Glory go back-to-back with impressive first win over United
Goals from Bruno Fornaroli, Chris Ikonomidis and substitute Joel Chianese fired Glory to a second impressive win in four days as they downed Western United 3-0 at HBF Park on Wednesday evening.
Fornaroli got the ball rolling for Richard Garcia's men with a sublime free-kick after ten minutes and Chris Ikonomidis then doubled Glory's lead with a near-post strike midway through the first half.
And the club's first victory over United in four attempts was all but sealed 13 minutes from time when Joel Chianese stroked home his third goal in six appearances since returning for a second spell in purple.
The win keeps Glory's Finals hopes very much alive and just as he had been in the wake of Sunday's win over Melbourne Victory, Garcia was delighted with the way his charges went about their business.
"I'm happy for the win, the performance and for the togetherness in the group," he said.
"It's great [that we're still in Finals contention], but for us it's more pleasing to see part of our vision starting to come together.
"It's also pleasing to see that the group has had a little bit of stability in terms of the schedule and being at home... it's fantastic for the players and I think it has shown.
"They were very resilient tonight.
"I thought Western United had a lot of possession but didn't really create many chances.
"That's something that we're continually working on and it's always growing."
Amidst blustery, cool conditions, Glory made the best possible start when Ikonomidis was brought down by Steven Lustica some 25m out and from the resulting free-kick, Fornaroli picked out the top corner superbly to claim his tenth goal of the season.
United dangerman Alessandro Diamanti attempted to respond in kind three minutes later, but Liam Reddy was equal to the Italian's free-kick and soon after, the hosts doubled their advantage.
The recalled Josh Rawlins was the architect, capping a marauding run down the right by hooking the ball across the face of goal to Ikonomidis whose low shot squirmed its way past Ryan Scott at his near post.
Daniel Stynes, who was a constant threat in what was his seventh start of the campaign, subsequently forced Scott into a one-handed save with one of his trademark long-range strikes and Glory could count themselves unfortunate not to have taken more than a two-goal lead into the break.
The visitors did manage to start the the second half on the front foot with the lively Dylan Pierias and Diamanti both placing shots narrowly wide and Glory's old nemesis Besart Berisha contriving to get the ball stuck under his feet with the goal gaping.
But any notion of Mark Rudan's side forcing their way back into the contest was effectively dispelled when Chianese added a third for the hosts.
Having played a neat one-two with fellow-substitute Carlo Armiento, the in-form winger bent an unstoppable shot past the despairing dive of Scott and into the bottom corner.
There was still time for Reddy to make a stunning save to prevent Kaine Sheppard from heading a late consolation for United before referee Alireza Faghani brought the curtain down on another deserved and vital victory for the home side.
Perth Glory 3 (Fornaroli 10', Ikonomidis 23', Chianese 77') Western United FC 0
HBF Park, Perth
Referee: Alireza Faghani
Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Jason GERIA, 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS (20.Carlo ARMIENTO 65'), 9.Bruno FORNAROLI (17.Diego CASTRO 85'), 10.Andy KEOGH (18.Nick D'AGOSTINO 85'), 13.Luke BODNAR (6.Osama MALIK 65'), 19.Callum TIMMINS, 22.Josh RAWLINS, 24.Daniel STYNES (11.Joel CHIANESE 57'), 29.Darryl LACHMAN
Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 37.Riley WARLAND
Yellow Cards: Fornaroli, Stynes, Reddy
Red Cards: None
Western United FC: 30.Ryan SCOTT (gk), 4.Andrew DURANTE, 5.Dylan PIERIAS, 6.Tomoki IMAI, 7.Besart BERISHA (9.Kaine SHEPPARD 82') 8.Lachlan WALES, 10.Steven LUSTICA (34.Iker GUARROTXENA 63'), 11.Connor PAIN, 20.Víctor SÁNCHEZ (25.Luke DUZEL 82'), 22.Tomislav USKOK, 23.Alessandro DIAMANTI (c)
Substitutes not used: 1.Filip KURTO (gk), 2.Aaron CALVER, 3.Brendan HAMILL, 27. Jerry SKOTADIS
Yellow Cards: Durante, Berisha
Red Cards: None