in 2015, Taggart struck for a second time.
Dowse was again the provider, showing great persistence to force an error from Acton and then chip the ball back into the box where Taggart was on hand to force it home and send the home fans into raptures.
ISUZU UTE A-League 2022-23 Season Round 13
Perth Glory 3 (Ryan Williams 37′, Taggart 80′, 87′) Melbourne Victory 1 (Miranda 69′)
Referee: Stephen Lucas
Perth Glory: 13.Cameron COOK (gk), 2.John KOUTROUMBIS, 4.Luke BODNAR (21.Antonee BURKE-GILROY 63′), 5.Mark BEEVERS, 7.Ryan WILLIAMS, 8.Mustafa AMINI (c), 10.Salim KHELIFI (3.Jacob DOWSE 65′) 14.Jack CLISBY, 16.Keegan JELACIC (19.Zach DUNCAN 63′), 18.David WILLIAMS (22.Adam TAGGART 71′), 29.Darryl LACHMAN
Substitutes not used: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 37.Jacob MUIR, 43.Adam ZIMARINO
Yellow Cards: Lachman, Jelacic, Cook
Red Cards: Clisby
Melbourne Victory: 1.Matt ACTON (GK), 2.Jason GERIA, 5.Matt SPIRANOVIC, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (14.Jay BARNETT 60′), 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8.Josh BRILLANTE, 10.Bruno FORNAROLI (24.Nishan VELUPILLAY 74′), 11.Ben FOLAMI (9.Tomi JURIC 84′), 22.Jake BRIMMER, 25.Noah SMITH (3.Enrique LOPEZ 46′), 31.Matthew BOZINOVSKI (21.Roderick MIRANDA 60′)
Substitutes not used: 29.Eli ADAMS, 30.Ahmad TALEB (gk)
Yellow Cards: Smith
Red Cards: Ikonomidis