Sernas stunner sees spoils shared in Perth

-

Darvydas Sernas made himself an instant hero with Perth Glory fans as he netted the equaliser with his first meaningful touch in last night’s 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory.

The on-loan Lithuanian international came off the bench to fire home a superb effort from just outside the area to cancel out Gui Finkler’s first half penalty in a game of few clear cut chances.

After the game, Glory boss Kenny Lowe was disappointed with how sluggish his side were in the opening 45 minutes but they stepped things up afterwards to claim a point in front of 10,151 spectators at nib Stadium.

“[We] didn’t get going until 45 minutes,” he said.

“Obviously they’ve got the reaction they wanted, they’ve come out firing, but we didn’t come out at all first half.

“We didn’t look as though we wanted to get on the ball. The two centre halves were getting on it looking, trying to play; people just didn’t want to get on the ball.

“Second half it was a totally different game. People wanted to get on it, people wanted to make themselves available… you can’t wait 45 minutes to do that.”

Victory took the lead when referee Kris Griffiths-Jones ruled that Jack Clisby had grabbed too much of Archie Thompson’s shirt in the penalty area and pointed to the spot, allowing Finkler to calmly stroke the ball past Danny Vukovic.

Kenny Lowe was unconvinced by the decision though, even if the defender put himself into a problematic situation by not clearing the ball when he had an initial opportunity to do so.

“I’m in the dugout, a long way away, but I think they showed it on the big screen… I don’t think it was a penalty,” he said.

Goal hero Sernas was due to enter the game at half time but some pedantic officiating over his socks resulted in a delay in the substitution, leaving Glory to kick off with just 10 men.

Once on the field though, the 29-year-old made an instant impact as he picked up a short pass from Clisby and rifled a 20-yard shot past Nathan Coe into the bottom right-hand corner.

Glory should have gone in front shortly after but an unmarked Steven McGarry headed agonisingly wide from Shane Smeltz’s cross.

The visitors spurned opportunities of their own late on to claim all three points as James Troisi and, in particular, Andrew Nabbout were wasteful from good positions.

“At this level you want to win football games, you’ve got to take those chances,” said coach Kevin Muscat afterwards.

Muscat was happy with how his side performed though, particularly in the first half, as they restored some pride following back to back 5-0 defeats.

“I thought in the first half we were good in terms of our structure and our application was right up there,” he said.

“It gives us every opportunity to go on and perform and I thought that in the first half we were good value.

“In the second half they got on top of us for a little period early on and we had to weather that storm.”

The former Socceroo said that he is looking for consistency from his players now that their numbers have been boosted by recent signing Tom Rogic, as well as the returning players from the Asian Under-22 Championship.

Rogic was impressive in his first start for Victory, rattling the crossbar in the opening period and lasting 74 minutes before being replaced by Jesse Makarounas.

“He’s still finding his feet but you can clearly see that he’s got immense talent and it’s up to us now as a group, not only Tom himself, to find some consistency,” said Muscat.

There was some bad news for Glory late in the game as William Gallas limped off the pitch with an innocuous looking leg injury after jumping for a header.

It was a knock to the Frenchman’s calf, the opposite leg to the one that kept him out for seven weeks recently, but Lowe was hopeful that it is nothing serious.

Winger Sidnei Sciola Moraes was due to be involved but fell ill and didn’t train on Friday so was omitted from the final 16-man squad, while Isaka Cernak has been linked with a move to an eastern states club following the arrival of Sernas, Nebojsa Marinkovic and Rostyn Griffiths.

Perth Glory: 1. Daniel VUKOVIC, 2. Jack CLISBY, 7. Jacob BURNS, 8. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 11. Adrian ZAHRA, 14. Steven MCGARRY, 17. Chris HAROLD, 19. Joshua RISDON, 23. Michael THWAITE, 36. William GALLAS.

Subs: 4. Ryan EDWARDS, 18. Jack DUNCAN, 20. Daniel DE SILVA, 25. Riley WOODCOCK, 28. Darvydas SERNAS.

Melbourne Victory: 1. Nathan COE, 2. Pablo CONTRERAS, 3. Adama TRAORE, 4. Nicholas ANSELL, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Guillerhme FINKLER, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 13. Andrew NABBOUT, 16. Rashid MAHAZI, 21. Thomas ROGIC, 24. Scott GALLOWAY.

Subs: 11. Connor PAIN, 14. James TROISI, 20. Lawrence THOMAS, 22. Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 25. Jason GERIA.

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

mm
Neil Sherwin
Neil has covered the Perth Glory and the Hyundai A-League for five years and is one of Western Australia's most knowledgeable football journalists.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required