De Silva is gold as Glory reach FFA Cup Semis

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The FFA Cup continued to make its mark on the landscape of Australian football last night with a pulsating Quarter Final clash between Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory at nib Stadium.

Six goals, two red cards, countless bookings, calamitous defending, key injuries and a goal by one of the brightest home grown stars meant the 3,899 in attendance left thoroughly entertained as Glory eventually prevailed 4-2 after extra time.

Indeed, you would be forgiven for thinking that there was at least double the amount of spectators inside the ground given the excellent atmosphere generated, no doubt aided by the fact that Glory’s active supporters were located in the same main stand as everybody else.

Irish striker Andy Keogh again showed his quality, helping himself to a brace as well as two assists, though the biggest roar of the night was reserved for 17-year-old Daniel De Silva’s first goal for the club.

Glory fans want to see De Silva get more game time before he joins Serie A side AS Roma for next season, and afterwards coach Kenny Lowe admitted that more showings of that standard will have him in the line-up more often.

“He’s still young, he’s got to be protected, but if he does that every week, he’ll probably play 90 minutes,” said the Englishman.

“If he’d been around a bit more, instead of being on international duty, he probably would’ve got more of a sniff.”

In truth, the standard of football wasn’t particularly high throughout with both sides making a catalogue of errors as they struggled to put together a series of passes in the final third.

Nobody really cared afterwards though as it was a cup tie and all that mattered was winning, a sentiment echoed by Lowe.

“It’s a cup game, there’s a winner at the end of the night,” he said.

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“Everyone knows that and I think it changes the dynamic and the vibe of the game. You chuck in the refereeing elements, extra time and last-minute goals.

“You’ll go a long way to find a game that had everything like that.”

Victory took an early lead through winger Fahid Ben Khalfalladh, who beat Danny Vukovic with a low strike from outside the area, but that was as good as it got for the visitors.

Having lost Archie Thompson to illness prior to kick off, both Besart Berisha (groin) and Matthieu Delpierre (hamstring) limped off and are now in doubt for Monday’s A-League game against the Wellington Phoenix.

They will also be without defenders Daniel Georgievski and Adrian Leijer, both sent off in extra time for second bookable offenses.

Coach Kevin Muscat declined to comment much on the standard of officiating afterwards, but he was bitterly disappointed to see his side exit the competition.

“It hasn’t been a good night,” Muscat said.

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“I can’t recall a night like that with injuries, red cards.

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Not too much went our way tonight, but we’ve got to pick up the pieces from that.”

After failing to find the net against Adelaide United on Sunday, striker Keogh got back to his goalscoring ways from the penalty spot following a foul Youssouf Hersi in the penalty area almost immediately after the forward had missed a sitter from six yards.

In the second half of normal time, Keogh peeled away from his marker to nod home a Scott Jamieson corner, capitalising on some awful goalkeeping from Nathan Coe who came for the ball and got nowhere near it.

It wasn’t just about goals for Keogh though, and it was from his unselfish pass that youngster Daniel De Silva was able to score with superb composure in to put Glory 3-2 up after Gui Finkler had forced extra time with a wonderful 92nd minute free kick.

Keogh was again the provider for the fourth goal as he laid the ball into the path of another substitute, Nebojsa Marinkovic, who finished well.

“The subs have gone on and scored the goals, I’ll take credit for that,” Lowe quipped.

With the draw for the semi-finals to take place on Friday, Lowe said that he would fancy taking on Adelaide United at home or away.

Perth Glory starting XI: 1. Daniel VUKOVIC, 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 7. Youssouf HERSI, 9. Andrew KEOGH, 11. Richard GARCIA, 15. Jamie MACLAREN, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 19. Joshua RISDON, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 23. Michael THWAITE.

Perth Glory substitutes: 2. Jack CLISBY, 10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 18. Jack DUNCAN, 20. Daniel DE SILVA.

Melbourne Victory starting XI: 1. Nathan COE, 5. Mark MILLIGAN, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 8. Besart BERISHA, 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 14. Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 17. Matthieu DELPIERRE, 18. Dylan MURNANE, 22. Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 23. Adrian LEIJER.

Melbourne Victory substitutes: 7. Guilherme FINKLER, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 13. Andrew NABBOUT, 16. Rashid MAHAZI, 20. Lawrence THOMAS.

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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.

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