Glory's historic win
The new season may only be two weeks old but Perth Glory have produced one of their biggest victories, winning in Melbourne for the first time in a 2-0 result over the Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
The new season may only be two weeks old but Perth Glory have produced one of their biggest victories, winning their first Hyundai A-League game in Melbourne through a 2-0 result over the Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Perth opened the scoring through club stalwart Jamie Harnwell in the 23rd minute and doubled the advantage through a stunning Mile Sterjovski strike just after the break.
"We were unlucky last week, we probably should have won that game and to come away here against Melbourne Victory, who are probably one of the best teams in the league, is a big confidence boost," declared Sterjovski after the game.
"Credit to the boys, they worked really hard defensively.
“We've got a lot of depth this year and like I said, the boys have been working really hard, we've got great players and we're looking forward to a good season."
The result sees Perth climb to the top of the Hyundai A-League table on goal difference ahead of second-placed North Queensland.
A physical opening to this encounter saw the Glory defence come under pressure in the fifth minute as Adrian Leijer's ball from the midfield picked out Surat Sukha's run down the right.
The Thai import sent in a cross-cum-shot that Perth stopper Tando Velaphi just managed to get a finger too, with no Victory players in the box to tap it home as the ball slipped across the goal face.
The missed chance from Melbourne proved the catalyst for Perth to launch some attacks of their own.
In the eighth minute a deft volley over the top from Scott Neville released Sterjovski down the right, with Sterjovski's cross lobbed in towards goal by Todd Howarth, forcing Michael Petkovic to tip over the bar.
Moments later, Fowler saw his corner from the right almost slip into goal at the near post, but the woodwork saved the Victory, the ball ricocheting out for Howarth to send a shot over.
But Melbourne's goal didn't survive the next Glory corner in the 23rd minute, won after another dangerous run down the right from Neville.
Fowler's corner may have missed a cluster of bodies in the middle of the box but an unmarked McGarry was at the far post, cleverly flicking the ball back in for Harnwell to tap over the line.
The goal was extra special for Harnwell, the Glory veteran dedicating his celebration to newborn son, Liam, who was born during the week.
Melbourne were well and truly on the back-foot and were lucky not to have gone further behind in the 34th minute as a searing low cross from Howarth on the left just missed the head of a diving McGarry.
The Victory's best chance of the half came six minutes from the break when Tom Pondeljak picked out another good run down the right from Sukha, but once again he was denied by Velaphi, who beat away his shot at the near post.
Melbourne's task just got harder four minutes after the break when the Glory doubled the score through Sterjovski who brilliantly curled it into the back of the net for his second this season.
Melbourne may have been dominating possession but simply could not create any meaningful attacks as their forwards were under constant pressure from the Glory's defence and midfield.
Melbourne Victory 0 Perth Glory 2 (Harnwell 23-, Sterjovski 49-) Saturday, 14 August, 2010 AAMI Park, Melbourne Referee: Gerard Parsons Assitant referees: Luke Brennan, James Nicolopoulos Fourth Official: Alex Azcurraa
Melbourne Victory line-up: 1.Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3.Mate DUGANDZIC, 5. Surat SUKHA (14.Billy CELESKI 46-), 6. Leigh BROXHAM (13.Diogo FERREIRA 76-), 8.Grant BREBNER, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 15.Tom PONDELJAK (11.Marvin ANGULO 63-), 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 19.Evan BERGER, 23.Adrian LEIJER.
Substitutes not used: 20.Sebastian MATTEI (gk),
Yellow cards: BREBNER Red cards: Nil
Perth Glory line-up: 1. Tando VELAPHI, 3. Jamie COYNE, 5. Jamie HARNWELL, 7. Jacob BURNS (c), 9.Robbie FOWLER (11. Branko JELIC 82-), 12. Scott NEVILLE, 14. Steven McGARRY, 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 19. Naum SEKULOVSKI, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI (15. Howard FONDYKE 84-)
Substitutes not used: 20. Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 23. Andrija JUKIC
Yellow cards: NEVILLE
Red cards: Nil