Away win over Victory sends Glory seven points clear

Perth Glory moved seven points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder after second-half goals from Neil Kilkenny and Diego Castro secured an impressive 2-1 victory over second-placed Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Full match highlights

Tony Popovic's men hit the front just after the hour-mark via Kilkenny's penalty and doubled their lead soon after when Castro, at full stretch, volleyed home a Chris Ikonomidis cross.

And although Kosta Barbarouses halved the arrears with 12 minutes left, scoring the first goal that Glory have conceded in the last five games, the visitors dug in to maintain their unbeaten record on the road this term.

Popa's post-match presser

Both sides showed plenty of attacking intent in a lively opening quarter, with Victory's Elvis Kamsoba drawing a regulation save from Liam Reddy with a shot on the turn before Ivan Franjic fired wide when well placed at the other end.

Glory proceeded to look the more likely as the half wore on and threatened again on 34 minutes when Ikonomidis latched on to Kilkenny's dinked ball over the top only to fire into the side-netting.

The final moments of the first half, meanwhile, saw a decent chance at each end, Storm Roux's last-ditch challenge preventing Ikonomidis from reaching a Castro cross after the Spaniard had linked up cleverly with compatriot Juande and Reddy then getting down well at his near post to block Kenny Athiu's effort.

Ikonomidis went close again with Glory's first opportunity of the second half, forcing Lawrence Thomas into a fine save with a fierce drive following more trickery from Castro on the edge of the box. 

Come the hour-mark, however, the breakthrough did arrive via the penalty spot.

Kilkenny's attempted scooped pass to Joel Chianese was handled by Brown and the Socceroos midfielder fired the resulting spot-kick into the net despite the best efforts of Thomas who got a hand to it. 

Nine minutes later, Glory doubled their advantage with a fine goal from Castro who volleyed past Thomas after Ikonomidis had shrugged off the attentions of marker Thomas Deng and delivered the cross from the right.

Victory's response came in the form of a well-taken effort from Barbarouses, the New Zealand international angling a shot past Reddy after Leigh Broxham's pass had bisected the Glory defence.

Roared on by a vocal home support, Kevin Muscat's side pressed hard for an equaliser in the latter stages, but the men in white showed the kind of defensive resilience that has been their trademark this season to keep the hosts at bay and nail down three more precious points.

Match Details

Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season Round 18

Melbourne Victory 1 (Barbarouses 78') Perth Glory 2 (Kilkenny (pen) 61', Castro 69')

Half-time: 0-0

AAMI Park, Melbourne

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Melbourne Victory: 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 2.Storm ROUX (5. Georg NIEDERMEIER 62'), 3.Corey BROWN, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenny ATHIU (4. Keisuke HONDA 62'), 8.Terry ANTONIS, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 14.Thomas DENG, 15.Raul BAENA, 24.Elvis KAMSOBA

Substitutes not used: 1.Matt ACTON (GK),16.Josh HOPE, 25.Anthony LESIOTIS

Yellow cards: Athiu, Antonis, Baena

Red cards: Nil

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 3.Jason DAVIDSON, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC (23.Scott NEVILLE 86'), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE (9.Andy KEOGH 75'), 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS (20.Jake BRIMMER 83'), 27.JUANDE, 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 22.Fabio FERREIRA

Yellow cards: Reddy

Red cards: Nil

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