Wanderers dump Glory out in extra time. Lowry rumoured to be Qatar bound.


Perth Glory 1 Western Sydney Wanderers 2

Wanderers won this dour encounter in extra time thanks to goals by Mohamed Adam and Kwame Yeboah, cancelling out Tomislav Mrcela’s equaliser.

This game had pre-season written all over it as both teams struggled to find their rhythm, until it sparked to life with three goals in a nine-minute spell in the second period of extra time.

Wanderers played all in white, while Glory were sporting their new third strip in black and gold, paying homage to the colours of Western Australia, as the only club representing the state in the A-League.

Dorrien Gardens threw up a great pre-match atmosphere tonight. The compact venue drew a decent crowd of 1,587  for this all A-League FFA Cup, round of 32 match-up. The small grandstand only holds 450 with the standing fans on all four sides in high spirits and making the most of the occasion, but there was not much for them to shout about.

Ivan Franjic had the ball in the net for Glory in the 26th minute, but the whistle had already blown for an infringement.

Chris Harold turned well on the 18-yard line a few minutes later, but Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Lopar stood up well to save the shot.

Glory were persisting with their passing game out of defence, but seemed to be missing popular central defender Shane Lowry, who was mysteriously left out of the squad, rumoured to be going to a club in oil-rich Qatar.

The second half was similarly uneventful.

On the hour mark Yeboah played Wanderers left wing-back Daniel Georgevski in, but the impressive recent acquisition from Newcastle Jets fired just over.

Glory’s talismanic playmaker Diego Castro was introduced for the debutant Nick D’Agostino in the 66th minute. The young forward, signed after being released by Brisbane Roar gave a decent account of himself, but Castro made an immediate impact.

Castro’s impact was immediate but unsustained. Photo credit: Paul McNeela/Prost

He’d only been on the field for a minute when he slipped a well weighted pass right to Chris Harold, but the recently returned Perth favourite banged in a cross/shot that missed everyone and everything.

Former Melbourne City forward Bruno Fornaroli also looked lively up-front for Glory, and his creativity and hold-up play look to be an improvement on the recently departed Andy Keogh.

Fornaroli held off two defenders and provided Harold with another great chance in the 73rd minute, but Harold squandered the opportunity with a weak, poorly directed, shot.

Castro’s impact was not sustained as the game remained 0-0 till the end of the regulation 90 minutes. Extra time was upon us and nobody was the least bit surprised.

It remained a scrappy encounter during extra time, and just as a penalty shoot-out was seeming inevitable the game sparked to life with three goals in nine minutes.

Popa team talk prior to extra time, Franjic listening intently. Photo credit: Paul McNeela/Prost

First substitute Mohamed Adam placed his shot well from 20 metrea out to put the Western Sydney side ahead in the 108th minute, but big central defender Mrcela slammed it home through a maze of players to level it six minutes later.

Then, Kwame Yeboah controversially reclaimed the lead three minutes from the end. Perth Glory goalkeeper Liam Reddy appeared to be fouled by a teammate when the ball spilled out to a grateful Yeboah who made no mistake from point blank range.

The Glory shot stopper could only look on in despair as Yeboah’s effort bulged his net ending the Perth side’s interest in this year’s FFA Cup.

Franjic was sent off at full time apparently for dissent, presumably unhappy with the winning goal.

Meanwhile Markus Babbel’s team progress to meet NPL NSW side Sydney United, a plum draw that should see them through to the quarter finals.

At the post-match press conference Tony Popovic revealed:

“We originally had Shane Lowry in the team. For personal reasons he couldn’t play today.” He declined to comment further when questioned about the Qatar rumours.

Perth Glory: Reddy; Tratt (booked), Mrcela, Wilson; Franjic (sent off), Kilkenny, Brimmer, Chianese (booked) (Ostler, 106’); D’Agostino (Castro, 66’), Fornaroli, Harold (G. Popovic, 91’).

Western Sydney Wanderers: Lopar; Elrich, Mourdoukoutas, McGowan; Georgevski, Baccus, Grozos (Sullivan 21’) (Adam, 72’), Schwegler (booked), Kamau; Majewski (booked); Yeboah (Russell, 120’).




About Author

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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