Three crucial goals by Irish import Andy Keogh have propelled Perth Glory FC to the summit of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League table, in a thrilling 3-2 win over champions Brisbane Roar at nib Stadium.
Perth started on the front foot, with new signing Youssouf Hersi launching into attack in the first 40 seconds of the match. The Ethiopian-Dutchman was on the end of some sharp passing, but his shot was blocked by a Roar defender.
Hersi and Keogh pressed hard in the opening minutes forcing mistakes from the Roar defence.
However as Brisbane settled, they began to keep the ball well in the middle with Henrique and Mensur Kurtisi looking lively and causing trouble for the Perth backline.
Brisbane increased its stranglehold on possession, but Glory created chances and still weren't clinical in the final third.
Glory's defence was called into action in the 35th minute when Roar skipper Matt Smith met Thomas Broich’s corner and fired on goal but keeper Danny Vukovic had the shot covered.
But there was heartbreak for Perth fans in the 39th minute, after a pinpoint pass from Steve Lustica found Henrique on the right hand side, who fed the ball into the feet of Kurtisi, as the Roar striker tucked the ball into the back of the net past Vukovic.
At the half-time break, Glory manager Kenny Lowe brought in striker Jamie Maclaren for midfielder Nebosja Marinkovic. Three minutes in, Keogh found his way into the box and was brought down by veteran Roar defender, Jade North.
Referee Shaun Evans had no hesitations pointing to the spot.
Keogh stepped up and cooly slotted the penalty into the bottom right-hand corner, sending Roar keeper Jamie Young the wrong way.
But the scoreline only lasted for five minutes. Glory's defence gave Henrique too much space as he rifled an impressive top corner shot past Vukovic to restore Brisbane's lead.
Glory substitute Jamie Maclaren was close to an equaliser in the 65th minute, but his header when slightly wide of the post after some patient build up play from Glory.
The equaliser came however in the 74th minute, and it was Keogh again for Glory. After firing his shot toward goal, the ball picked up a defelction from Roar defender James Donachie and bounced across the line, wrongfooting custodian Jamie Young.
With less than 15 minutes to play and buoyed by a vocal nib Stadium, Glory pushed for a winner and in the 92nd minute, it came.
Scott Jamieson executed a corner kick to perfection as Andy Keogh completed his hat-trick with a smart header that hit the ground before hitting the roof of the net.
Gloryland exploded into song as Perth made it two wins from two starts, sending Perth to the top of the Hyundai A-League table.
Perth Glory FC coach Kenny Lowe said the Irish striker, who was voted QBE man of the match, simply did his job.
"He's a centre forward, he’s there to score goals and that’s what he does."
However he did praise young defender Josh Risdon, who rolled his ankle towards the end of the match.
"It was one of the best performances I’ve seen the kid have, and I’ve known him since he was 13.”
Perth Glory FC travels across the Nullarbor to take on fourth-placed Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium next Sunday.
Perth Glory FC: Andy KEOGH 49’ (PEN), 74’, 92’,
Brisbane Roar: Mensur KURTISI 39’, HENRIQUE 55’,
Perth Glory FC: Richard GARCIA 66’, Andy KEOGH 86’
Brisbane Roar: Thomas BROICH 43’, Jade NORTH 49’, Luke BRATTAN 90’
1. Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 7.Youssouf HERSI (2. Jack CLISBY 79’), 9. Andy KEOGH, 10. Nebosja MARINKOVIC (15. Jamie MACLAREN 45’), 11. Richard GARCIA, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 19. Josh RISDON (13. Diogo Alves FERREIRA 83’), 21. Scott JAMIESON 23. Michael THWAITE (C),
SUBS NOT USED: 3. Brandon O’NEILL, 30. Jordan THURTELL (GK)
Coach: Kenny LOWE
2. Matthew SMITH (C), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 7. Mensur KURTISI (12. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO 77’), 8. Steven LUSTICA, 10. HENRIQUE (20. Kofi DANNING 88’), 13. Jade NORTH (19. Jack HINGERT 79’), 15. James DONACHIE, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 21. Jamie YOUNG (GK) 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Dimitri PETRATOS
SUBS NOT USED: 11. Liam MILLER, 30. Matthew ACTON (GK)
Coach: Mike MULVEY
Perth Glory FC Fixtures
Sunday October 26
Hyundai A-League Round 3
Adelaide United vs Perth Glory
Kick-off: 1pm WST (4pm AEDT)
Wednesday October 29
Westfield FFA Cup Quarter-Final
Perth Glory FC vs. Melbourne Victory
Kick-off at 7pm