Perth Glory FC has edged its way back to the top of the table after a 1-1 draw against Hyundai A-League champions Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
Big central defender Dino Djulbic put Glory on top with a cracking volley, rguably a goal of the year contender, which looked certain to secure the three points for Perth.
However in the 87th minute, Roar striker Henrique turned the match on its head, slipping the ball past Perth keeper Danny Vukovic to level the game.
It was Glory all the way in attack and defence for most of the match but Perth was lucky not to have conceded two goals in the opening minutes. Thomas Broich fired in the second minute which luckily went to the safe hands of Vukovic and Henrique’s fourth minute strike shaved the cross bar.
From there on the game opened with both teams creating chances. By the 10th minute Glory striker Andy Keogh was in the action early forcing Roar keeper Jamie Young to save the shot on goal.
There was drama five minutes later when winger Youssouf Hersi went down with a hamstring injury. His fate won't be known until next week when he undergoes scans.
Hersi’s injury woes were quickly forgotten though, when Djulbic orchestrated Glory’s lead. Nebo Marinkovic took the corner kick and sent the ball in which met Djulbic on the penalty spot who took one stepp and fired the ball from mid-air into the back of the net, whizzing past Young.That stunning strike was his second for the season so far.
The second half provided a host of opportunities for Glory to extend its lead including the 63rd minute, as the crowd stood on its feet to commemorate Australian cricketer Phil Hughes. Scott Jamieson sent in ball in from a corner, which Andy Keogh came so agonisingly close to scoring but headed the ball just wide of the post.
Jamieson was in the action again six minutes later as he carved his way into the front third and paved the way for another goal scoring opportunity but the play lacked the finish it needed.
In the 77th minute young gun Danny De Silva tried to put his name on the scorers’ sheet, shooting from long range but the ball whizzed past the post and crashed into the side netting.
Glory’s defence, coupled with an inspirational man-of-the-match performance by Rostyn Griffiths was resilient and withstood some heavy attack from the Roar in the closing minutes.
But it was Henrique who turned on his Brazilian magic and slipped the ball past Jamieson and Vukovich, to snatch a point for the Hyundai A-League champions.
Jamieson admitted it was dissapointing to concede in the dying minutes.
“It feels like we’ve lost two points to be honest, but we still walk away with a point and we’re still on top of the table” he said.
The young full back though was quick to praise the 13-thousand fans who paid tribute to the memory of cricketer Phil Hughes in the 63rd minute.
"That moment was one of the most surreal moments. It was fantastic stuff from everyone in the stadium”.
Glory now travel to Sydney to take on the 'Sky Blues' on Thursday.
The match will be broadcast on Fox Sports 4.
Kick-off is at 4.30 pm WST.
Glory returns to nib Stadium on December 12 to host Newcastle Jets.
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Scorers: Djulbic 20' Henrique 87'
Yellow Cards: Griffiths 35' North 65' Risdon 70'
Crowd: 13043 at Suncorp Stadium
Perth Glory FC squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Youssouf HERSI (18' 17.Mitch NICHOLS), 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebosja MARINKOVIC (61' 14.Chris HAROLD), 11.Richard GARCIA,(81' 13.Diogo Alves FERREIRA), 16.Sidnei SCIOLA, ,19.Joshua RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c)
Unused subs: 15.Jamie MACLAREN 18.Jack DUNCAN (GK)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 2.Matthew SMITH (c), 5.Corey BROWN, 10.HENRIQUE, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES,, 17.Matt McKAY, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS (59' 8.Steven LUSTICA ), 28.Brandon BORRELLO (73' 7.Mensur KURTISHI),
Unused subs : 15.James DONACHIE 20. Kofi DANING, 30.Matthew ACTON (gk)