Emerging striker Jamie Maclaren scored his first Hyundai A-League hat-trick as Perth Glory coasted to a 3-1 win over a 10-man Melbourne City at nib Stadium on Sunday.
Maclaren put Glory ahead just before half-time before City midfielder Aaron Mooy brilliantly curled a free kick past the seemingly impenetrable Danny Vukovic to equalise in the 52nd minute.
But Maclaren stepped up with two more goals as Glory took advantage of Paulo Retre’s first-half dismissal to give their fans something to cheer about in the club’s final home game of the season.
Glory sits third on the A-League table, but will not feature in the finals series after being found guilty of breaching the salary cap last week. City will finish in fifth spot.
What they said
“It's always good to score goals and when you have three chances and score three goals you'll take that all day. It's been very tough, probably one of the toughest weeks of my career so far but we've got a strong group of boys and we'll pull through it and it showed tonight.” - Perth Glory's Jamie Maclaren
“I think the first 25 minutes we created a lot of chances but we didn't punish them and we got the red card and went down a bit. They had one chance and they scored so from there it was a tough afternoon for us. We'll just have to move on.” - Melbourne City's Connor Chapman
1-0 Jamie Maclaren (42’) Exciting youngster Danny De Silva steered the ball out of danger in his team’s back half before chipping it over the City defence for teammate Jamie Maclaren to run on to. The talented striker then seemingly had all the time in the world he needed to thread the ball between goalkeeper Tando Velaphi and the far post.
1-1 Aaron Mooy (52’) City was awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area after Richard Garcia fouled Harry Novillo. Aaron Mooy stepped up to the mark and brilliantly curled the ball into the top left corner despite the best efforts of Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic to minimise the gap.
2-1 Jamie Maclaren (65’) De Silva chased down a pull that was played to him in the box and put enough pressure on Tando Velaphi for the City goalkeeper to spill the save and allow Maclaren to slot the ball through a narrow opening.
3-1 Jamie Maclaren (87’) Glory substitute Chris Harold played the perfect ball into the centre of the box from deep in the right corner where a waiting Maclaren casually knocked the ball into the back of the net to complete his first A-League hat-trick.
Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic knew he was going to be in for a tough day at the office when he was forced to make a double save to deny City forward Harry Novillo in the 10th minute. Vukovic went on to make another four clutch saves in the first half that well and truly kept Glory in the contest until Jamie Maclaren found the back of the net at the other end of the pitch just three minutes before half-time.
Opta Data Stats
Perth has not been a happy hunting ground for Melbourne City. John van’t Schip’s men have not tasted victory in their past five visits to nib Stadium.
Danny De Silva said farewell to Perth fans with arguably the best game of his blossoming career. The 18-year-old will link up with AS Roma in the coming months and showed why he has commanded such high attention from the Italian giants with an influential an cool-headed performance typically associated with an season pro.
City midfielder Paulo Retre had one of the great brain implosions in A-League history when he collected two yellow cards within the space of a minute. Retre was first booked for a crude tackle on Glory youngster Danny De Silva and was then given his marching orders by referee Chris Beath in the ensuing play for obstructing Denis Kramar. It was a costly blunder by Retre given City had conceded only three minutes earlier and the half-time whistle was imminent.
The Final Word
Glory coach Kenny Lowe wanted his squad to give a contest and finish the season on a high despite essentially having nothing to play for the final two rounds. The men in purple did just that and now will be looking to claim three points against Western Sydney on Anzac Day to potentially finish the campaign with the equal most points in the league.