Glory’s purple patch continues
Perth Glory has all but secured a finals berth after beating Newcastle Jets 2-1 in front of 7,569 at Hunter Stadium. Krisztian Vadocz scored the first goal for Perth before each side had a red card and penalty given late in the game.
Despite Daniel Mullen being sent off last week, Jets were able to nab a point on the round against Melbourne Victory. Ben Kantarovski replaced the suspended defender while Mitch Cooper replaced Enver Alivodic.
With Josh Risdon unavailable through international duty, Aryn Williams replaced the Socceroo at right back. Kenny Lowe named an otherwise unchanged line-up from the side that defeated Wellington Phoenix last week.
The Jets held the most possession in the first half and had two of the best chances in the opening 45 minutes.
Mitch Cooper was played through one-on-one by Morten Nordstrand inside ten minutes but the young striker could not get his shot past Ante Covic who made a fine save.
Later in the half it was the Dane’s turn to test the goalkeeper as he turned into the box and unleashed a powerful shot which grazed the bar on the way out.
The save of the half came from Mark Birighitti however, who displayed cat-like reflexes to deny Richard Garcia from close range. Diego Castro’s deflected cross reached the Glory skipper deep in the box but Birighitti was alive to the danger and palmed the header wide for a corner.
As the second half wore in the hosts looked more and more likely to snatch a goal against its bogey side but after a goalmouth scramble, Krisztian Vadocz fired Glory ahead. Shane Lowry headed from the corner and Andy Keogh initially pounced on the rebound before it fell to the Hungarian who drilled home from close range.
The result was put beyond doubt as Nigel Boogard brought Keogh down in the box and Kris Griffiths-Jones awarded a penalty. Boogard was also sent off for the challenge, receiving a red card for the ninth time in the A-League. Keogh then stepped up to the spot to score for a record equalling seventh consecutive game.
Newcastle was able to nab a late goal as Kitto was brought down by Dino Djulbic who was also sent off. Mateo Poljak scored the penalty despite Covic being able to get a hand to the effort.
Nonetheless Perth were able to hold on and continue an impressive unbeaten streak over the Jets which now stretches over five years.
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