Perth Glory FC has maintained top spot on the Hyundai A-League table after crafting another night of milestones during its round seven match against Wellington Phoenix at nib Stadium.
Glory showed good character to carve out a 2-1 victory despite being reduced to ten men with half an hour of play remaining.
Teen sensation Danny De Silva scored his maiden Hyundai A-League goal, star striker Andy Keogh scored his fifth goal of the season and Glory skipper Michael Thwaite celebrated his 150th A-League match.
Glory kicked off the match in front of 9233 fans- the best home crowd against the Nix- and it was only in the second minute when 17-year old De Silva rushed into the box to meet a Youssouf Hersi cross and bundle the ball across the line. It wasn’t pretty but it was enough to send the fans into raptures.
From there, Glory created a number of scoring opportunities during the first half but didn’t really threaten Wellington keeper Glen Moss. The Nix didn’t register their first and only shot on goal during the half, until the 20th minute.
The second 45 erupted into action. The Yellow and Blacks almost found the equaliser in the 55th, when Tom Doyle whipped in a cross from the left flank into the danger zone, but Roy Krishna skied it over the bar.
The game deserved a second goal and it came – albeit suddenly – as Josh Risdon made a run down the right flank and crossed the ball into Keogh’s path, who in one step stabbed at it and steered the ball into the back of the net. The Irishman celebrated with his signature “T” gesture and re-joined Victory’s Besart Berisha as the league’s equal top goal scorer.
But drama was soon to follow on the back of the goal, as Ruben Zadkovich came on for Rostyn Griffiths. After running onto the pitch for a matter of seconds, Zadkovich tackled Vince Lia and was shown the red card instantly by referee Lucien Laverdure.
Glory switched their formation to stymie the numerical advantage by the Nix and managed to create several more chances. However in the 84th minute, Glory’s two-goal lead was reduced when Tyler Boyd was brought down in the box. Krishna stepped up to take the spot kick and converted.
Glory had to endure a wave of attacks by Wellington and Nathan Burns almost scored the equaliser but his shot was just wide of the far post. After five minutes of stoppage time, Glory hung on for the three points and remained top of the table for the third consecutive week.
Perth Glory FC coach Kenny Lowe said the performance epitomised the heart of the team.
"It's never in doubt the character we've got."
"Everyone's got to be happy with that performance,” he said.
Lowe said his main focus was to improve week-by-week and wasn't bothered where teams sat on the table.
"I don’t mention the table to the boys,” Lowe remarked.
“The two goals we scored were top notch; we worked on them in training."
Glory has a tough task ahead, facing a double header on the road. The team will take on Brisbane Roar next Saturday and then head down the east coast to face off against Sydney FC.
Glory’s next home game will be against the Newcastle Jets on December 12. Tickets to the match are available, click here to purchase now.
Perth Glory FC: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (8.Ruben ZADKOVICH 60’), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Youssouf HERSI, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebosja MARINKOVIC (13.Diogo Alves FERREIRA 88’), 11.Richard GARCIA, 19.Joshua RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA (17.Mitch NICHOLS 68’), 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c)
Subs not used: 14.Chris HAROLD, 18. Jack Duncan (GK)
Yellow cards: Marinkovic 26', Garcia 72'
Red cards: Zadkovich 61'
Wellington Phoenix: 1.Glen MOSS (GK), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA (12.Tyler BOYD 77’), 9.Nathan BURNS, 11.Jeremy BROCKIE, 13.Albert RIERA, 17.Vince LIA, 18.Ben SIGMUND, 19.Tom DOYLE (5.Michael BOXALL 82’), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c)
Subs not used: 7.Kenny CUNNINGHAM, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (GK)
Yellow cards: Doyle 22', Sigmund 27', Lia 77'
Red cards: nil
Referee: Lucien Laverdure
Assistant Referee: Matthew Cheeseman & David Bruce
4th Official: Josh Manella