Glory go down fighting in Cup Final

For the 2nd consecutive season, Perth Glory was unable to etch the team name onto the FFA Cup trophy after reaching the Final, falling to Melbourne Victory 2-0 at AAMI Park in front of a crowd of 15,098.

Despite missing several players due to injury, including regulars Chris Harold and Gyorgy Sandor, Perth Glory staged a valiant second half effort after going down two goals in the 1st.

It was a cagey first fifteen minutes of the match, before Kosta Barbarouses appeared to score the opener with a volley. A corner kick was played into the area, falling to Barbarouses at the edge of the box, but Delpierre was correctly ruled offside for obstructing Ante Covic’s view of the shot.

Glory had its best chance in the half via Sidnei Sciola in the 28th minute. The Brazilian attacker was played down the right flank by Richard Garcia before dribbling into the box and firing on target from an acute angle, punched away by former goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.

Victory opened the scoring in the 35th minute with midfielder Oliver Bozanic finding the back of the net. The home side combined down the right flank, Finkler, Barbarouses and Geria all getting involved. Jason Geria dribbled into the box and then sent a low cross from the goal line, knocking off a Glory defender and onto the post, into the path of Bozanic who finished it off for the 1-nil lead.

Just before halftime, Besart Berisha extended the lead to two. Victory possessed the ball in midfield and then Carl Valeri sent a well-weighted through ball forward to his striker, Berisha taking a skillful touch to set himself up with an easy finish.

With Victory sitting deep, Glory were the more aggressive side in the 2nd half. Diogo Ferreira came very close to cutting the lead in half in the 49th minute, connecting with a shot from just outside the box and keeping it low, but it smashed off the bottom of the post, eventually out for a corner kick.

A minute later Josh Risdon whipped in an excellent cross from the right side, picking out Dino Djulbic, but the big defender missed the mark as his header flashed wide of the post.

The pressure continued in the 61st minute with Glory captain Richard Garcia lining up a shot from 25 metres out, missing his target by the slightest of margins, just shy of the upper corner at the far post.

In the 73rd minute Glory appeared to earn a penalty kick, the ball bouncing off the extended arm of Daniel Georgievski in the box, but the referee was unwilling to blow the whistle.

Three minutes later Nebo Marinkovic managed to force a save out of Vukovic and just four minutes after that Vukovic was forced to make another stop. Josh Risdon whipped a sharp cross into the box, looking for the head of Guyon Fernandez, but it clipped off of Geria instead, Vukovic doing well to get fingertips to it.

In the 81st minute it appeared Victory had sealed it with a third goal, but Daniel Georgievski was ahead of the play, the flag correctly raised for offside.

Melbourne captain Carl Valeri was given marching orders for a cynical challenge on Dino Djulbic in the 86th minute, his 2nd yellow card of the match.

The last chance came for Glory in the 1st minute of stoppage time. Djulbic, playing as a striker for the final minutes, found a chance from the right side of the box and fired on target, saved well by Vukovic.

However, it wasn’t to be for Glory as the final whistle blew and Victory lifted the FFA Cup, as Kosta Barbarouses won the Mark Viduka Medal for best player of the match.

Perth Glory would like to acknowledge the more than 300 fans that travelled to Melbourne to support the team for the big match. The club will now turn its focus to Brisbane Roar next weekend at Suncorp Stadium before it returns home on November 21 to face off against Sydney FC at nib Stadium.