Late goal seals Glory win in Challenge Cup

A late goal from substitute Joel Chianese has given Perth Glory a hard-fought 2-1 win over the WA State Team in Thursday night's Challenge Cup clash at Dalmatinac Park.

All three goals came in the second half, with Tomi Mrcela putting Glory in front with a bullet header, before Trent Kay levelled for Jamie Harnwell's men with a similar effort.

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Chianese then ensured Tony Popovic's side would retain the trophy played for annually by finishing off after a mazy dribble into the box which went in after hitting both posts.

In one of his side's more competitive pre-season hit-outs to date, Popovic opted to play much of the first half with only ten men after Jacob Italiano limped off with a knee injury.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Hyundai A-League outfit continued to dominate possession and carved out several decent chances in front of a healthy crowd in the southern suburbs. 

Glory's first effort of the night was fired in by Jake Brimmer after seven minutes and drew a regulation save from Luke Radonich and the State Team 'keeper was called into action again moments later when Scott Neville's deep cross eventually fell for Jason Davidson who managed to get a shot away.

Glory were content to probe patiently away at a compact State Team defence and went close again when a fierce strike from Brandon Wilson was well blocked by Radonich on the half-hour mark.

Tony Popovic's post-match reflections

Yet it was the State Team who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening period when former Glory Youth player Gian Albano rattled the crossbar with a shot on the turn.

Glory began the second half brightly and edged ahead 11 minutes in when Brimmer's pinpoint corner was powerfully headed home by Mrcela.

Wilson then saw his fizzing, low effort well saved by substitute 'keeper Sam Stone, but just as Popovic's side looked set to pull away, the State Team restored parity when Kay rose highest to meet David Micevski's corner.

After Michael Domfeh and Brendon Santalab both went close to restoring Glory's lead, it was left to Chianese to have the final word.

Cutting in from the right flank, the former Sydney FC man skipped past three defenders and beat Stone with a shot that hit both posts on its way over the line.

Dino Djulbic with the Challenge Cup
Dino Djulbic lifts the Challenge Cup