Free-scoring Perth turn on the style in classy win over Roar
Perth Glory moved into fifth on the A-League table with a 3-1 win over Brisbane Roar highlighted by a trio of well-worked goals at HBF Park on Friday night.
Richard Garcia's side became the first A-League team in history to score 18 goals across the first six games of a campaign, highlighting Perth's ruthlessness in attack not shown by a Roar outfit who failed to capitalise on numerous attacking forays throughout the 90 minutes.
The two sides engaged in battle with Brisbane looking to solidify a spot in the top two and Perth eyeing a place in the Finals Series standings.
The first half produced action aplenty down either end with chances presenting to both sides which were all wasted bar two, with Diego Castro and Jack Hingert converting well-worked team goals down either end in an entertaining opening stanza.
Brisbane produced plenty of nearly moments in the second stanza, but as the Roar failed to find the end product to convert attacking situations the free-scoring Glory showed no such signs of inefficiency, scoring twice in the second half to set up the 3-1 win.
Second-half substitute Kosuke Ota was a telling difference down the left flank as he provided assists to both Bruno Fornaroli and Castro for magnificent goals crafted through intricate team moves and finished with aplomb.
It's a fourth win in six games to start the campaign for Garcia's side, who are quietly building out West ahead of a clash with league-leading Central Coast Mariners at HBF Park on Tuesday night.
Before Perth took the lead late in the first half the visitors threatened with a handful of chances which troubled Tando Velaphi in goal for Glory.
Golgol Mebrahtu hit the woodwork in his first start for the Roar, leaping ahead of Tom Aldred at the back post to head Corey Brown's dead-ball delivery off the crossbar. The Brisbane frontman drew the ire of his captain Aldred in the aftermath, who felt he was better placed to divert the ball on target.
Perth had a claim for a penalty waved away when Jamie Young and Nick D'Agostino collided in the box; referee Alireza Faghani declined to award the spot kick and a VAR check concluded in favour of supporting the on-field decision.
Perth proceeded to tighten the screws when D'Agostino struck a shot on goal soon after which Brown got back to deflect, and three quick-fire corners ensued, with Neil Kilkenny eventually finding Jonathan Aspropotamitis who headed over the bar.
With 40 minutes on the clock Glory converted, scoring a goal sparked by the flair of D'Agostino and finished by Glory captain Castro.
D'Agostino created the chance with a run through midfield, nutmegging Rahmat Akbari on his way toward feeding Castro into the box. The Spaniard squared up Hingert and cut inside to dispatch a perfect curling shot into the opposite corner of goal.
After going a goal down, the Roar instantly went on the attack in search of an equaliser. Dylan Wenzel-Halls struck the post from close range when a cross from Hingert deflected off Dane Ingham and fell in his path.
It was a warning sign of things to come. Deep into four minutes of added time in the first half, Brisbane sparked a brilliant team move as Wenzel-Halls linked with Akbari, Jay O’Shea and Brown down the left flank.
Brown ultimately received the ball in space on the left flank and hung the ball up for Hingert to attack, which the full-back did with eagerness. His headed attempt from range wrong-footed Velaphi, who couldn’t get a strong enough glove on the ball as it drifted into the back of the net.
The second half began in similarly breathless fashion to the first with Mebrahtu and D'Agostino finding space in the box but committed defending snuffed out the danger down either end.
Buoyed by his magnificent headed goal in the first half Hingert continued to invade down the right flank. The Roar full-back sent a series of cut-backs from the byline toward the penalty spot but the Roar attack proved inept at capitalising on the dangerous wing play.
Perth, however, had no such issues down the other end. Garcia made a quadruple substitution on the hour mark, bringing Japanese international Ota on for his first A-League appearance in left-back. The debutant had two assists to his name just 15 minutes later.
The first came after a magnificent series of one-touch play, with Kilkenny floating a ball from midfield to Ota in the box, who played back to Fornaroli to dispatch a first-time volley from the left of the box into the top right corner of goal.
HBF Park was bouncing after the hosts reclaimed the lead. With all the momentum and a raucous home crowd spurring them on Perth turned on the style, piercing Brisbane's defence for a third time thanks to Castro's second goal of the evening.
The Glory captain took Joshua Rawlins' pass outside the box and wrapped the ball behind his body to Fornaroli lying in wait. The Uruguayan slipped Ota down the line, whose cross was pushed by Young into Castro's path. With one touch to control and a second to shoot, Castro struck past Young on his left foot to put the hosts 3-1 to the good.
Perth Glory v Central Coast Mariners
Tuesday, March 2 2021
Kick-off: 9.20pm AEDT
Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
Saturday, March 6 2021
Moreton Daily Stadium
Kick-off: 5.05pm AEDT
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