Adelaide United came from behind to score a 2-1 win over Hyundai A-League leaders Perth Glory in humid conditions at nib Stadium on Monday night.
Glory took the lead through Nebojsa Marinkovic after 11 minutes before Craig Goodwin and James Jeggo found the back of the net either side of half-time to help the Reds snatch a third straight victory over Perth this season, including last month’s Westfield FFA Cup grand final triumph, in a match that kicked off in 36C heat and finished with the match still sitting above 32C.
The Reds remain the only side to beat Glory this season and will head into the Asian Cup break just six points adrift of Kenny Lowe’s side.What they said "It's something we've been working on specially in training, we've got specific runs that we make into the box and the wide players know where they need to put it. I made that run and was lucky enough to tuck it away. "We're content. We've been a bit disappointed with the last couple of results but we really wanted to get the result tonight going into the break and we've done that." - Adelaide United midfielder James Jeggo "We definitely didn't lie down. I think fatigue took a little bit out of us, we were playing in similar conditions three days ago. So two forty-degree games in three days is pretty tough and I think it showed towards the end there. "They're a great team (Adelaide) that play great football and we just don't seem to be able to get a result at the moment but we've got them one more time this season so we'll see if we can get the nod on them next time." - Perth Glory defender Joshua Risdon
1-0 Nebojsa Marinkovic (11’) Glory captain Michael Thwaite played a long ball to striker Andy Keogh, who cut back inside Reds defender Dylan McGowan before knocking the ball to a waiting Marinkovic at the top of the box. The Serbian was as cool as a cucumber in the searing heat as he slotted home the opener from 20 yards.
1-1 Craig Goodwin (31’) Glory midfielder Richard Garcia found himself under pressure in his team’s back half and attempted to pass back to goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, but lacked penetration on his kick and the ball fell into the path of Goodwin. Vukovic also hesitated in his effort to meet the sloppy pass and could only watch in horror as Goodwin knocked the ball into the back of the net.
1-2 James Jeggo (48’) The match seemingly opened up for the visitors when Sergio Cirio found space on the left. The Spanish ace combined with the unmarked Bruce Djite to find a running Jeggo, who hammered the ball home from close range to give Adelaide the lead and the three points.
Due to the extreme heat, two dedicated drinks breaks were scheduled at the midpoints of each half. The first one proved telling. At that point, Glory was leading 1-0 and seemingly in control of the match. But Adelaide was a different side after the mini-break and pounced on Garcia’s error to first equalise and then return to playing the possession-dominant football that has been a vital part of the success so far this season.
Opta Data Stats
The Reds had not tasted victory on its previous six visits to Perth, although the last three saw the Adelaide side take a point from each match.
In-form Glory winger Chris Harold was pulled from the game after just 25 minutes suffering from heat exhaustion. The temperature at the time was a little under 35C. A clearly distressed Harold collapsed into a plastic chair on the sidelines after exiting the pitch as the club’s doctors placed ice packs on his neck and forehead.
Back to the drawing board
Adelaide’s previous two wins over Perth were on home soil, but there is now no denying the Reds have Glory’s measure this season. Perth was searching for a record ninth consecutive home win, but the FFA Cup champions once again turned the screws on their rivals and delivered another winning result. Lowe must now find a solution to his team’s constant struggles against the all-conquering Reds.
The Final Word
After two games played in searing heat in the past three days, Perth Glory players will have almost three weeks to recover before the club’s next game against Melbourne Victory at nib Stadium on January 25. Despite the loss, Glory still sits four points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League at the halfway mark of the season and few would have predicted the men in purple to be leading the way at this point of the campaign.