Perth Glory will finish 2018 at the summit of the Hyundai A-League table after an impressive 4-1 victory over Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.
Both Andy Keogh and Fabio Ferreira fired doubles on the night, with Mariners striker Jordan Murray claiming a consolation goal for the home side twelve minutes from full time. Glory looked comfortable throughout the match, despite an unusual incident involving Tomislav Mrcela breaking the goalpost, resulting in 40 minute delay mid-match.
It took Keogh just three minutes to open the scoring in Gosford after a brilliant passage of play on the right wing. Ferreira and Ivan Franjic combined to perfection, the latter curling a cross to Joel Chianese in the box. Chianese outmuscled Mariners defender Jack Clisby to see his shot parried as far as Keogh, the Irishman making no mistake to place his effort through the crowd into the back of the net.
Seven minutes later, the match took a turn for the bizarre. Tomislav Mrcela’s close range headed goal was correctly deemed offside, after a brilliant free kick from Neil Kilkenny. In scoring the header, Mrcela crashed into the back of the net, causing Adam Pearce’s right post to snap and cause a lengthy 40 minute delay to the match to replace the whole goal-frame.
The Mariners would enjoy a short spell of possession and momentum following the disruption, however Glory would soon double their lead via Ferreira.
Jason Davidson’s deep cross found the Portuguese winger at the back post, where the 29-year-old sent a powerful header across the face of the new goal and into the far corner to give Glory a 2-0 advantage.
Glory continued to dominate proceedings as Ferreira would score an impressive second shortly before the half time break. Spotting Pearce off his line from the right wing, Ferreira stroked a delicate lob over the Mariners custodian into the far top corner of the net, putting Glory into cruise control going into the half time break.
Central Coast began the second half with increased attacking impetus, proving dangerous with their crossing ability from wide positions, especially following Tommy Oar’s introduction to the match. In the 78th minute, the Mariners would claim a consolation goal through their half time substitute Jordan Murray.
Oar’s deep cross found captain Matt Simon at the back post, his header bounced into the path of Murray, who made no mistake bundling the ball past an outstretched Reddy into the back of the net, denying Glory the clean sheet.
The match looked to be heading to a two goal victory but a late combination between Franjic and Keogh would see Glory restore their three-goal lead late on. Given vast space to drive forward, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Socceroo drove towards goal and teed up the Irishman at close range. With razor sharp reactions, Keogh swivelled on the spot with a swift first touch before poking the ball past a sprawling Pearce to cap off the scoring.
The triumph gives Glory a three point lead over Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC at the top of the Hyundai A-League heading into 2019. Next, Tony Popovic’s men will face Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on January 6 before returning home for a mid-week, top-of-the-table clash against Sydney FC at HBF Park.
The Summer of Football starts on January 9 against the Sky Blues, with families gaining $49 access to Perth Glory matches against Sydney FC, Western Sydney Wanderers and Adelaide United in January.
Purchase your tickets for the Summer of Football on Ticketmaster HERE.
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season Round 10
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Murray 78’) Perth Glory 4 (Keogh 3’, 90+2’, Ferreira 23’, 41’)
Central Coast Mariners: 12. PEARCE (GK), 3. Jack CLISBY (25. Jordan MURRAY 46’), 5. Antony GOLEC (10. Tommy OAR 69’), 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 11. Connor PAIN, 13. Aidan O’NEILL, 15. Kye Rowles, 18. Matthew MILLAR, 19. Matt SIMON (C), 23. Mario SHABOW (4. Jake MCGING 29’)
Substitutes not used: 1. Ben KENNEDY (GK), 22. Jacob MELLING
Yellow Cards: Matt SIMON 88’
Red Cards: Nil
Perth Glory: 33. Liam REDDY (GK), 2. Alex GRANT, 3. Jason DAVIDSON, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 7. Joel CHIANESE (11. Brendan SANTALAB 75’), 9. Andy KEOGH (C), 13. Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 16. Tomislav MRCELA (6. Dino DJULBIC 86’), 22. Fabio FERREIRA (20. Jake BRIMMER 57’), 27. JUANDE, 88. Neil KILKENNY
Substitutes not used: 1. Tando VELAPHI (GK), 17. Diego CASTRO
Yellow Cards: Alex GRANT 35’
Red Cards: Nil