Pop of the league! Glory withstand late Roar …. um …. roar to take three points

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Perth Glory 2 : 1 Brisbane Roar

Tony Popovic’s Glorious revolution got underway in Perth under floodlights tonight in front of an appreciative home support happy to see their favourites join Sydney at the top of the A-League 3 points clear of the rest, thanks to back to back wins.

The Perth club posted an impressive display, controlling the midfield and dominating throughout, apart from a couple of 10 minute spells in each half where Brisbane Roar threatened. Keogh scored one and greatly contributed to a Roar own goal to give the Perth club a two goal advantage by the 63rd minute.

Perth pin-up turned bad boy Adam Taggart, who left Glory in controversial circumstances during the close season, almost spoiled the party when Roar pressed for the equaliser after Taggart slotted home a penalty on 84’.

But the ten men of Glory held on to prevail 2-1, and continue their march up the table following their thrilling win over Melbourne Victory last week.

The Glory attack looked sharp from the off with Keogh and Iknomidis linking well, taking advantage of crisp passing from the wings. After six minutes, a beautiful ball was played into the box, Keogh getting two bites of the cherry but both headers adeptly saved by Young.

Fans streaming into the game

Keogh however was on target after 14 minutes. With Davidson the provider with a characteristic foray down the left wing, he swung it into the central area where Keogh and Ikonomidis continued to demonstrate their developing understanding, Keogh breaching the Roar defence with a clinical strike after 14 minutes.

The likely lads of Davidson, Ikonomidis and Keogh threatened again on the 22nd, 27th and 38th minute marks, but with no further return for their efforts.

A warning was given by Brisbane when a well weighted ball gave Henrique a great chance to Roar level, but he mistimed his run for an offside decision.

Half time: Glory 1 Roar 0.

A similar pattern continued in the second half. With Kilkenny and Juande stoking the midfield engine room, the defence stroking the ball around confidently and Ikonomidis and Keogh providing menace and mischief up front.  It seemed only a matter of time until Glory increased their advantage.

Around the hour mark Brisbane had another decent spell when the game really started to open up. Chianese lofted over for Glory from a decent position in the 58th minute. Kristensen for Roar found himself in a great position in the Glory box on 59’ but Glory’s ever Reddy keeper was equal to his delivery.

This passage of play continued when Davidson was surprisingly substituted by Neville in the 61st minute, perhaps Davidson suffered a knock. However, Neville made an immediate impact. Doing great work down the left wing, a touch of wizardry threaded the ball through to Keogh. Keogh twisted and turned, shot, keeper saved, but O’Toole cruelly turned it into his own net. What a tool he must have felt, but to be fair, the young defender had little chance to evade the rebound from his keeper. Glory 2 Roar 0.

Glory continued to dominate and seemed to be coasting to a comfortable victory. But an incident in the 76th minute seemed to interfere with Glory’s focus.

Neville and Bautheac competed for a 50/50 ball. The Brisbane midfielder went in hard but came off worse and was left writhing on the ground. Neville was unfairly booked and the sense of injustice seemed to temporarily change the momentum in favour of the Roar. In the 82nd minute Brisbane were pressing with little purpose when a couple of consecutive defensive blunders left Taggart bearing down on goal. Mrcela’s challenge, clumsy rather than malicious was certainly a penalty but his red card seemed a touch harsh.

The Glory boo boys were at fever pitch as their former hero stepped up and sent Reddy the wrong way. Glory 2 Roar 1. Brisbane had roared back into the game.

Brisbane pressed home their advantage over the 10 man to keep Glory pinned back for the rest of the game. But Glory held on till the 94th minute without jangling the nerves of the home support too seriously.

Tony Popovic was a happy man after the match

Three points for Glory and a welcome first home win for new Perth coach Tony Popovic.

At the post match conference Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi bemoaned their inability to stop Glory playing to their strengths while paying tribute to the Perth team’s performance.

“I was disappointed we started poorly and let them play.”

Glory coach Tony Popovic expressed satisfaction at getting the first home win done and dusted, but with a steely determination, is already thinking about the next game away to Adelaide United, who won the FFA cup midweek against joint leaders Sydney.

He hopes to instill a greater ruthlessness in his team to put games away quicker when they are on top. Other than that he seemed to be fairly comfortable in his view from the top.

PerthGlory: Reddy, Grant, Davidson, Lowry, Franjic, Chianese, Keogh (c), Mrcela, Ikonomidis, Juande, Kilkenny.
Subs: Harold, Wilson, Ferreira, Neville, Velaphi.

Brisbane Roar: Young, Papadopoulos, Kristensen, Pepper, Taggart, Bautheac, Lopez-Sanchez, McKay (c), Hingert, O’Toole,

Henrique. Subs: Ingham, Bowles, Mikkelsen, D’Agostino, White.

Attendance: 9,446.

Referee: Daniel Elder.

 

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Scozzie reporting on A-League and other stuff from the Indian Ocean shores. St. Johnstone fan. Follow me on twitter @perthmcneela.

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