Nine goal thriller in Perth

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Perth Glory have rolled into the Hyundai A-League finals with a stunning 5-4 victory over Melbourne City at NIB Stadium in Perth.

In a contest that will go down as one of the A-League’s greatest ever matches, Perth were in need of a four-goal victory to secure the rights to hosting next week’s Elimination Final against Melbourne City.

Perth incredibly lead 4-1 after 75 minutes and looked destined to do the unthinkable and topple the travelling Melbourne City side, however would fall just short.

Tim Cahill again proved his worth and bagged a priceless brace to ensure Melbourne City would be the hosts for next week’s Elimination Final.

In front of a huge crowd of 12,261, Perth began the match in stunning fashion, going ahead in the fifth minute through a Diego Castro penalty.

Melbourne had to withstand numerous Perth attacks in the opening 15 minutes, and went on to restore parity through Cahill in the 20th minute.

Perth’s defence afforded Bruce Kamau too much time on the ball and the ex-Adelaide man perfectly found the Socceroo’s legend on the edge of the box, who powered home a left-footed drive.

Perth seemed shell-shocked after Melbourne’s equaliser and struggled to make a fist of the contest for the remainder of the first half.

The Glory’s had to wait until Andy Keogh’s 50th minute goal to rediscover their first half intensity.

The Irish marksman found space and cleverly cut inside Ivan Franjic to send his shot past a despairing Dean Bouzanis into the back of the net to make it 2-1.

Six minutes later substitute Chris Harold popped up to head home a perfectly weighted Josh Risdon’s cross to make it 3-1.

Perth could sense Melbourne were on the ropes and piled on the pressure in search of the unthinkable four-goal victory.

Kenny Lowe’s decision to bring on Nebojsa Marinkovic for a 75th minute free kick proved masterful, as the Serbian stepped up and smashed home a 20-yard screamer with his first kick of the game to make it 4-1.

NIB Stadium went into overdrive as Perth flipped the game on its head, however the pandemonium lasted just four minutes as Melbourne incredibly fought back to make it 4-3 moments later.

Cahill’s 80th minute tap-in was followed by Nico Colazo’s 84th minute volley to ensure Perth’s dreams of a four-goal win were swept away in a flash.

The Glory weren’t finished there however, as Adam Taggart converted Chris Harold’s 88th minute cross to push Perth’s lead back to two goals.

The craziness of the game was summed up perfectly by Glory ‘keeper Liam Reddy’s 84th minute brain fade.

The ex-Everywhere man attempted to dribble out from his own box, but could only run straight into City substitute Nick Fitzgerald, who dispossessed Reddy and smashed home from 25 yards.

It was an incredible end to another dazzling Hyundai A-League season.

Perth and Melbourne will face off once again in next Sunday’s second elimination final at AAMI Park.

Perth Glory 5 (Castro 4’, Keogh 50’, Harold 56’, Marinkovic 75’, Taggart 88’)
Melbourne City 4 (Cahill 21’+80’, Colazo 84’, Fitzgerald 90’)

Attendance: 12,261
Stadium: NIB Stadium, Perth

Referee: Peter Green
Assistant Referees: David Walsh, Josh Mannella
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding

Perth Glory: 33. REDDY Liam (GK), 3. WARREN Marc, 6. DJULBIC Dino, 7. CHIANESE Joel (14. HAROLD Chris 52’), 9. KEOGH Andy (C), 11. GARCIA Richard (8. GRIFFITHS Rostyn 57’), 17. CASTRO Diego, 18. OXBORROW Mitchell (10. MARINKOVIC 75’), 19. RISDON Joshua, 22. TAGGART Adam, 26. GOIAN Lucian
Substitutes: 13. FEELY Nicholas (GK), 15. WILSON Brandon

Melbourne City: 20. BOUZANIS Dean (GK), 3. ROSE Joshua, 5. FRANJIC Ivan, 6. MALIK Osama, 8. KILKENNY Neil (18. RETRE Paulo 91’), 9. COLAZO Nicolas, 11. KAMAU Bruce (12. FITZGERALD Nick 62’), 17. CAHILL Timothy, 22. JAKOBSEN Michael, 23. FORNAROLI Bruno, 26. BRATTAN Luke (10. CACERES Anthony 73’).
Substitutes: 1. SORENSEN Thomas (GK), 21. TONGYIK Ruon.

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