Ibini impresses as Sky Blues knock off Glory

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Graham Arnold spoke highly of young striker Bernie Ibini-Isei after Sydney FC’s big 3-1 win over table toppers Perth Glory in front of 11,637 spectators at nib Stadium on Saturday night.

The Australian international earned the praise of his manager for working hard throughout the game, and his performance was capped with a late goal following an uncharacteristic mistake by Glory skipper Michael Thwaite.

“Bernie’s a fantastic kid, a fantastic player, he really gives us a lot of energy going forward,” said Arnold of his forward.

“There’s not many players in the A-League that light up a stadium like he does when he goes into open space, and it was a great reward for his performance tonight with that goal.”

Three players were given their marching orders by referee Kris Griffiths-Jones, who awarded the visitors a penalty in each half.

Glory’s Dino Djulbic and Sydney’s Jacques Faty saw red in the first period for an off the ball altercation, and Nikola Petkovic was dismissed for two bookable offences.

“It didn’t end up as a football game, did it really?” said Glory boss Kenny Lowe afterwards.

“It was a bit bizarre, but an interesting game I guess. At the end of the day you can’t give penalties away.”

After Glory had looked the better side early on, recent signing Dragan Paljic was adjudged to have fouled Alex Brosque in the area and Marc Janko converted the resultant penalty with aplomb.

It was Sydney’s only major chance of the opening 45 minutes, and Graham Arnold admitted afterwards that the opener came when his side were second best.

“It was a sloppy start for both teams and we got a penalty against the run of play,” he said.

“It helped us, it lifted our confidence, and yeah, it was a bit of a crazy game.”

Paljic was replaced at half time by another new addition, defender Denis Kramar, and it was he who hauled down Janko for the second spot kick which was scored by Milos Dimitrijevic on 69 minutes.

Kramar went from villain to hero soon after as he reduced his side’s arrears with a scrappy finish from Scott Jamieson’s free kick but Ibini-Isei restored Sydney’s two goal advantage in the final minute of normal time.

Neither manager was giving away too much with regard to their feelings about the performance of referee Griffiths-Jones who dished out five yellow cards on top of the three reds.

“I think that’s probably the first one [double sending off] since I’ve been coaching, on my team anyway,” said Arnold, before joking that he didn’t want to pick up any more fines for his comments.

Lowe was happy with the way 23-year-old Kramar performed on his debut having only received his international clearance to play on Friday.

“He coped ok, looked comfortable on the ball, scored a goal, entertaining day for him,” said Lowe.

With Glory picking up just one point from their last three games, Lowe was asked whether he was concerned about the recent lull.

“We’re still up and we’ll stay up there, we’re doing ok,” he replied, pointing out that there are some key players ready to return to the team, including Rostyn Griffiths and Mitch Nichols.

Both sides face difficult tests next weekend as Glory travel to South Australia to take on Adelaide United who they lost to three times already, while Sydney FC host Melbourne Victory.

Perth Glory: 1. Daniel VUKOVIC, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9. Andrew KEOGH, 10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11. Richard GARCIA, 15. Jamie MACLAREN, 19. Joshua RISDON, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 23. Michael THWAITE, 27. Dragan PALJIC.

Subs: 3. Brandon O’NEILL, 18. Jack DUNCAN, 20. Daniel DE SILVA, 25. Mitchell OXBORROW, 28. Denis KRAMAR.

Sydney FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 8. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 11. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 13. Christopher NAUMOFF, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 16. Alexander GERSBACH, 21. Marc JANKO, 25. Aaron CALVER, 26. Jacques FATY, 27. Mickael TAVARES.

Subs: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 5. Matthew JURMAN, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 23. Rhyan GRANT.

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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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