Glory can't hold off Sydney

Sydney FC came from behind twice in a physical match against Perth Glory that ended 2-2 on a warm Saturday night at nib Stadium.

Sydney FC came from behind twice in a physical match against Perth Glory that ended 2-2 on a warm Saturday night at nib Stadium.

The Sky Blues scored twice in the second half, leaving the Glory frustrated with consecutive home draws.

Perth only had themselves to blame, wasting several first-half chances to put the game to bed.

Shane Smeltz opened the scoring in the 39th minute after Josh Risdon played in a decent cross from the right flank that was expertly finished by the A-League's top scorer.

Showing no signs of being in a slump, the New Zealander flashed his instinctive header across the face of Vedran Janjetovic's goal, leaving the Sydney keeper stranded.

The home side dominated much of the first half, creating the more chances and were unlucky not to be further ahead before half-time.

Travis Dodd had the ball in the back of the net in the ninth minute, but was ruled offside after a flick by Ryo Nagai from a Liam Miller free-kick.

Five minutes later, Dodd picked out Steven McGarry with a long ball angled across the park which ended with McGarry going down softly in the box, the home crowd's jeers ignored by referee Kris Griffiths-Jones.

The best chance for Sydney came through their No.10 as Alessandro Del Piero picked out Jason Culina in the 17th minute, only for the midfielder to hit the half-volley high and wide.

Scott Jamieson then had a low strike across goal parried away by Janjetovic, who was the much busier of the two keepers.

A Jamieson free-kick was met at the far post by Steve Pantelidis three minutes from the break, only for Nagai to fluff his lines and make poor contact with the ball from only three yards out.

The second half started much the same way the first, with Glory forcing two corners in the first three minutes.

Glory might have been two up if Dodd had not completely missed the ball after smart build-up play from Smeltz and McGarry in the 62nd minute.

Sydney broke on the counter-attack and drew level just after the hour mark. Del Piero managed to keep the ball in play and Brett Emerton played in a sumptuous cross from the right flank to an unmarked Culina, who headed the ball into the roof of the net.

The away side grew as the half wore on and Culina had a golden chance for the Sky Blues to go ahead. Substitute Joel Chianese beat the offside trap and cut the ball back for the former Socceroo, who blasted over from four yards with only Danny Vukovic to beat.

Janjetovic was spared blushes as another good Jamieson corner forced the keeper back into his goal, but he managed to keep the ball the right side of the line from a Sydney FC perspective.

Smeltz scored his second of the night with a superb finish in the 80th minute after a zig-zagging run from Dodd, who put the ball on a plate for Smeltz to hit first time into the top right corner.

Sydney weren't finished though as Vukovic flapped at a Del Piero free-kick, with the ball landing right at Seb Ryall's feet, the former Melbourne Victory player volleying the ball underneath the frustrated home keeper with only eight minutes remaining.

Perth Glory 2 (Smeltz 39', 80') Sydney FC 2 (Culina 63', Ryall 82') Man of the Match: Shane Smeltz He was on the periphery for much of the game but proved his worth with two clinically taken goals. Crowd: 11,200 @ nib Stadium