A ten man Perth Glory FC has beaten Asian Champions Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 and recorded its first victory at Pirtek Stadium.
On a night where a freak hail storm delayed the match by 55 minutes and turned the Parramatta stadium into an ice-field, the Western Australians once again displayed a tremendous amount of strength and character to muster their fifth win on the road this season.
Jamie Maclaren put Glory in front with a superb first-time strike to record his ninth goal of the season in the 17th minute, while Andy Keogh scored his 12th goal to secure the three points in the 66th minute.
Glory could have hit the front in the ninth minute when Griffiths headed the ball towards goal but it was cleared off the line. Richard Garcia followed through immediately after, but the ball hit the post and fell into the hands of Wanderers ‘keeper Dean Bouzanis.
Glory had multiple more chances to extend its lead in the first half; through Keogh, Danny De Silva and Dino Djulbic but the ball failed to hit the back of the net.
The Wanderers also had their chances to equalise. Kerem Bulut fired on goal in the 35’ and then right on the stroke of half time. Vukovic was called into action to smother a Wanderers shot on goal.
In the second 45’, Glory should have made it two. Garcia again headed the ball towards goal which bounced off the crossbar and an incoming De Silva - playing his last match in Glory colours before his anticipated move to AS Roma - skied the ball over the bar.
Minutes later, the Wanderers levelled the ledger after a Liam Youlley free kick was deflected and bounced into the back of Vukovic’s net.
Both sides pressed for the winner and it was Glory who made the breakthrough. Josh Risdon made a cutting run inside and threaded the ball to Keogh who placed the ball perfectly around Bouzanis into the bottom left hand corner.
There was however more drama to come. Slovenian defender Denis Kramar got his marching orders for a second bookable offence with 15 minutes to go.
Maclaren could have added his second for the night after he was fed a brilliant through ball from Nebo Marinkovic in the 82’, but the young striker’s shot was off target.
In the final minutes Glory sustained the barrage from the Wanderers but as they’ve done all year, the players put their bodies on the line.
The victory was the third against the Wanderers this season.
Kenny Lowe's men will have a month off before returning in early June to start their pre-season campaign.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC: Bouzanis, D’Cunha, Aspropotamitis, Topor-Stanley, Golec, Youlley (Trifiro 75’), Poljak, Kuzmanovski, Kalmar (Mebrahtu 71’), Rukavytsya (Bridge 57’), Bulut
Perth Glory: Vukovic, Risdon, Djulbic, Thwaite, Kramar, Griffiths, Garcia, Oxborrow (Marinkovic 80’), Maclaren (Harold 90+2’), Keogh, De Silva (Jamieson 60’)
Scorers: Maclaren 17’, Youlley 53’, Keogh 66’
Red cards: Kramar 76’
Yellow cards: Bulut 27’, Youlley 38’, Oxborrow 40’, Kramar 52’ & 76’, Aspropotamitis 83’, Keogh 90+1’
Conditions: 20C, Wet
Attendance: 8852 @ Pirtek Stadium