Glory edged out in season opener

A late fightback could not prevent Glory from succumbing to a 2-1 opening-round defeat against Western Sydney Wanderers at Spotless Stadium on Sunday.

First-half goals from Oriol Riera and Jumpei Kusukami put the hosts in charge, but the visitors rallied after the break and the luckless Adam Taggart was twice denied by the woodwork before a Brendan Hamill own-goal halved the arrears with seven minutes left.

Joe Knowles provided the assist for Glory's goal, picking out Andy Keogh whose header deflected off Hamill into the net and the young substitute came close to snatching a point for the West Australians when his 87th-minute strike almost eluded home goalkeeper, Vedran Janjetovic.

Riera had earlier continued his fine pre-season form by firing Wanderers in front on 43 minutes and in first-half stoppage-time, Kusukami capped a rapid counter-attack by doubling his side's advantage.

To their credit, Kenny Lowe's men forced their way back into the contest in the final quarter, but despite some sustained late pressure, were ultimately unable to deny former Glory man Hayden Foxe marking his first game in charge of Western Sydney with a victory.

The game burst into life as early as the 9th minute when a superb challenge from Jacob Poscoliero foiled Kusukami as he prepared to pull the trigger and moments later, Liam Reddy produced two regulation saves in quick succession to deny Roly Bonevacia.

But Glory were also posing a threat themselves, debutant Xavi Torres forcing Janjetovic into a save with a headed effort after fine approach work from Joseph Mills and Keogh then stinging the palms of the home' keeper having latched on to a clever assist from Diego Castro.

Just as the two sides looked set to head into the break locked at 0-0, however, Wanderers turned the game on its head.

Alvaro Cejudo was the architect of Riera's opener, producing a fine, reverse-pass assist which his compatriot calmly clipped past Reddy to open the scoring.

And the hosts swiftly doubled their advantage courtesy of a sweeping move in which Kearyn Baccus and Hamill both featured prominently before Kusukami surged into the box and slipped the ball into the far corner. 

Wanderers started the second half as brightly as they had ended the first, with Cejudo forcing a fine point-blank save from Reddy and Riera wastefully hooking a superb chipped pass from Chris Herd over the bar.

But Glory's attacking threat grew as the half wore on, with Taggart going agonisingly close on three occasions in quick succession.

The Socceroos striker firstly hit the post from close-range after reacting quickest to a deflected Mills cross, was then denied by a superb block from Janjetovic and seconds later, met a Castro free-kick with a diving header which clipped the top of the bar.

Hamill's own-goal duly set up a tense finale and the home fans were decidedly jittery in the final minutes, but despite their best efforts, Glory just failed to salvage a point.

Match Details

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (Riera 43', Kusukami 45+1') Perth Glory 1 (Hamill o.g 83') 

Half-time 2-0

Spotless Stadium

Referee:  Daniel Elder

Assistant Referee 1: Andrej Giev

Assistant Referee 2: James Tesoriero

Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

Video Assistant Referee: Strebre Delovski

Western Sydney Wanderers FC : 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK), 5.Brendan HAMILL, 8.Roly BONEVACIA (11.Brendon SANTALAB 90+2'), 9.Oriol RIERA, 10.Àlvaro CEJUDO (19.Mark BRIDGE 73'), 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 18.Robert CORNTHWAITE (c), 24.Raúl LLORENTE, 25.Chris HERD (7.Steven LUSTICA 72'), 33.Michael THWAITE

Substitutes not used: 3.Jack CLISBY, 30.John HALL (GK)

Yellow cards: None

Red cards: None

Perth Glory squad:  33.Liam REDDY (GK), 4.Shane LOWRY, 5. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 8.Xavi TORRES (15.Brandon WILSON 64'), 9. Andy KEOGH (c), 14.Chris HAROLD (19.Joe KNOWLES 81'), 16.Joseph MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 20.Jake BRIMMER (18.Andreu GUERAO 46'), 22.Adam TAGGART, 23.Scott NEVILLE

Substitutes not used: 2.Alex GRANT, 13 Nick FEELY (GK)

Yellow cards: Mills 34'

Red cards: None