Perth Glory’s charge towards the Hyundai A-League top six has gained further momentum after a crucial 2-1 win over Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
Andy Keogh struck in the first half – benefitting from a shocking Vedran Janjetovic mistake – before Chris Harold doubled the lead with 25 minutes left.
Substitute Shane Smeltz pulled one back for the Sky Blues with 11 minutes left to set up a grandstand finish but Glory held on for a well-deserved and vital three points.
The result sees seventh-placed Perth move to within two points of sixth-placed Adelaide – who have a game in hand – and only three behind Sydney FC.
0-1 Keogh (23’) – Gyorgy Sandor’s cross from the right looked like it would be swooped on by Janjetovic but the ball slipped through the Sydney keeper's gloves and through his legs, allowing Keogh a simple tap-in from close range.
0-2 Harold (65’) – Sandor was involved again, his shot was parried by Janjetovic into the path of Harold who made no mistake with the rebound for his fifth goal in his last five games.
1-2 Smeltz (79’) – A brilliant pass by Milos Ninkovic in behind split the Glory defence, with Smeltz burying his shot past Ante Covic into the far, bottom corner.
Not long after Keogh opened the scoring, a Sky Blues corner almost led to an immediate response.
Milos Dimitrijevic’s looping delivery made its way to the far post, where Seb Ryall was on hand to head it back across the face of goal.
The ball came down just a metre from the goal-line, where is hit Glory defender Shane Lowry, going up onto the crossbar and back out before it was cleared away.
While the home side had other chances to score before Glory’s second goal, that was as close as they came before Smeltz’s strike but by then it was too late.
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-The win was Glory’s third in a row on the road, the first time they have achieved that feat in the club’s history. They are also on a four-game winning streak, equalling a club record.
-The Sky Blues managed just one shot on target in the 90 minutes, and it resulted in a goal to substitute Smeltz.
The interplay for Glory’s second goal was simply superb. A no-look square pass from Diego Castro to release Sandor in midfield, before the Hungarian played a brilliant one-two with Nebojsa Marinkovic.
It gave Sandor a sight of goal and while his shot was saved by Janjetovic, Harold was on hand to slide it home and complete an excellent goal with the move of the match.