Glory extend unbeaten run
A late goal from Adam Hughes helped Perth Glory extend their unbeaten run to five games as they played out a 1-1 draw against Sydney FC at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Wednesday night.
Mark Bridge opened the scoring in the 45th minute, but just as they did against Brisbane Roar five days ago, Sydney failed to protect a lead.
Two Perth substitutes Evan Berger and Hughes combined to give Perth a share of the spoils with Berger's 88th minute corner headed home by Hughes.
The heat certainly made life difficult for the players in the first half and it only came to life when Bridge got on the end of a Nick Carle cross and beat Danny Vukovic in the Glory goal.
Then, in first half stoppage time, Terry Antonis broke away and his left foot effort produced a good near post save from Vukovic.
Bridge also scored against the Glory keeper in a Round 6 match in Perth back on November 12 and also in the 2008 grand final when Bridge played for Newcastle and Vukovic for Central Coast.
Carle, who was the provider for the goal, should have put the match out of Perth's reach when he missed an open goal after 51 minutes.
And Perth could so easily have drawn level after 73 minutes. Defender Steve Pantelidis was kicking himself when he failed to hit the target with a free header following a free kick from Mile Sterjovski.
Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavicka, who only five days ago watched in dismay as Brisbane Roar stormed home with two stoppage-time goals, just couldn't believe his team threw away another three points.
Yet the draw sees the Sky Blues back in the top six.
The temperature in outer western Sydney was close to 30 degrees at kick off and referee Matt Gillett ordered two drinks breaks throughout the game.
Perth had been forced to reshape their defence when Seb van Den Brink limped off after going down injured three times in the opening 15 minutes.
Jacob Burns dropped into a stopper's role and substitute Hughes came on in midfield. It didn't take long for the tough tackling Hughes to make his presence felt and he was on the field just four minutes before he left his imprint on Sydney midfielder Karol Kisel.
Both teams struggled to put worthwhile passages together and rival keepers Liam Reddy and Vukovic were rarely threatened.
It took Sydney 33 minutes before they had their first shot through Kisel but he was well off target with his 20m effort.
Just when it looked like it would be scoreless at the break, Bridge had different ideas.
He scored a great goal against the Roar last Saturday and this was another fine effort when he hit it first time and squeezed it past Vukovic.
Sydney FC 1 (Bridge 45)
Perth 1 (Hughes 88)
Crowd: 5505 at Campbelltown Sports Stadium