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Perth Glory FC

Diego Castro claimed his 49th A-League goal from the penalty spot as Glory edged closer to a Finals berth with a 1-1 draw against Macarthur FC at HBF Park.

On a wild, rainswept evening in Perth, the Spaniard fired home from the spot after Andy Keogh had been fouled by Mark Milligan, but on the half-hour, the Bulls hit back through leading goalscorer Matt Derbyshire.

Glory proceeded to strike the woodwork twice through Bruno Fornaroli and Carlo Armiento and were thus denied the win that would have moved them level on points with sixth-placed Brisbane Roar.

Nonetheless, Head Coach Richard Garcia was pleased by the effort put in by his side during what was the club's seventh home game in the space of just 23 days.
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"It's a very good point," he said.

"The boys have done tremendously well to play the seven games in 23 days and within those seven games pick up four wins, two draws and only one loss.

"That's fantastic form and a fantastic effort in such a short period of time.

"I'm very, very happy that they have managed to get through that in the manner they have.

"It shows the courage and the mentality of the side.

"We've got momentum and a week to have a rest.

"It's still a huge challenge; we've got 12500 km to travel and three games to play in a week, but looking in that dressing room, there's a bunch of guys who are up for that challenge."

Searching for a first win over the Bulls in three attempts, Glory made the perfect start when, with only 12 minutes on the clock, Milligan went through the back of Keogh just inside the box and Castro calmly found the net from the spot.

The lively start continued as Liam Reddy sensibly took a safety-first option in palming Denis Genreau's free-kick over the bar, but there was nothing the home 'keeper could do to prevent Ante Milicic's side from restoring parity ten minutes later.

Moudi Najjar picked out James Meredith's surging run into the box and the former Glory man's subsequent low cross was forced home by the lurking Derbyshire from point-blank range.

The woodwork then prevented the hosts from restoring their lead shortly before the break, Fornaroli's superb free-kick beating Adam Federici's despairing dive only to cannon off the post, while the first action of the second half saw Reddy claw away a curling effort from Loic Puyo at the other end.

Federici duly responded with a similarly impressive save to keep out a fierce, angled strike from Chris Ikonomidis after he had linked up neatly with Jason Geria and Castro also went close to making it 2-1, flicking the ball narrowly over the bar having been teed up by substitute Nick D'Agostino.

It was Armiento who ultimately went closest to deciding a hard-fought encounter in the home side's favour, but his rasping, 90th-minute effort from outside the box thundered against the bar.

With neither side willing to settle for a point, there was still time for one more chance, this time at the other end where Reddy got down smartly to deny Aleksandar Susnjar from finding the net in a frantic goalmouth scramble.

Match Details

Perth Glory 1 (Castro (pen) 13') Macarthur FC 1 (Derbyshire 30')

Half-time: 1-1

HBF Park, Perth

Referee: Ben Abraham

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Jason GERIA, 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 6.Osama MALIK (13.Luke BODNAR 76'), 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS (20.Carlo ARMIENTO 82'), 8.Kosuke OTA, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI (11.Joel CHIANESE 76'), 10.Andy KEOGH (18.Nick D'AGOSTINO 81'), 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Callum TIMMINS, 29.Darryl LACHMAN

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 15.Brandon WILSON, 23.Dane INGHAM

Yellow Cards: Malik, D'Agostino

Red Cards: None

Macarthur FC: 1.Adam FEDERICI (gk), 5.Mark MILLIGAN (c), 8.Denis GENREAU, 10.Loic PUYO (29.Antonis MARTIS 84'), 12.James MEREDITH (3.Antony GOLEC 77'), 14.Moudi NAJJAR, 15.Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 22.Liam ROSE (7.Ivan FRANJIC 76'), 24.Charles M’MOMBWA (19.Michael RUHS 31'), 27.Matt DERBYSHIRE, 33.Markel SUSAETA

Substitutes not used: 16.Nick SUMAN (gk), 17.Kyle CIMENTI, 23.Walter SCOTT

Yellow Cards: Puyo, Rose

Red Cards: None

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Keogh hits four as Glory run riot against Wanderers

Andy Keogh celebrated his birthday in style by scoring a remarkable four goals as Glory hammered Western Sydney Wanderers 5-1 at HBF Park on Sunday evening.

