Sydney get the 'blues' after Glorious comeback

Two late second half goals ensured Perth Glory FC maximum points, following its dramatic 2-1 win over Sydney FC in what was a night of controversy at Allianz Stadium on Thursday.

A dubious penalty awarded to the Sky Blues in the 56th minute put the home team in front but a tremendous fight back from the West Australians, with goals from man-of-the-match Rostyn Griffiths and Andy Keogh was enough to cancel out Sydney's thunder and maintain Perth's unbeaten run in six Hyundai A-League matches and remain at the top of the table.

Perth Glory FC started brightly and within minutes from the kick-off had one of the best chances when Griffiths found himself free but headed a corner ball, just wide of the post.

A minute later Mitch Nichols found himself one-on-one with Sydney keeper Vedran Janjetovic, who saved feet first to deny Nichols' shot on goal.

Glory kept up the pressure and created more chances. Full back Scott Jamieson weaved his way into the box in the 15th minute but could only fire low past the box.

But the best chance of the first half came in the 35th minute when Glory's Andy Keogh beat his defender to go one-one one with Janjetovic but as he fired his shot, his marker made ground to block the strike.

Glory custodian Danny Vukovic was called into action two minutes later after Bernie Ibini shot on goal. Vukovic did well to make a diving save.

Sydney kicked off the second half with more fire in its belly and ten minutes in, were in front after a controversial penalty was awarded to the Blues. Perth's Dino Djulbic was hit on the arm inside the box and referee Alan Miliner pointed to the spot kick. Replays showed Djulbic turned away as the ball blasted into his arm with his hands behind his back but Miliner was not buying any of the Glory players' protests. Up stepped former Glory striker Shane Smeltz who buried the ball into the back of the net. 

That goal spurred the Blues on who enjoyed a commanding spell and could have scored five minutes later but Vukovic was called again who made a reflex save to deny Terry Antonis.

With 20 minutes to go the momentum slowly shifted in Glory's favour. Djulbic came close to being the hero with a close header off a corner in the 71st minute. Nearly 15 minutes later, dead ball specialist Nebo Marinkovic fired a free kick into the box, which found Griffiths who expertly headed the ball through Janjetovic's hands and into the back of the net.

It was Grififth's first goal of the season and enough to inspire Glory to chase the win. The sealer came three minutes from full-time after Scott Jamieson was clipped in the box. Sharp shooter Keogh stepped up to take the penalty who placed it into the back of the next and at the same time registered his sixth Hyundai A-League goal of the season.

Griffiths said he was delighted to score his first goal of the season.

"I probably should have scored early on but to score when I did was important for the boys and I'm over the moon and hope there's more to come" he said.

"To go back home with four points on a tough road trip, first against Brisbane and then Sydney, the challenge was to keep mentally strong and we've done that".

Griffiths admitted the conditions were atrocious to play in.

"It was very hot and humid...so hot to play it was like running on treadmills".  

Glory coach Kenny Lowe described the penalty awarded to Sydney as a "poor decision" but praised the 'character' of the team to claw its way back and grab the three points.

Glory now sit at the top of the table four points clear and will face off against Newcastle Jets on December 12 at nib Stadium, for a chance to further extend its lead at the top.

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Match Details
Scorers: Smeltz 57’, Griffiths 83’, Keogh 87’

Red cards: none

Yellow cards: Djulbic 56’, Nichols 66’

Attendance: 11,280 at Allianz Stadium.

Scorers: Smeltz 57’, Griffiths 83’, Keogh 87’

Yellow cards: Djulbic 56’, Nichols 66’

Perth Glory FC squad: 1. Danny VUKOVIC (gk),  5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC,  9.Andy KEOGH ((90+2 12. Jamie Maclaren 90+2’)10.Nebosja MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA (74' 8. Ruben Zadkovich),  15.Jamie MACLAREN, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 18.Jack DUNCAN.19.Joshua RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA (66' 14.Chris HAROLD), 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c)

Unused subs: 18. Jack Duncan, 13. Diogo Alves FERREIR

Sydney FC squad: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 4. Predrag BOJIC, 5. Matthew JURMAN  (19. Nick CARLE 88’), 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 8. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 11. Bernie IBINI, 14. Alex BROSQUE (c), 16. Alexander GERSBACH, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 23. Ryan GRANT (13. Christopher NAUMOFF 73’), 14. Alex BROSQUE, 

Unused subs: 18. Peter TRIANTIS, 25. Aaron CALVER, 30. Anhony BOUZANIS.