Match Report - Torres spot on as Glory claim vital point

Xavi Torres fired home his third goal of the season from the spot as 10-man Glory kept their finals hopes alive with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers at Spotless Stadium.

The hosts took a 10th-minute lead via Mark Bridge's close-range finish, but the visitors restored parity just three minutes later, Torres calmly sending Vedran Janjetovic the wrong way after the home 'keeper had impeded Joel Chianese in the box.

Janjetovic escaped with a yellow card for his indiscretion, but opposite number Liam Reddy was not so fortunate four minutes from time when he was adjudged to have clipped Jaushua Sotirio as the Wanderers substitute raced goalwards.

After consulting with the VAR, referee Jarred Gillett gave the Glory man his marching orders.

With Kenny Lowe having already used all three of his substitutes, Dino Djulbic was forced to don the gloves for the final few moments and provided a composed presence between the posts as Glory dug deep to secure a valuable point.

The result means that the WA side remain four points outside the top six with five games left, the first of which sees Central Coast Mariners visit nib Stadium next Saturday.

There was drama as early as the third minute when only Joel Chianese's perfectly-timed challenge in the box prevented Raul Llorente from latching on to a fine through-ball from Alvaro Cejudo.

And the Wanderers continued their bright start as some trickery down the right from Oriol Riera created a shooting opportunity for Bridge who failed to keep his shot down from just inside the box.

The veteran marksman showed much greater accuracy moments later, however, as he gave the hosts the lead.

Llorente's free-kick was cleared to Keanu Baccus at the edge of the box, he drilled the ball back in and it fell kindly for Bridge who pivoted neatly before beating Liam Reddy low to his right to claim his fourth goal of the season.

But Glory were swiftly on level terms, Torres rifling past Janjetovic after the home 'keeper's foul on Chianese.

The Spaniard had taken over penalty-taking responsibilities from compatriot Diego Castro who was forced to withdraw from the match day squad after breaking down in the warm-up.

Janjetovic was then called into action to block Andy Keogh's close-range effort, while at the other end, Djulbic was on hand to head off the line after Marcelo Carrusca had cut in from the right and rounded Reddy.

And both sides also went close in first-half stoppage time, Reddy saving a deflected strike from Riera before Torres headed Chianese's dinked ball straight at Janjetovic.

Clear-cut chances were thinner on the ground after the break, although Keogh saw a goalbound effort blocked by Riera and on 71 minutes, substitute Adam Taggart nodded a Neil Kilkenny corner inches wide of the target.

Shortly after, Joseph Mills almost bagged what would have been his maiden Hyundai A-League goal, but the defender's shot on the run fizzed just past Janjetovic's right post.

Despite applying much of the pressure throughout the second half, Lowe's men found themselves up against it right at the death following Reddy's premature exit.

Cejudo's sublime through-ball picked out Sotirio and as he arrived at the edge of the box, Reddy was deemed to have brought him down.

Off went the experienced 'keeper, but Carrusca's subsequent free-kick failed to trouble the deputising Djulbic, leaving both sides to take a deserved share of the spoils.

Match Details

Hyundai A-League Round 23 2017/18 Season

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Bridge 10') Perth Glory 1 (Torres (pen) 13')

Half time: 1-1

Spotless Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Josh RISDON, 6.Marcelo CARRUSCA (7.Steven LUSTICA 90+1'), 9.Oriol RIERA, 10.Alvaro CEJUDO (15.Kearyn BACCUS 59'), 18.Chris IKONOMIDIS (16.Jaushua SOTIRIO 79'), 19.Mark BRIDGE, 24.Raul LLORENTE, 33.Michael THWAITE, , 42.Keanu BACCUS

Substitutes not used: 35.Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS, 40.Nicholas SUMAN (gk)

Yellow cards: Janjetovic, Clisby, Carrusca

Red cards: None

Perth Glory squad: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.Xavi TORRES (15.Brandon WILSON 72'), 9.Andy KEOGH (c), 16.Joseph MILLS, 18.Andreu GUERAO (20.Jake BRIMMER 72'), 23.Scott NEVILLE, 26.Jacob ITALIANO (22.Adam TAGGART 56'), 66.Dino DJULBIC, 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 4.Shane LOWRY, 13.Nick FEELY (gk)

Yellow cards: Kilkenny

Red cards: Reddy