Glory hold Roar in six-goal thriller
An 80th-minute equaliser from Mile Sterjovski has given Perth Glory a 3-3 draw with Brisbane Roar in a dramatic encounter to close out the Hyundai A-League's Super Wednesday at nib Stadium.
The Glory probably shouldn't have needed a late equaliser after going two goals ahead in the first 24 minutes through Travis Dodd and Mile Sterjovski.
But having missed a host of chances, the reigning premiers struck back in fine style as Mitch Nichols pulled one back in the 40th minute before Erik Paartalu equalised on the stroke of half-time.
Brisbane punished some more missed chances from Perth when Nichols fired the Roar ahead in the 69th minute but Sterjovski was on hand to complete his brace with an 80th-minute penalty for the equaliser.
The result was still good enough to see Brisbane replace Melbourne Heart in second on the table, while Glory drop to ninth as a result of Newcastle and Adelaide winning on Wednesday.
After the competition saw a feast of goals over the first four games on Super Wednesday, both the Glory and Roar opened the day's final game in enterprising moods as they strung together some promising moves in the early stages.
However, it was the Glory opening their account in the 16th minute through a move involving big striker Billy Mehmet, who was cleared to play after his red card from last week's clash with Brisbane was rescinded by the FFA.
Mehmet drew two Roar defenders before slipping the ball through for Dodd to finish with aplomb.
And, things just got better for the Glory eight minutes later as Sterjovski produced one of the season's best goals as he capitalised on some his side's intense pressure in the front third.
As the Roar attempted to clear from defence, the ball fell to the unchallenged Sterjovski, who cut in from the left to a central position 20 metres out and unleashed an unstoppable shot over the top of Michael Theoklitos.
Two minutes later, Theoklitos was forced to smother a close-range shot from Mehmet as Perth laid siege to Brisbane's goal while Todd Howarth chipped the ball just over the bar in the 37th.
Danny Vukovic had already endured some nervous moments during the 29th minute as Paartalu fired a warning shot, but as Glory missed their chances, Brisbane were quick to take advantage.
In a devastating five-minute burst before the break, the Roar scored two goals to level as Mitch Nicholls fired home a ripping shot in the 40th minute from the top of the square.
And on the stroke of injury time, the Roar equalised as Paartalu rose high over Steve Pantelidis to nod home a bouncing header off Luke Brattan's corner from the right.
Presumably given the hairdryer treatment by coach Ian Ferguson at the break, the Glory produced some intense, hard-running football to start the second half, almost scoring on three occasions in the first 15 minutes.
Jacob Burns saw a long-range volley that hit the back of the net disallowed for a Glory hold in the box, while Mile Sterjovski's deft lob came off the woodwork and Mehmet's 60th-minute glancing header was tipped over the bar by Theoklitos.
But once again, having spurned their chances, the Glory were caught out by an almighty Brisbane sucker-punch in the 69th minute as Paartalu delivered a sensational long ball over the top, allowing Nichols to brilliantly chip the ball over Vukovic, who'd charged off his line.
But Perth didn't drop their heads and instead levelled once again with 10 minutes remaining after Roar defender Ivan Franjic stumbled into Sterjovski in the box, taking him to ground.
And, as Roar stopper Theoklitos did star jumps in front of him, the former Qantas Socceroo drove the spot kick into the bottom left-hand corner.
But there would be another twist to the tale for the unfortunate Glory, however, as two minutes later the impressive Mehmet, under no pressure, propped awkwardly before slumping to the ground holding his head.
The striker had to be carried up the race with a right leg injury, but from the anguished look on his face, it didn't look good.
Perth Glory 3 (Dodd 16, Sterjovksi 24, 80p)
Brisbane Roar 3 (Nichols 40, 69, Paartalu 45)
Crowd: 6912 at nib Stadium, Perth