Perth Glory’s top six chances have taken a huge blow, after a 2-0 defeat against Western Sydney Wanderers in the round 20 Hyundai A-League clash at nib Stadium this evening. Despite Glory having 65% of possession, a first half goal from Mateo Poljak, was followed by second from substitute Tomi Juric after the break, following a mistake from the usually reliable William Gallas. It saw the Wanderers leave with the points, and spoil the party for Danny Vukovic who was playing his 200th A-League game.
The home side pressed late, and a cameo performance off the bench from teenage midfielder Danny De Silva wasn’t enough, and they couldn’t find a way past debutant Wanderers keeper, Jarrad Tyson, who made a couple of fine saves late to deny the home side.
Glory interim coach, Kenny Lowe, made just the one change from last weeks starting line-up against Sydney FC, with Chris Harold coming into the side with Darvydas Sernas dropping to the bench, and De Silva was amongst the substitutes in place of striker Jamie Maclaren. The visitors Western Sydney Wanderers, who had the week off last week, made five changes to their side that drew with Brisbane Roar in round 18.
The Glory opened brightly and went close after only seven minutes. Sidnei and Riley Woodcock combined down the left, but the young defenders cross into the box, was cleared. Moments later Nebojsa Marinkovic’s free kick on the left was headed just wide of the target by Wanderers defender Poljak.
But despite dominating the early possession, it was the visitors who hit the front on 12 minutes. Kwabena Appiah picked out Poljak on the edge of the penalty area and the midfielder wasn’t closed down, and he finished clinically, low past Vukovic.
The home side looked to hit back immediately, Sidnei’s cross to the back post was headed wide by Shane Smeltz, then moments later a quickly taken corner by Sidnei found Marinkovic, and caught the Wanderers napping, but the Serbian’s shot from the edge of the box flashed over the top.
The Glory were struggling in the final third, but they continued to press and on the half hour almost levelled. Gallas found Woodcock on the left, whose first time ball sent Sidnei racing clear, but his cross into the penalty area was only inches away from Harold at the far post.
The visitors ended the half the better and almost doubled their lead. Socceroos midfielder, Aaron Mooy, sent a defence splitting ball through to Labinot Haliti, but the striker fired straight at Vukovic.
HT: Perth Glory 0 Western Sydney Wanderers 1
Kenny Lowe made a double change at the break, bringing on club skipper Jacob Burns for Steven McGarry, while Lithuanian striker Sernas came on for Harold. It was an even start to the second half, but still the Glory couldn’t turn their possession into goals. The Wanderers wasted a couple of chances on the hour mark, Haliti’s low shot drifted wide after good approach work from Appiah, before Poljak long-range shot whistled just over the top.
Marinkovic’s curling free kick tested Tyson on 62 minutes, but seven minutes later the Glory had their best chance of the evening. Marinkovic’s corner picked out Rostyn Griffiths whose header was well saved by Tyson on the line.
The Glory fans were now right behind their side as a comeback looked on the cards, but three minutes later disaster struck. There looked little danger when the ball was played back to Gallas, but the French defender made a horrendous mistake, letting in Juric, who rounded Vukovic and fired home from a tight angle.
Another curling free kick from Marinkovic flashed inches past the post, but that was his last contribution, replaced by De Silva. The Australian under-20 midfielder was straight into the action as the Glory pressed to get back into the game. He picked out Sidnei down the left, who found Michael Thwaite in the middle of the park, the defenders long-range shot was tipped over the bar by Tyson.
From the resulting corner, even Vukovic made his way into the penalty area, and when the ball came in, the keepers’ spectacular overhead kick, went just the wrong side of the post. The Glory continued to press and in the final minute a cheeky back heel from De Silva set up Josh Risdon, whose long-range shot was well saved by Tyson.
The Glory are now six points adrift of the top six, but will look to bounce back next week, when they travel to Suncorp Stadium on Friday to take on league leaders Brisbane Roar.
FT: Perth Glory 0 Western Sydney Wanderers 2
Hyundai A-League 2013-2014 Season – Week 20
Perth Glory 0
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Poljak 12’, Juric 71’
Saturday 22nd February 2013
Referee: Shaun EVANS
Perth Glory: GK Daniel VUKOVIC, 5 Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC (20 Danny DE SILVA 79’), 9 Shane SMELTZ, 14 Steven McGARRY (7 Jacob BURNS 46’), 16 Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17 Chris HAROLD (28 Darvydas SERNAS 46’), 19 Josh RISDON, 23 Michael THWAITE, 25 Riley WOODCOCK, 36 William GALLAS
Subs not used: 18 (RGK) Jack DUNCAN, 2 Jack CLISBY
Yellow Cards – Thwaite 57’, Smeltz 72’
Western Sydney Wanderers: GK Jarrad TYSON, 2 Shannon COLE, 3 Adam D’APUZZO, 4 Nikolai TOPER-STANLEY, 7 Labinot HALITI (22 Dean HEFFERNAN 82’), 8 Mateo POLJAK, 10 Aaron MOOY, 11 Brendon SANTALAB (9 Tomi JURIC 46’), 13 Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 14 Kwabena APPIAH, 17 Youssouf HERSI (67’), 18 Iacopo LA ROCCA
Subs not used: 30 (RGK) Thomas MANOS, 23 Jason TRIFIRO
Yellow Cards – Poljak 41’, Spiranovic 74’, Tyson 85’