Perth Glory crowned Premiers: Franjic fires Popovic's men to Hyundai A-League silverware
Ivan Franjic was the hero as Perth Glory beat Newcastle Jets 1-0 to seal the Hyundai A-League Premiers Plate on Sunday night.
Perth's relentless pressure finally told when fullback Franjic raced onto Diego Castro's pass and buried a nerveless finish past Jets goalkeeper Glen Moss on the hour mark.
That proved the Premiership-winning strike for Tony Popovic's side, and lands the proud West Australian club their first piece of Hyundai A-League silverware.
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It was an anxious start for the Glory, and Jets striker Roy O'Donovan did his best ramp up the nerves at HBF Park. First, the Irishman hit the crossbar with a thunderous volley from miles out and thought he'd broken the deadlock after turning Ivan Vujica's cross home only for referee Kurt Ams to disallow the goal after consulting with the Video Assistant Referee.
But Glory slowly found their groove. Popovic's men struck the woodwork when Keogh fired the lively Joel Chianese's cutback against the frame of the goal, and Jets gloveman Glen Moss produced a good one-on-one stop from Chianese on the cusp of the interval.
Perth launched an almighty onslaught in the second half. Moss parried Jason Davidson's howitzer and blocked Diego Castro's effort, before the Spaniard and forward Chianese both saw goals chalked off by the linesman's offside flag.
Finally, just as tension began to rise, the hosts broke the deadlock in the 65th minute. Castro scurried toward goal and spotted Franjic's dart into the box, and the Glory fullback finished smartly across Moss.
The Jets showed signs of life, and Perth keeper Liam Reddy was called into action to deny O'Donovan's misjudged header, while
But there was to be no late twist as the West Australian club crowned a dominant 2018/19 campaign and etched their name on the Premiers Plate.