Honours split as Glory and Bulls play draw out 0-0 in Perth
Perth Glory sealed its first clean sheet of the season in a 0-0 draw with Macarthur FC at HBF Park on Saturday afternoon.
Macarthur goalkeeper Adam Federici provided one pivotal save on either side of half-time to twice deny Bruno Fornaroli a decisive goal, ensuring his side took a share of the spoils on their travels against a Perth team which had the better of the chances in the second half.
Federici kept Fornaroli out in the first half with a smart save from a close-range shot, getting a vital right leg out to block the ball angled toward the bottom left corner.
The pair faced off once more in the 57th minute when Fornaroli struck on goal for a similar angle, only for Federici to put his left glove on the shot to push the ball off the post - the rebound fell to Chris Ikonomidis who couldn't put his attempt on target as Macarthur held on to parity in the contest.
Andy Keogh and Carlo Armiento went close to combining off the bench for a winning goal in the final ten minutes of play before Mark Milligan sent a header from Denis Genreau's late corner kick into the arms of Glory custodian Liam Reddy as the final whistle blew with scores locked at 0-0.
The clean sheet was Perth 'keeper Liam Reddy's 86th in A-League history. The Glory shot-stopper went above Danny Vukovic (85) to take sole ownership of the league's all-time clean sheet record at the conclusion of the 0-0 draw.
Macarthur held the ascendancy in first-half possession but the home side produced the best of the chances in the opening 45 minutes of play.
An early opportunity presented to Perth captain Diego Castro when Ikonomidis plucked him out from the crowd with a cross swung in off the right wing, only for the Spaniard to flash his header wide of the mark.
Beñat Etxebarria and Genreau offered control in midfield for the visitors, and the latter produced his team's first genuine chance after striking Luke Bodnar's clearance back toward goal on the volley, which Reddy was well positioned to save.
Fornaroli collected Castro's through ball slid into the box in the 17th minute of play, and looked well-placed to put his side into the lead before Adam Federici produced a save of some quality to keep the Uruguayan out.
Fornaroli shot from a slight angle on the right-hand side of the penalty area, attempting to bury the ball into the bottom-left corner - only for Federici to collect the shot with an outstretched leg to ensure Macarthur remained level.
An extended period of play ensued in which chances were few and far between. Charles M'Mombwa attempted to sneak a shot from outside the box past Reddy into the bottom-left corner, before a cross from Jason Geria late in the half threatened to find the head of Ikonomidis, who was denied by a last-gasp headed interception by Jake McGing.
Glory head coach Richard Garcia brought Armiento off the bench at half-time in place of Joel Chianese, and the impact was clear from the outset as Perth showed a greater spark in attack throughout the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Castro struck a volley from the tip of the box after a corner routine which skimmed just wide of the left-hang upright before Fornaroli struck the opposite post in the 57th minute.
Fornaroli was released into the box after a one-two with Castro and his shot toward goal was pushed onto the woodwork by Federici. The rebound fell to Ikonomidis who shot first-time just over the bar - Perth had started the second half with real vigour, and were well on top heading into the final half-hour.
The chances continued to fly in as Perth turned up the heat on the Bulls. Fornaroli was involved once more after meeting Armiento's cross lofted to the back post; the Glory striker was falling backwards as he reached to meet the ball with his head, and his resulting attempt went just wide of the top-left corner of goal.
Keogh came on for Perth with less than 15 minutes to play, and the substitute striker was a boot away from connecting with a dangerous Armiento cross to give the home side a deserved lead.
Armiento gathered the ball on the left of the box after a pass from Neil Kilkenny, and from close range struck a low ball across the face of goal for Keogh to attack - but the ball was put too far ahead of Keogh to poke home on the slide.
The Bulls ventured forward late to carve out one last chance to score. Genreau was the provider from a corner kick and Milligan got to the drop of the ball in the box to head on goal, but his attempt was directed straight into Reddy's path.
Perth Glory v Melbourne City
Wednesday, May 5 2021
Kick-off: 9.20pm AEST
Melbourne Victory v Macarthur FC
Thursday, May 6 2021
Kick-off: 7.05pm AEST
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