Dominant Glory dismantle Phoenix

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Perth Glory’s run toward a maiden A-League championship continued to gather momentum after they easily dispatched Wellington Phoenix at HBF Park on Saturday night.

A thrilling first half burst into life within two minutes when David Williams failed to convert a gilt-edged double chance for Phoenix.

A sharp interception and pass from Roy Krishna set up Williams in the box, but his first shot was blocked by Matthew Spiranovic, and his second from the rebound cannoned off the crossbar.

Both teams regularly threatened to score throughout the early stages of the game but it was Glory who struck the first blow, when Shane Lowry dove acrobatically to meet a Neil Kilkenny corner, directing a bullet header from down low into the top corner.

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The opening goal triggered a dominant spell of pressure from Glory, and if not for Filip Kurto in the Phoenix goal they could have had a three goal lead by the half hour mark.

But the Phoenix custodian eventually buckled under the relentless pressure when Chris Ikonomidis scored Glory’s second on his return from the Asian Cup, after a deadly Diego Castro volley was palmed by Kurto directly into Ikonomidis’ path, who only had to stand and head home with ease.

The absence of Andrew Durante, Steven Taylor and Mandi from the Phoenix lineup was clearly felt by the visitors who began the second half in the same vein as the first: snowed under by constant Glory pressure.

After a handful of chances in the first half Andy Keogh finally had his goal when he drove home Glory’s third of the night from distance.

The goal came after a rash Juande challenge on Alex Rufer outside the box which wasn’t called a foul from referee Shaun Evans, the rolling ball instead finding its way to Keogh who drove home a shot along the ground from 25 yards.

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Content with a 3-0 lead Glory coasted to the final whistle, keeping a fourth clean sheet in a row for the first time in their A-League history, sending an ominous warning to the rest of the league: catch us if you can.

Perth Glory 3 – Lowry 19′, Ikonomidis 35′, Keogh 64′ 

Wellington Phoenix 0

HBF Park

Referee: Shaun EVANS

Assistant referees: Josh MANELLA, Matthew SOUTHERN

Fourth official: Adam FIELDING

Perth Glory: 33. Liam REDDY (GK), 3. Jason DAVIDSON, 4. Shane LOWRY, 5. Ivan FRANJIC (23. Scott NEVILLE 82′), 6. Dino DJULBIC, 9. Andy KEOGH, 13. Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 17. Diego CASTRO (11. Brendon SANTALAB 70′), 19. Chris IKONOMIDIS, 27. JUANDE, 88. Neil KILKENNY (20. Jake BRIMMER 73′).

Unused subs: 1. Tando VELAPHI (GK), 7. Joel CHIANESE.

Wellington Phoenix: Filip KURTO (GK), 5. Ryan LOWRY, 6. Dylan FOX, 11. David WILLIAMS (23. Max BURGESS 85′), 13. Liberato CACACE, 14. Alex RUFER, 15. Michal KOPCYNSKI (7. Cillian SHERIDAN 70′), 16. Louis FENTON, 18. Sarpreet SINGH, 19. Thomas DOYLE (12. Anthony GOLEC 85′), 21. Roy KRISHNA.

Unused subs: 20. Oliver SAIL (GK), 3. Justin GULLEY.

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Matthew Comito
Matthew Comito
Football nut, student journalist and firm believer that Berisha dived in the 2012 A-League Grand Final. Covering Perth Glory for the 2018/19 season.

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