Liam Reddy heroics send Glory to grand final

-

Perth Glory have progressed to the A-League grand final in incredible circumstances, beating an heroic Adelaide United 3-3 (5-4) in a penalty shootout at HBF Park on Friday night.

With a bumper crowd backing the home side Adelaide did their best to control the early tempo of the game, taking any opportunity to hold possession and slow down play.

After Dino Djulbic rattled the crossbar early in the game it was Adelaide’s turn to attack as Goodwin took the ball down the wing and fizzed a cross which found Nathan Konstandopoulos unmarked in the six-yard box but the midfielder fluffed his lines, taking an air-swing as the ball flew past him and the far post for a throw in.

Glory needed a settler to swing momentum their way and at the half-hour mark Diego Castro broke the deadlock.

Chris Ikonomidis slid the ball to Andy Keogh who feinted to take a touch but instead left it to run to Castro, who sent Paul Izzo to the ground with a fake shot then buried the ball in the net, causing chaos in the stands.

Embed from Getty Images

You can watch the A-League live for only $25 a month. Click here to read our review of Kayo Sports and to start your 14-day free trial.

Adelaide came out after half time playing with a new-found intensity which shook the hosts into playing disjointed football.

But just when Adelaide were fooled into forgetting about a certain Spaniard, Ikonomidis turned the ball over in midfield and fed Castro who drove into the box, lined up Scott Galloway, cut right and fired a shot which deflected off the falling defender and into the net.

With a two-goal buffer the tension in the crowd began to ease, but Adelaide ramped the pressure right back up when substitute Baba Diawara pounced on a goal-mouth scrap to poke the ball into the net, sending the crowd of 17,868 back into a state of nervousness with the score at 2-1 with ten minutes to play.

But Adelaide weren’t done there, and with a last-gasp corner even Izzo was in the box for Adelaide’s final attack, and after the ball pin-balled around the box Ryan Kitto blasted home an effort through a number of bodies, sending the game to extra time.

Embed from Getty Images

Into extra time they went and Glory’s physical advantage came to the fore, and a substitution from Tony Popovic swung the game in their favour.

Scott Neville, only on the field for five minutes, was unmarked at the back post when Davidson floated a ball for the right back to run, leap, and hammer into the goal with an authoritative header.

Embed from Getty Images

But Adelaide didn’t read the script, and Michael Marrone wasn’t prepared to go down without a fight, and as the minutes dripped away his marauding run into the box was rewarded by a Kitto cross.

Marrone headed home in acres of space which meant the game was tied at 3-3 and destined for the excruciating process of the penalty shootout.

What followed was unprecedented drama of the highest order, with Liam Reddy and Izzo saving four and three penalty attempts respectively in a shootout nobody seemed to want to win.

After five consecutive missed penalties Joel Chianese showed he had the coolest head by slotting home the winner, sending the crowd into total pandemonium and his side into the A-League grand final.

Embed from Getty Images

Perth Glory 3 – Castro 29′, 74′, Neville 104′ 

Adelaide United 3 – Diawara 81′, Kitto 90+4′, Marrone 115′

PENALTY SHOOTOUT

Perth Glory 5 – Juande, Santalab, Reddy, Brimmer, Chianese

Adelaide 4 – Goodwin, Elsey, Lia, Halloran

HBF Park

Referee: Alex KING

Assistant referees: Josh MANELLA, David WALSH

Fourth official: Adam FIELDING

Perth Glory: 33. Liam REDDY (GK), 3. Jason DAVIDSON, 4. Shane LOWRY, 5. Ivan FRANJIC (23. Scott NEVILLE 101′), 6. Dino DJULBIC, 9. Andy KEOGH (7. Joel CHIANESE 85′), 13. Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 17. Diego CASTRO, 19. Chris IKONOMIDIS (11. Brendon SANTALAB 110′), 27. JUANDE, 88. Neil KILKENNY (20. Jake BRIMMER 101′).

Unused subs: 1. Tando VELAPHI (GK).

Adelaide United: 20. Paul IZZO, 2. Michael MARRONE, 3. Scott Galloway (6. Vince LIA 100′), 7. Ryan KITTO, 8. ISAIAS, 11. Craig GOODWIN, 14. George BLACKWOOD (9. Papa DIAWARA 58′), 16. Nathan Konstandopoulos, 22. Michael JAKOBSEN (23. Jordan ELSEY 80′), 26. Benjamin HALLORAN, 31. Mirko BOLAND (17. Nikola MILEUSNIC 75′).

Unused subs: 1. Daniel MARGUSH (GK).

Latest Articles

Adelaide United 2019/20 W-League season preview

Adelaide United gained the respect of the competition last season by missing out on a finals spot by only one point. Can they progress even...

Melbourne City 2019/20 W-League season preview

Last season Melbourne City fell short of claiming a fourth straight championship, narrowly missing the finals. Can this powerhouse club bounce back up the table...
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.