Reds again too hot to handle for Glory

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Adelaide United once again proved a thorn in the side of Perth Glory as they beat the league leaders by two goals to one in difficult conditions at nib Stadium on Monday.

On what was the sixth hottest day in Perth history, the temperature hit 44.4°C around lunch time and was still 36°C at kick off, but a more than respectable crowd of 9699 still turned out for a replay of last month’s FFA Cup Final.

Glory started the brighter of the two team, and took the lead on eleven minutes when Nebojsa Marinkovic fired home a low drive from outside the area that found the bottom left corner.

However, an uncharacteristic blunder at the back gave the visitors their equaliser as Craig Goodwin pounced on a poor Richard Garcia back pass to slot the ball past Danny Vukovic.

Minutes into the second half, Adelaide grabbed the lead as Bruce Djite found room in the box and pulled the ball back for an unmarked Jimmy Jeggo to side foot past Vukovic for what proved to be the winner.

Afterwards, Glory coach Kenny Lowe said he didn’t want to make excuses for the defeat but couldn’t deny that the weather was a factor, with winger Chris Harold forced off after just 25 minutes.

“I’m knackered and I was just sitting in the chair,” he joked.

“Chris was ill with the heat. We had to bring him off. He was going to faint he said.”

The fixture, originally scheduled for 4.30pm WST, kicked off at 5.30pm, much to the disappointment of officials from both clubs, the players, and the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA).

The Reds have now beaten Glory in all three of their meetings this season and their boss Josip Gombau emphasised how important this particular win was in the context of the title race.

“I am happy because we know that to win here in this place is very difficult,” said the Spaniard.

“To get these three points has big value because if we lost this game it [the gap between United and Glory] is twelve points difference, now we’re six [behind].”

Gombau admitted that his side benefitted from having had a bigger rest than their opponents since their last outing, but also pointed out that Adelaide had a short turnaround after the cup final and surprisingly lost to the Newcastle Jets.

First goal scorer Goodwin was replaced at half time by Awer Mabil, and Gombau revealed that it was a pre-planned tactical switch in order to take the game to Glory as they tired.

“He [Goodwin] is a player that for the first 45 minutes we think that tactically can do a good job,” he said.

“After that, in the second half we want to try to win the game. We put in Awer, this is a player who brings to you more attacking but is less satisfying in defending which is what we wanted in the first half.”

For their part, Glory went into the game looking to claim a league record ninth successive win at home but found the going tough having played in Melbourne against Victory only three days ago.

Kenny Lowe was happy with the efforts of his players who will now use the three week Asian Cup break to recharge their batteries.

“I thought we finished the stronger side, fair play to our players,” he said.

“We probably should’ve got something out of it but you can’t win them all.”

Glory’s players will now have five days off before they pick apart recent performances and get set to tackle the business end of the season.

“I think we’re in a nice position, if someone had’ve said that at the start of the season you’d have took it,” said Lowe.

Lowe also confirmed that Glory are in the process of finalising a deal to bring in a like-for-like injury replacement for Youssouf Hersi who has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign.

Perth Glory starting XI: 1. Danny VUKOVIC , 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 9. Andy KEOGH, 10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11. Richard GARCIA, 14. Chris HAROLD, 16. Sidnei SCIOLA, 19. Josh RISDON, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 23. Michael THWAITE.

Perth Glory substitutes: 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O’NEILL, 15. Jamie MACLAREN, 18.Jack DUNCAN, 20. Daniel DE SILVA.

Adelaide United starting XI: 20. Paul IZZO, 2. Michael MARRONE, 3. Nigel BOOGAARD, 4. Dylan McGOWAN, 8. ISAÍAS, 9. Sergio CIRIO, 10. Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11. Bruce DJITE, 16. Craig GOODWIN, 18. Jimmy JEGGO, 21. Tarek ELRICH

Adelaide United substitutes: 5. Osama MALIK, 7.PABLO SÁNCHEZ, 17. Awer MABIL, 22. Fabio FERREIRA, 30. John HALL.

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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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