Hyundai A-League leaders Perth Glory took advantage of a 10-man Brisbane Roar in the closing stages to snatch a 2-2 draw at nib Stadium on Saturday night.
Dino Djulbic scored the equaliser in the 84th minute after Roar defender Corey Brown was sent off eight minutes earlier for denying Jamie Maclaren a goal-scoring opportunity.
Brisbane had earlier taken the lead with two goals in three minutes to Jean Carlos Solorzano and Matt McKay after teenager Daniel De Silva gave the home side the lead in the first half.
It ended the Roar’s three-match winning streak as Glory’s winless streak extended to six games.
1-0 Daniel De Silva (26’) Glory left back Scott Jamieson played the perfect long ball to Chris Harold on the far post, but the angle was too tight for the winger to head the ball into the back of the net. Instead, he knocked it towards the centre of the box where De Silva was waiting and the youngster calmly finished the job despite pressure from a fast-closing Luke Brattan.
1-1 Jean Carlos Solorzano (60’) Despite scoring five goals in Brisbane’s last six games, the Costa Rican was overlooked for a starting spot for new signing Andrija Kaluderovic. But he showed why he has been so vital to the Roar’s resurgence by volleying teammate Brandon Borrello’s low-flying cross into the back of the net on the hour mark.
1-2 Matt McKay (62’) The Brisbane captain and Socceroos regular thrashed Glory defender Josh Risdon for speed and made no mistake with his deadly left foot from the edge of the 18-yard box to give his side the lead just two minutes after Solorzano’s equaliser.
2-2 Dino Djulbic (84’) German winger Dragan Paljic’s attempted cross hit the corner woodwork and ricocheted back into the path of Dino Djulibic, who calmly bounced the ball into the open goalmouth.
Brisbane looked set to walk away with the three points until defender Corey Brown dragged down Jamie Maclaren as the Glory substitute chased down a Mitch Nicholls pass in the 76th minute. Brown was immediately shown a red card by referee Ben Williams, much to the chagrin of the Roar bench. It opened the door for Glory to produce yet another remarkable last-gasp fightback and salvage a point from the enthralling contest.
Opta Data Stats
Brisbane has scored nine goals and collected 10 points from their past four matches. On the other side of the fence, Perth have conceded 10 goals in their last four matches at home and scored just four times in their last three matches despite leading the league.
Henrique sent a scare through the Brisbane camp late in the first half when he appeared to jar his left knee as he landed following an aerial challenge with Glory’s Rostyn Griffths. The Brazilian attacker left the pitch briefly for treatment and was clearly hampered by the complaint until he was substituted in the 65th minute.
Back to the drawing board
Glory striker Andy Keogh has scored just one goal from his past six matches and that was a penalty against Melbourne Victory on January 25. The Irishman has nine goals next to his name for the season and is finding himself in a position to score on plenty of occasions, but he desperately needs to find the back of the net for Perth to remain a championship contender in the final rounds of the campaign.
The Final Word
Glory will lose top spot (on goal difference) for the first time since Round 5 if Melbourne Victory beats Wellington Phoenix tomorrow. Victory has also played two less games than Perth. It has been a good run from Kenny Lowe’s side, but four points from the last six matches is hardly the stuff of a league-leading side.
The draw was enough to see Brisbane return to the top six (also on goal difference) and Frans Thijssen’s side has only themselves to blame for not claiming maximum points on a perfect night for football. Brown’s untimely exit exposed the Roar’s defence in the final minutes and could prove costly in the battle for sixth place come the final round of the season.
Perth Glory: Danny Vukovic (GK), Rostyn Griffiths, Dino Djulbic, Andy Keogh, Nebojsa Marinkovic, Chris Harold (Jamie Maclaren 56’), Josh Risdon, Daniel De Silva (Mitch Nichols 67’), Scott Jamieson, Michael Thwaite (C), Dragan Paljic.
Brisbane Roar: Michael Theo (GK), Jerome Polenz, Corey Brown, Andrija Kaluderovic (Jean Carlos Solorzano 46’), Henrique (Dimitri Petratos 65’), Jade North, James Donachie, Matt McKay (C), Luke Brattan, Thomas Broich, Brandon Borrello (Luke De Vere 79’).
Scorers: Daniel De Silva (26’), Jean Carlos Solorzano (60’), Matt McKay (62’), Dino Djulibic (84’)
Red cards: Corey Brown (76’)
Yellow cards: Rostyn Griffiths (45’+1)
Conditions: 23C, fine
Attendance: 10,422 @ nib Stadium