Perth Glory opened up a three-point gap at the top of the Hyundai A-League table after downing Wellington Phoenix 2-1 at nib Stadium on Friday night despite being reduced to 10 men in the second half.
Exciting youngster Daniel De Silva and Irish striker Andy Keogh found the back of the net before midfield recruit Ruben Zadkovich was sent off following a dangerous tackle on Wellington’s Vince Lia.
Glory played out a nervous half-hour, conceding a penalty to Roy Krishna in the 85th minute, to secure a fourth consecutive win and fifth from six matches this season and remain at the summit of the A-League for at least another week.
What they said
“Yeah it just wasn’t our night, we tried hard but we couldn’t get the win. We’ve got to start winning more games, we weren’t good enough tonight.” – Phoenix captain Andrew Durante
“Ruben came on and got the red card, it was very difficult after that. Sometimes you have games like that, you have to deal with it. To keep the points here and win at home…we’re building to something.” – Glory winger Youssouf Hersi
1-0 Daniel De Silva (2’) – Glory winger Youssouf Hersi ran on to a long ball and turned inside Wellington defender Tom Doyle before firing in a low cross to De Silva, who missed the tap in with his foot but managed to bundle the ball over the line with his chest for his first-ever A-League goal. It wasn’t pretty, but it put the home side ahead – and Wellington on the backfoot – less than two minutes into the match.tain
2-0 Andy Keogh (60’) – The Irish striker scored his fifth A-League goal – and his first since netting a hat-trick in Round 2 – when he volleyed a perfectly timed cross from the boot of right back Josh Risdon. It proved to be a vital goal as Ruben Zadkovich was sent off less than a minute later and Glory had to play out the remaining half-hour with only 10 men.
2-1 Roy Krishna (85’ pen) – Phoenix midfielder Tyler Boyd had been on the pitch for less than six minutes when he was carelessly brought down in the box by Glory defender Josh Risdon. Krishna stepped up to the spot and placed the ball into the bottom left corner as Perth goalkeeper Danny Vukovic went in the opposite direction.
Daniel De Silva’s goal in the second minutes was not only a key moment in the match, but a key moment in the career of Australian football’s brightest young prospect. The AS Roma-bound teenager would have felt like a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders after scoring his first-ever A-League goal. From that point on, the 17-year-old attacked the ball with vigour to impose himself on the contest and for the first time in his short yet promising career, he no longer looked like a boy among men.
In just his second game for Perth, former Newcastle captain Ruben Zadkovich had been on the pitch for just 17 seconds when he was given his marching orders for a crude challenge on Phoenix midfielder Vince Lia. Wellington players reacted angrily to the incident and it took referee Lucien Laverdure almost two minutes to calm the situation before showing a red card to Zadkovich. Fortunately for Glory coach Kenny Lowe, his side had a two-goal buffer at the time and were able to escape with the three points.
Back to the drawing board
Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick needs to find a way to help his side win on the road. The New Zealand side has claimed maximum points from just one of their last eight matches away from home. Perhaps more concerning for Merrick, his side has conceded a whopping 24 goals during that nightmare stretch.
The Final Word
Perth Glory will spend another week at the top of the A-League table and will go into next Saturday’s match against arch-rivals and defending champions Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium. Kenny Lowe will back his side to triumph against a Brisbane side which has just one win from six games this season and win a fifth straight match.