Perth Glory moved within one point of the Hyundai A-League’s top six after stunning Brisbane Roar 6-3 in one of the matches of the season at nib Stadium on Saturday night.
A record-equalling nine goals were scored, including seven in the first half, as Glory charged their way to a fifth consecutive win – a club record in the A-League.
Irish striker Andy Keogh found the back of the net after just five minutes and the goals flowed from there, with the lead changing three times in an astonishing first half.
Diego Castro netted a penalty early in the second half to give the home side a two-goal buffer before veteran Richard Garcia iced the win four minutes from full-time with his team’s sixth goal, equalling the mark set against the Newcastle Jets only four weeks ago.
1-0 Andy Keogh (5’) – Gyorgy Sandor’s penetrating pass into the box deflected off a Roar defender and into the path of the Irishman, who calmly slotted his third goal in four matches.
1-1 Jamie Maclaren (17’) – Corona picked out Matt McKay on the left before the Roar skipper centred a pass to an unmarked Maclaren in the centre of the box. The former Glory striker completed the easiest of tap-ins to register his 12th goal of season, although replays suggested he may have been marginally offside.
1-2 Dimi Petratos (28’ pen) – Aryn Williams gave away a penalty when he dragged down Maclaren during a clumsy aerial challenge near the goal-line. Petratos stepped up to the spot and casually pushed the ball into the bottom left corner as Glory goalkeeper Ante Covic dived in the opposite direction.
2-2 Chris Harold (32’) – The Glory winger made it six goals from as many matches when he headed a pinpoint cross from Josh Risdon into the back of the net, despite being surrounded by a cluster of players.
2-3 Jade North (36’) – The Roar defender could not believe his luck when he latched on to Corona’s corner kick at the back post, giving Brisbane the lead for the second time in the match.
3-3 Nebojsa Marinkovic (38’) – Glory’s set-piece specialist squared the ledger once again with a low free kick from 31 yards which ricocheted off the inside of the right post.
4-3 Shane Lowry (41’) – The fringe Socceroos defender guaranteed an A-League record seven goals in a half when he scored his first in his fourth match, a header at the near-post from Marinkovic’s corner kick.
5-3 Diego Castro (49’) – Referee Stebre Delovski immediately pointed to the penalty spot after Keogh was brought down by North in the box. Castro became the eighth player to add his name to the scoresheet when he fired the ball into the bottom left corner, just under the outstretched arms of Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo.
6-3 Richard Garcia (86’) – The veteran winger had been on the pitch for just two minutes when he headed home his team’s sixth – equalling yet another record for the club – from close range after Castro danced around Steve Lustica and fired in a lethal cross from the right.
With his team down 3-2 against the league leaders, Marinkovic perfected the clutch play in the 38th minute which put Perth on the path to a memorable victory. The Serbian midfielder is regarded as one of premier set-piece takers in the competition and did not disappoint, curling a low free kick around the wall from 31 yards. Glory went on to score two more goals and record arguably the most spectacular win in the club’s history.
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This was the fifth time nine goals have been scored in an A-League match, equalling the previous scorelines set by Central Coast v Sydney FC (5-4, December 2007), Adelaide United v North Queensland (8-1, January 2011), Central Coast v Sydney FC (7-2, November 2012) and Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar (5-4, March 2015).
Keogh’s return and Harold’s hot streak have helped Glory score 19 goals in last six games. The men in purple only found the back of the net 15 times in first 14 rounds.
Nine goals, including seven in the first half. What more needs to be said? It was not a night for defenders or goalkeepers as the attackers took centre stage. Five goals were scored during a 13-minute frenzy at the back end of the first half, providing plenty of entertainment for the nib Stadium season-high crowd of 12,156.
Covic bravely soldiered on after dislocating his right ring finger trying to block a shot from Petratos in the 57th minute. Fans were urged to look away as the Perth physio put the finger back into the joint as the 40-year-old stopper squirmed in agony.
If it wasn’t already the case before Saturday night, Glory is now a genuine championship contender after upsetting the league leaders. Kenny Lowe’s side sits just one point outside of the top six, but trails Melbourne City, Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC by just one point. Another big test looms against second-placed Western Sydney at Pirtek Stadium on Friday night, but don’t be surprised if Perth enters the match slight favourites given their raging hot form.