Match Preview: Glory face Premiers Sydney in Semi-Final

Perth travel to Allianz Stadium to take on Sydney FC in a blockbuster semi-final match-up.

Glory's resounding 2-0 Elimination Final triumph over FFA Cup Champions Melbourne City sent a clear and powerful message to the remaining clubs; we're here to win.

Diego Castro's typically graceful opener and Joel Chianese's stellar run and finish ensured Kenny Lowe's men left AAMI Park with a semi-final on the horizon after a second half that showcased the unparalleled desire and commitment of the squad to bring success back to Perth.

This season's Hyundai A-League Premiers, Sydney FC, loom for Glory after the harbour city side gained automatic access to the semi's following their record-breaking campaign that included a solitary loss to arch rivals Western Sydney Wanderers.

While the Western Australian side enter the clash as "underdogs", last weekend's inspiring away victory proved that anything in possible in the finals series.

Key Battle: Diego Castro v Milos Ninkovic

Castro v Ninkovic


Two of the competition's most outstanding imports take to the field yet again, as the two Johnny Warren medal favourites bid for a Grand Final spot - it doesn't get much better than this. Our Spanish maestro continued his phenomenal form with a superbly taken goal to open the scoring for Glory against City last week while Ninkovic has been deemed fit to start against Perth following an ankle injury suffered in the final round of the regular season. All eyes will be on these two creative dynamos come kick-off time.

Star: Dino Djulbic

Dino

The club stalwart was at his absolute best against City in a Man of the Match display, with his willingness to throw his body on the line personifying Glory's determination during a famous victory. If there is ever a game to be used as a reference for Djulbic's value to the club, the Elimination Final is the one, as his constant communication, tough tackling and set-piece dominance proved vital. This week "The Panel Beater" will be tasked with shutting down the likes of Sydney skipper Alex Brosque and Brazilian marksman Bobo, a challenge the Bosnian-born defender will undoubtedly relish.

One to Watch: Rostyn Griffiths

Rostyn

The skipper returned to the starting line-up after returning to full fitness following an injury sustained late in the season and he made a massive difference at AAMI Park. Rostyn's composure on the ball while under pressure and calmness in the second half to help guide his side through to the semi-final was exceptional. The number 8 even managed to play a crucial role in the build-up to Castro's opener, as his pinpoint lofted through ball to Andy Keogh opened up the opportunity perfectly for the Irishman to play in El Maestro who then cut inside and finished superbly. Griffiths leadership will again be called upon when Glory tackles their biggest challenge of the season against Sydney on Saturday night.

Our Last Semi-Final: 14th April 2012 - Central Coast Mariners 1-1 Perth Glory (Perth through 5-3 on penalties)

Burnsy

The last time Glory was one step away from a Grand Final, it was up against Graham Arnold's talented Mariners side in what was then called a Preliminary Final back in the 2011-2012 season. Kiwi Shane Smeltz's leveller ensured the match went to penalties following an enthralling 120 minutes against the minor premiers. Michael McGlinchey's skied spot kick, opened the door for club captain Jacob Burns to seal a Grand Final spot, which he cooly slotted to Mat Ryan's bottom left corner to seal a memorable win.

MATCH DETAILS:

Hyundai A-League 2017 Semi Final 1

Sydney FC v Perth Glory Saturday, 29 April 2017

Allianz Stadium, Sydney Kick-Off: 5:50PM (AWST), 7:50PM (AEST)

Referee: Peter Green

Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald

Assistant Referee 2: Owen Goldrick

Fourth Official: Kurt Ams

Video Assistant Referee: Strebre Delovski

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 5:00PM (AWST), 7.00PM (AEST). Delayed coverage on SBS VICELAND from 8.30pm (AEST) and Sky Sport Pop-Up (New Zealand) Radio Broadcast: ABC Digital Extra, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live

Sydney FC Squad:  1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4. Alex WILKINSON, 5. Jordy BUIJS, 6. Joshua BRILLANTE, 7. Michael ZULLO, 8. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9. BOBÔ, 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Bernie IBINI, 12. Aaron CALVER, 13. Brandon O’NEILL, 14. Alex BROSQUE (C), 17. David CARNEY, 18. Matt SIMON, 19. George BLACKWOOD, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 21. Filip HOLOSKO, 23. Rhyan GRANT

**two to be omitted**

Ins:  12.Aaron CALVER (promoted), 19.George BLACKWOOD (promoted)

Outs:  Nil

Unavailable:  Nil

Perth Glory Squad:  3. Marc WARREN, 5. Rhys WILLIAMS, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 7. Joel CHIANESE, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (C), 9. Andy KEOGH, 10. Nebo MARINKOVIC, 11. Richard GARCIA, 13. Nick FEELY (GK), 14. Chris HAROLD, 15. Brandon WILSON, 16. Joe MILLS, 17. Diego CASTRO, 18. Mitch OXBORROW, 19. Josh RISDON, 22. Adam TAGGART, 26. Lucian GOIAN, 33. Liam REDDY (GK)

**two to be omitted**

Ins:  16. Joe MILLS, 18.Mitch OXBORROW

Outs:  Nil

Unavailable:  2. Alex GRANT (foot – season), 4. Shane LOWRY (quad – season)

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