A world-class brace from Uruguayan international Bruno Fornaroli has helped Melbourne City to a 2-0 win and advance to the final four of the Hyundai A-League finals series.
Perth Glory welcomed back Diego Castro and Chris Harold from hamstring injuries to compete in the second elimination final but the league’s golden boot winner ultimately prevailed in front of an 11-thousand strong home crowd at AAMI Park.
Fornaroli opened the scoring in spectacular style in the 40th minute. Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy’s corner was deflected high into the air in Perth Glory’s 18 yard box, bouncing just in front of Fornaroli with his back to goal. The Uruguayan’s well-timed overhead kick beat the head of Shane Lowry to the ball, the shot finding its way into the top right hand corner.
Fornaroli’s second was equally spectacular, scoring from a free-kick in the 76th minute. City’s number 23 curled his powerful strike over the Glory wall and past Ante Covic at the near post.
The best chance for Glory fell to Hungarian import Gyorgy Sandor just after half-time but the 31-year old skied his clear chance over the bar.
The club would like to thanks its members, fans and supporters for helping it achieve a record membership of 7100 and setting the highest attended home match in three years.
The future for Perth Glory looks bright with Socceroos striker Adam Taggart set to take to the field in what will be at least nine WA players signed and sealed for the club come the 2016/17 season.
The club will celebrate the finale of its Hyundai A-League 2015/16 campaign at its annual MGP ball at the Novotel Perth Langley hotel on May 7.
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10’ Garuccio plays an early pass to Fornaroli at the top of the box, the Uruguayan’s shot is scooped well over Ante Covic’s cross bar.
12’ Josh Risdon’s cross is scrambled off the line by Thomas Sorensen at the Dane’s near post, Kisnorbo hooks it away for a corner kick.
13’ Alex Grant connects his header on Nebojsa Marinkovic’s corner at the front post, but it’s comfortably over City’s crossbar.
15’ Mooy powers a curling free kick straight at Covic, the Glory custodian punches the ball away to safety.
18’ City score, but the goal is ruled offside. Fornaroli cuts inside on the left side and fires under Covic, but Ben Garuccio is adjudged to have impeded the ‘keepers view from an offside position.
26’ Krisztian Vadocz slams a powerful volley from 25 metres out straight at Sorensen, who catches it well.
40’ City take the lead. Mooy’s in-swinging corner is looped up into the air, Fornaroli lets it bounce before his overhead kick beats Shane Lowry’s header to the send the ball flying into the right hand top corner.
45+1’ Marc Warren whips a right footed cross onto the head of Andy Keogh, the Irishman’s header going high and wide of the mark.
47’ Warren’s powerful cross is tipped away by Covic to Gyorgy Sandor, the Hungarian’s volley skews off his right shin and goes well wide of the goal.
60’ Andy Keogh cuts inside on the left side and strikes low for the near post, but it’s blocked out for a Glory corner.
63’ Mooy finds space at the top of the box and slams a fierce shot low for the bottom left hand corner, Covic anticipates well to save and hold onto the shot.
67’ Mooy drives through the middle of the park and curls a well-struck shot just over the top right hand corner.
71’ Fornaroli latches onto a Mooy corner kick at the far post, but his free header hits the side netting.
74’ Mooy’s free kick from over 20 metres out is saved well by Covic to the ‘keepers left, holding onto the ball.
76’ City double their advantage to 2-0. 20 metres out from the right side, Fornaroli hits a sweetly-struck free kick over the wall and past Covic at the near post.
77’ Garcia turns inside the City box and fires his shot at the near bottom corner, Sorensen gets down to save it.
79’ Risdon glides past Marc Marino to the right side of the top of City’s 18-yard-box, before blazing his shot over the near top corner.
84’ Mooy’s free kick finds Fornaroli in the box, his flicked on header is caught comfortably by Covic.
86’ Marino drives into the box and slams a shot straight at Covic, who parries the shot away to safety.
88’ Nebojsa Marinkovic hits a vicious volley from 25 metres out just inches wide of Sorensen’s far post.
90+1’ Marinkovic’s late free kick hits a head in the wall, Garcia heads the rebound towards goal but it’s wide of the near post.
90+3’ Fitzgerald blazes his shot from an acute angle inside the Glory box well over the crossbar.
Perth Glory: Ante COVIC, Alex GRANT (Dino DJULBIC 46’), Marc WARREN, Shane LOWRY, Gyorgy SANDOR, Andy KEOGH, Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, Chris HAROLD (Richard GARCIA 68’), Diego CASTRO, Josh RISDON (C), Krisztian VADOCZ (Kosta PETRATOS 83’)
Unused subs: Jerrad TYSON (GK), Mitch OXBORROW
Melbourne City: Thomas SORENSEN, Paulo RETRE (Connor CHAPMAN 81’), Alex WILKINSON, Patrick KISNORBO (C), Jack CLISBY, Osama MALIK, Aaron MOOY, Anthony CACERES (Jacob MELLING 68’), Ben GARUCCIO (Marc MARINO 73’), Nick FITZGERALD, Bruno FORNAROLI
Unused subs: Dean BOUZANIS (GK), Aaron HUGHES
Yellow Cards: Chris HAROLD 14’, Shane LOWRY 31’, Aaron MOOY 34’, Diego CASTRO 39’, Patrick KISNORBO 53’, Richard GARCIA 73’
Red Cards: nil