A young Perth Glory FC has held Hyundai A-League premiership contenders Melbourne City to a 2-2 draw at nib Stadium on Saturday night.
For the second week in a row Glory was reduced to 10 men, after youngster Jacob Collard was sent off in the second half.
Erik Paartalu gave the visitors the lead in the 31st minute, getting on the end of a floated Aaron Mooy cross at the back post, putting the slightest touch on it to poke it past Ante Covic.
Just before the halftime whistle Diego Castro equalised with a beautiful free kick. The Spaniard had earned the foul himself and stepped up to take the kick, sending it flying past a frozen Thomas Sorensen for his 5th goal of the season. The goal is certain to be a goal of the year contender.
On the other side of halftime, Aaron Mooy reclaimed the lead for City. The midfielder took a quick touch in the box to control a Bruno Fornaroli pass and then hit a bouncing shot into goal.
Chris Harold, making his 100th career A-League appearance, brought Glory level again in the 61st minute. Diego Castro played a cross to the back post, leading to an Andy Keogh shot on target. The Keogh effort was blocked, but Harold was there to eventually poke it home to level the score at 2-2.
In the 63rd minute, Glory was delivered a blow when Collard was shown his second yellow of the match, leaving the hosts to play the remainder of the match down a man.
In the end, on a night where seven WA born or raised players featured in the match, a 10-man Glory held on, to earn a vital point with a gutsy defensive performance.
- 5’ Ante Covic comes off his line to make a big stop on Bruno Fornaroli
- 6’ Josh Risdon played into the box by Gyorgy Sandor, but Sorensen knocks Risdon’s shot out for a corner kick
- 10’ A Risdon free kick forces a diving punch from Sorensen just in front of an attempt at a diving header by Aryn Williams
- 14’ Diego Castro dribbles his way into the box from the left side and tries to curl a shot onto goal, but misses it centimetres wide
- 17’ Andy Keogh gets onto the end of a Chris Harold through ball, but his left-footed shot is saved by a diving Sorensen
- 20’ Harry Novillo takes a crack from just inside the box but misses wide of the far post
- 28’ Andy Keogh tees up a shot for Harold, but his strike flies over the crossbar
- 29’ Harold with another big chance, this time forcing a save out of Sorensen who knocks it out for a corner
- 31’ Erik Paartalu gets on the end of an Aaron Mooy cross to give City the 1-0 lead
- 34’ Sandor fires first time after a layoff by Harold but it’s over the bar
- 35’ It’s Sandor again, this time dribbling his way into the box before firing on target, but Sorensen gets low to make the stop
- 45’ Diego Castro equalises with a beautiful free kick goal, leaving Sorensen rooted to the spot
- 47’ Mitchell Oxborrow just misses the target with a well-struck shot from outside the box
- 47’ Aaron Mooy finishes a bouncing volley over Covic to reclaim the City lead
- 53’ Sandor fires a cross into the box for Oxborrow, who puts his shot on goal, but it’s saved by a charging Sorensen
- 61’ Harold brings Glory level for the second time in the match, poking one in from point blank range following a saved Keogh strike
- 63’ Jacob Collard shown a second yellow card, leaving Glory to play the rest of the match with 10 men
- 64’ Aaron Mooy volleys from outside the box, but it’s well over the bar
- 72’ Substitute Jamal Reiners takes a shot from just outside the box, deflected by a defender and then saved by Sorensen
- 73’ Harold hits the post from an impossible angle, bouncing in front of an open goal, but no one is there to pounce
- 90+2’ Marc Warren clears away a header off the line to keep the game level
WHAT THEY SAID
“I feel good. I thought the first half we created opportunities, and created opportunities to create opportunities, if you know what I mean. And then we did actually create opportunities as well. I thought we were good value. It was an open game. They had opportunities as well. Quite a good game to watch. Have to give the players credit. I feel gutted for them though, because they’re putting in the performance, but not collecting the full points.”
“It’s a great group. They’re all together. It’s just disappointing that we’re not getting the results we deserve. We’ve played unbelievable football, one on one with the ‘keeper at times, but we can’t finish it. I’m not being critical, but hopefully we can start polishing those chances.”
“We talked to Harold at half-time and said, don’t get down on yourself, do what you do. And he got a goal, so credit to him.”
“Can’t get upset with Collard. He’s done ever so well playing against those two, Novillo and Fornaroli, but it’s one he’ll learn from.”
Perth Glory: 1. Ante COVIC (GK), 3. Marc WARREN, 7, Gyorgy SANDOR, 9. Andy KEOGH (24. Jamal Reiners 68’), 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 14. Chris HAROLD (14. Richard Garcia 77’), 17. Diego CASTRO, 18. Mitchell OXBORROW, 19. Josh RISDON (C), 25. Jacob COLLARD, 29. Aryn WILLIAMS
Melbourne City: 1. Thomas SORENSEN (GK), 3. Aaron HUGHES, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 8. Aaron MOOY, 9. Harry NOVILLO, 11. Michael ZULLO (19. Benjamin Garuccio 68’), 18. Paulo RETRE (15. David Williams 74’), 22. Jack CLISBY, 23. Bruno FORNAROLI, 24. Patrick KISNORBO (C), 25. Jacob MELLING (16. Jason Trifiro 77’)
Scorers: Erik Paartalu 31', Diego Castro 45', Aaron Mooy 47', Chris Harold 63'
Red cards: Jacob Collard 63’ (second yellow)
Yellow cards: Jack Clisby 22’, Jacob Collard 30’, Andy Keogh 63’, Aryn Williams 78’, Benjamin Garuccio 79’, Jason Trifiro 86’
Conditions: Cloudy, warm and humid
Glory’s next match is Sunday January 24, away to Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium for a 2pm AWST kick off.
Perth returns to nib Stadium on January 30 to take on Hyundai A-League champions Melbourne Victory.