A superb Anthony Costa hat-trick steered Adelaide United to a season-concluding 4-2 win over Perth Glory at Thebarton Oval on Saturday.
With Glory establishing an early lead through Joseph Knowles, Jake Barker-Daish replied quickly before Costa gave the Reds the lead just before the break.
Costa's second goal gave Adelaide a two-goal cushion, which he retrieved in the dying moments when he completed his second hat-trick of the season after midfielder Slobodan Vulin put United on notice momentarily with his 77th-minute goal.
Despite finishing with a flourish, the Reds were decidedly off-colour and cautious early as Perth, despite garnering few genuine opportunities, had the better of general play.
Dictating in the middle of the park, Glory had their first real crack in the 19th minute when Harry O'Brien, played through by Knowles, had a ping but couldn't get off a decent hit.
Knowles had no problems finishing off in the 21st minute, getting the visitors on the board after drawing Reds keeper Paul Izzo forward, evading Jordan Elsey and popping it over the top and into the back of the net.
The setback seemed to spur the Reds, who drew level in the 29th minute when Awer Mabil laid it in to Jake Barker-Daish, who found space, steadied and thundered it home.
Adelaide continued to attack and captured the lead on the cusp of half-time when Costa, again received a nice ball from Mabil and cracked it in from the left flank.
The Reds came agonisingly close to doubling their advantage in the 54th minute, denied by some ripping defence from Ryan Edwards, who desperately blocked Ryan Kitto's shot after Perth custodian Luke Radonich was caught out of position.
The home side wouldn’t be denied in the 63rd though, when Costa muscled home his second after whizzing into a vacant goal.
Under the pump, Glory pulled one back in the 76th minute courtesy of a fine Vulin solo goal on the counter, the visitors suddenly with their tails up and the scoreline 3-2.
Exciting striker Borbor Sam used his pace to sprint clear in the 81st minute but, one-out with Izzo, couldn’t quite gather control, a prime chance to equalise going begging for the hard-charging visitors.
United regained the momentum late, however, as substitute Donovan Pollock and Costa forcing Radonich into back-to-back sharp stops in the 90th minute.
Then in extra time, Costa sealed his hat-trick and an impressive win when he slid into goal after a deft Bruce Kamau dish, the Reds finishing a respectable season on an impressive high.
Adelaide United 4 (Costa 45, 63, 90+3, Barker-Daish 29)
Perth Glory 2 (Knowles 21, Vulin 77)
@ Thebarton Oval, 1/3/2014
Adelaide United: 2. Dion Kirk, 3. Shaun Harvey (C) (6. Jack Bladen 45'), 4. Daniel Bowles, 8. Nathan Konstandopoulos (22. Donovan Pollock 60'), 9. Anthony Costa, 10. Ryan Kitto (7.Bruce Kamau 60'), 13. Jordan Elsey, 14. Awer Mabil, 15. Matthew Bouzalas, 19. Jake Barker-Daish, 20. Paul Izzo (GK)
Yellow cards: Bruce Kamau 82'
Perth Glory: 1. Luke Radonich (GK), 2. Matthew Davies, 3. Alexander Castiello, 4. Scott Robertson (16. Joshua Tucker 58'), 5. Sean Troup (15. Jack Oldham 55'), 7. Harry O'Brien, 8. Cameron Edwards (C), 9. Joseph Knowles (14. Borbor Sam 58'), 10. Ryan Edwards, 11. Gian Albano, 18. Slobodan Vulin.
Yellow cards: Matthew Davies 77'