Glory bring 'the mongrel' to snatch vital point across the ditch

In a true test of character, Perth Glory was able to bounce back from two goals down to earn a vital point away in a thrilling 3-3 draw in Auckland.

With an Asian Champions League berth on the line, coach Kenny Lowe urged his players to apply the character they'd shown in recent matches and encouraged them to call on "the mongrel within".

His troops didn't disappoint.

Brazilian Gui Finkler opened the scoring for Wellington at the 10-minute mark. The midfielder's strike took a cruel deflection off full-back Joe Mills to deceive Liam Reddy.

The first half continued to be an open end-to-end affair, with Perth's marquee Diego Castro and Wellington's Kosta Barbarouses prevalent throughout.

The Phoenix doubled their lead on 25 minutes courtesy of a powerful strike from Fijian Roy Krishna, but 10 minutes later Irishman Andy Keogh halved the deficit with a superbly taken goal. Dino Djulbic's perfectly weighted lofted through ball found the number nine in space, who then proceeded to chest the ball down and clinically strike home with his left-foot past Glen Moss.

Taggart

Glory threatened to even the ledger, with Adam Taggart and Castro linking up in first half stoppage time, but the sides entered the major break with Wellington holding a narrow 2-1 lead.

Despite heading into the sheds with the momentum, Perth found themselves 3-1 down after Barbarouses's curling effort found the back of the net just two minutes into the second-half.

With 20 minutes to go, Taggart gave Glory a lifeline after tapping in his saveed header. Joel Chianese crossed the ball into the box from the right wing to find Taggart's head who headed home, only to be thwarted by Phoenix 'keeper Glen Moss. Taggart scrambled desperately to poke home his 11th for the season.

WIth nine-minutes to go Castro came to the rescue ,showing football fans across the country his undeniable class, as he fired home a free-kick from 30 metres out which sailed over Moss to even the scores at 3-3.

Perth searched desperately for a winner with wave after wave of attacks, but the score-line remained at 3-3, earning Perth an important point on the road.

With all of Glory's key target men firing in Auckland on Saturday night, the West Australians remain in third spot (32 points), with fourth placed Melbourne City (30 points) and fifth placed Brisbane (30 points) still to play on Sunday, March 5.

Perth hits the road next week again to face second placed Melbourne Victory.


Key Moments:

First Half

3' A rapid counter-attack led by Harold eventually leads to a first-time strike by Taggart outside the area, but his shot is straight to Moss, who collects comfortably.
4' Krishna slides in a cross to Barbarouses in the six-yard box, but Mills superbly blocks his tap-in shot out for a corner.
10' GOAL | Finkler's deflected shot from an acute angle finds the back of the net.
25' GOAL | Krishna's powerful strike from outside the box doubles Wellington's lead.
34' GOAL | Keogh's sublime chest control and left-footed strike finds the back of the net to halve the deficit.
45+' Djulbic's header from Castro's corner is straight into the hands of Moss.

Second Half

47' GOAL | Barbarouses restored Wellington's two-goal lead with a curling effort.
67' GOAL | Taggart gives Glory another lifeline, as his initial header from Chianese's superb cross is saved by Moss, but the Socceroo acted swiftly to poke home.
73' Marc Warren's cross-come-shot from deep on the left-wing forces Moss into a smart save over the crossbar.
85' Bonevacia twists and turns in the box, but his shot is tame and straight to Reddy.

SQUADS:

Perth Glory Squad: 33. Liam REDDY (GK), 5. Rhys WILLIAMS, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (C), 9. Andy KEOGH, 14. Chris HAROLD (7. Joel CHIANESE 57'), 16. Joseph Mills (3. Marc WARREN 25'), 17. Diego CASTRO, 19. Josh RISDON, 20. Aryn WILLIAMS, 22. Adam TAGGART

Subs not used: 13. Nicholas FEELY (GK), 7. Joel CHIANESE, 11. Richard GARCIA, 28. Joseph KNOWLES

Yellow Cards: 19. Josh RISDON 22'6. Dino DJULBIC 39'

Red Cards: Nil.

Wellington Phoenix Squad: 1. Glen MOSS, 6. Dylan FOX, 7. Guilherme FINKLER (4. Rolieny BONEVACIA 65'), 8. Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 12. Adam PARKHOUSE, 17. Vince LIA, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE, 23. Matthew RIDENTON, 99. Shane SMELTZ

Subs not used: 20. Lewis ITALIANO, 4. Rolieny BONEVACIA, 5. Ryan LOWRY, 11. Hamish WATSON. 19. Thomas DOYLE

Yellow Cards: 8. Alex RODRIGUEZ 41', 22. Andrew DURANTE 86'

Red Cards: Nil.