Late Glory drama ruins Honda-inspired comeback
Christopher Ikonomidis struck a dramatic stoppage time winner as Perth Glory defeated Melbourne Victory 3-2 on Sunday evening.
The Perth attacker fired home a rebound at the death to settle a frantic contest at AAMI Park and seal the first Hyundai A-League win of the Tony Popovic era.
Victory found themselves 2-0 down at half time after Joel Chianese and Andy Keogh capitalised on a pair of defensive lapses.
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But a Keisuke Honda-inspired fightback saw Terry Antonis peg a goal back and Storm Roux restore parity in the 87th minute after glancing the Japanese attacker’s corner home.
However, the Western Australians would enjoy the last laugh as Ikonomidis came up trumps in the third minute of stoppage time to inflict back to back defeats on the reigning Champions.
Victory were courting a record 100th Hyundai A-League win at home but that landmark was swiftly offset by two first half moments of self-destruction.
It began when Chianese tucked away an eighth-minute opener from close range after Victory failed to clear Jason Davidson’s ball to the back post.
And Victory’s start went from bad to worse when Keogh pounced on a horror defensive mix-up between Nick Ansell and Georg Niedermeier to double the advantage.
They were rattled by Perth’s intensity and their two opening half moments of self-destruction, but Victory instantly grabbed a goal back two minutes into the second half through Antonis’ sweetly-struck effort from long range.
Honda came close to inspiring an equaliser, firstly by curling a gorgeous lofted ball into the path of Kosta Babarouses who was unable to connect, before drawing Glory shot-stopper Liam Reddy into action to repel a firm drive from the edge of the area.
Honda would turn provider for Roux as full-time neared, but the match took another incredible turn as Ikonomidis tucked away an injury time winner to conclude a remarkable contest.
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