Perth Glory FC has capped off a week of records by setting another milestone with a 2-1 win over Asian Champions Western Sydney Wanderers at nib stadium.
The club’s maiden victory over the Wanderers was witnessed by more than 12-thousand fans, the biggest home crowd of the season so far. And they didn’t have to wait too long before they celebrated, after big defender Dino Djulbic spearheaded the Hyundai A-League leaders in front, with a strong header from a corner kick in the 9th minute.
It was another defender turned dead ball specialist in Scott Jamieson who sealed the match in the 78th minute with a stunning free kick.
Western Sydney were missing a host of stars including captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley who was on Socceroo’s duty while first choice goalkeeper Ante Covic and import Romeo Castelen were among a troop of players rested by coach Tony Popovic.
The first real chance of the game fell to Western Sydney when Labinot Haliti was able to steal the ball off Glory and drive towards goal who shot on target but was confronted by an incoming Danny Vukovic with a desperate block.
Less than four minutes later Perth Glory FC gained the upper hand when Djulbic sweetly connected his header at the back post off a Nebosja Marinkovic corner, pounding the ball past Wanderers stand in keeper, Dean Bouzanis, who could only watch on helplessly. Djulbic wheeled away, celebrating his first goal for Glory in the Hyundai A-League era.
Perth was not content with the one goal lead and the next man to go close was Richard Garcia but his shot from 20 metres was smartly saved by Bouzanis, who tipped the ball around the post in the 12th minute.
The Wanderers still had chances of their own and they would have had their equaliser in the 17th minute through Jason Trifiro if it wasn’t for another outstanding Vukovic save.
Coming up against his former club for the first time, Wanderers-come-Glory winger Youssouf Hersi was lively for the hosts amassing four shots in the first 45 minutes, but Glory failed to convert their dominance on the pitch onto the scoreboard. Glory went into the half-time break with 17 shots on goal.
Glory continued its impressive assault on the Wanderers defence early in the second half with Djulbic again looking likely from Marinkovic’s free kick in the 49th minute, just missing the target.
Youngster Danny De Silva was proving a handful out wide and nearly capitalised after some neat footwork in the penalty box in the 51st minute.
However Tony Popovic’s men started to create more chances with skipper Mark Bridge going close with a volley in the 59th, before Jaushua Sotirio tried a spectacular volley at the back post only to see it cannon into the side netting.
In the 68th minute, an old Glory favourite Nikita Rukavytsya returned to nib Stadium for the first time in five years, while Glory’s off-season signing Ruben Zadkovich also made his debut in the Glory strip.
Glory wanted to double its lead and threw on young gun Chris Harold in the 76th minute. As soon as he came on he surged towards goal before being fouled by Antony Golec.
With Marinkovic already subbed off, Jamieson was keen to show the crowd his dead ball skills and unleashed an unstoppable curling shot over the wall which had Bouzanis well beaten, sending the 12,166 people into raptures.
However, with five minutes to go, there was a scare for Glory when Jaushua Sotirio was able to capitalise on some loose Glory defending, bundling the ball over the line past Danny Vukovic.
But Glory was able to withstand a late surge from Western Sydney and regain top spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder. Perth is only the second team in A-League history to win its first five games after six rounds.
Saturday night's win comes after a resounding 3-0 victory over NPL Victorian outfit Bentleigh Greens, paving the way to the historic Westfield FFA Cup Final and winning for the first time in Gosford against the Central Coast Mariners two days earlier.
Glory coach Kenny Lowe was upbeat about the Wanderers win but was not getting carried away.
“It was a great game, a good game to win. They had a very fresh side, I would've taken that result before the game started"
"If you didn't enjoy that game, you won't enjoy a game of football in your life."
Perth Glory FC now turns its focus to next Friday night’s home clash against 5th placed Wellington Phoenix.
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GOAL SCORERS: Dino DJULBIC 9’, ’78 Scott JAMIESON ’86 Jaushua SOTIRIO
YELLOW CARDS: Joshua RISDON (PG) 34’, Daniel MULLEN (WSW) 48’ Antony GOLEC (WSW) 76’
RED CARDS: nil
PERTH GLORY FC:
1. Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 7. Youssouf HERSI (14. Chris HAROLD 68’), 9. Andy KEOGH, 10. Nebosja MARINKOVIC (8. Ruben ZADKOVICH 61’), 11. Richard GARCIA, 19. Joshua RISDON 20. Daniel DE SILVA, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 23. Michael THWAITE (c)
SUBS NOT USED: 3. Brandon O’NEILL, 13. Diogo Alves FERREIRA, 30. Jordan THURTELL (GK)
COACH: Kenny LOWE
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS:
3. Daniel MULLEN, 5. Brendan HAMILL, 6. Antony GOLEC, 7. Labinot HALTI (12. Nikita RUKAVYTSYA 68’), 8. Mateo POLJAK, 16. Jaushua SOTIRIO, 19. Mark BRIDGE (c), 20. Dean BOUZANIS (GK), 23. Jason TRIFIRO, 31. Alusine FOFANAH (10. Vitor SABA 53’), 32. Daniel ALESSI
SUBS NOT USED: 2. Shannon COLE, 30. Thomas MANOS (GK), 35. Kearyn BACCUS
COACH: Tony POPOVIC