The former Ireland international opened his account for the season with an early header, while his second was a stunning long-range lob and he completed his quartet after the break with a penalty and a close-range finish.

In doing so, Keogh became only the second Glory player ever to score four goals in a single A-League game, joining Shane Smeltz who managed the feat against Melbourne Victory in March 2012.

Glory took a firm grip on the game courtesy of Keogh's two first-half goals and although a fine strike from Bruce Kamau briefly brought Wanderers back into the game just after the break, the club's record A-League goalscorer swiftly restored the home side's lead from the spot before claiming his fourth, with a stoppage-time effort from substitute Joel Chianese completing the rout.

The victory, Glory's third on the bounce, moves the men in purple to within three points of the top six with a game in hand on all but one of the sides above them and Head Coach Richard Garcia was naturally delighted with the night's work.

"There were very similar signs at the start of the season and we've had a difficult season and schedule," he said, "so it's great to see the boys believe in the process and continue to fight and to have the confidence to go out and perform like that.

"We've continued to grow with our mentality and I really feel that the defensive players in particular have had a really steely mindset and that's really pleasing.

"It's good to see them, as a team, get behind each other and make sure that they're fighting for every ball.

"We want to always be putting our best foot forward and that 's what we'll be doing again on Wednesday [v Adelaide United at HBF Park]."

Glory got off to the best possible start, hitting the front inside the opening five minutes as Diego Castro released Kosuke Ota down the left and his inviting cross was met with a stopping header from Keogh which arrowed its way into the bottom corner.

Liam Reddy then produced a fine double save to prevent Wanderers from levelling things up, diving at the feet of James Troisi and then bravely blocking the follow-up from Mitch Duke at point-blank range.

And Glory took full advantage of that let-off as Keogh scored one of the most remarkable goals seen at HBF Park in recent years.

After playing a one-two with Bruno Fornaroli, he spotted Wanderers 'keeper Daniel Margush off his line and from fully 40m out, lifted an inch-perfect lob into the back of the net.

Wanderers needed a goal early in the second half to force themselves back into the contest and they duly found one inside four minutes, Patrick Ziegler feeding Kamau who bent a fine shot in off the inside of the upright.

With their tails up at that stage, the red-and-blacks came close to making it 2-2 as Graham Dorrans shot narrowly wide of the post from just outside the box and a fine block from Reddy was required to keep Troisi at bay.

But just as they had in the first half, the hosts responded in the best possible way, Keogh calmly converting from the spot after Chianese's cross from the right had been handled by the luckless Ziegler.

In the 72nd minute, the game was effectively made safe when Chris Ikonomidis showed great persistence to force his way into the box and deliver a looping cross which Keogh bundled in at the far post.

And the cake was iced right at the death as Chianese latched on to a neat through-ball from fellow-substitute Osama Malik and toe-poked past Margush to claim his second goal in as many games and fourth of the season.

Match Details

Perth Glory 5 (Keogh 5', 24', 66' (pen), 72', Chianese 90+4') Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Kamau 49')

Half-time: 2-0

HBF Park, Perth

Referee: Daniel Elder

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Jason GERIA, 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS (23.Dane INGHAM 87'), 8.Kosuke OTA, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI (11.Joel CHIANESE 62'), 10.Andy KEOGH, 13.Luke BODNAR (6.Osama MALIK 67'), 17.Diego CASTRO (c) (18.Nick D'AGOSTINO 87'), 19.Callum TIMMINS, 29.Darryl LACHMAN

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 20.Carlo ARMIENTO, 37.Riley WARLAND

Yellow Cards: Iknonomidis

Red Cards: None

Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 30.Daniel MARGUSH (GK), 2.Ziggy GORDON, 7.Bruce KAMAU, 8.Steven UGARKOVIC, 12.Mitchell DUKE (9.Bernie IBINI 73'), 13.Tate RUSSELL, 14.James TROISI (77.Scott MCDONALD 73') 18.Graham DORRANS, 33.Mark NATTA (17.Keanu BACCUS 73'), 34.Patrick ZIEGLER, 39.Thomas AQUILINA

Substitutes not used: 4.Dylan MCGOWAN, 19.Jordon MUTCH, 27.Nicolai MULLER, 50.Oliver KALAC (GK)

Yellow Cards: Kamau

Red Cards: None

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Perth Glory FC

Glory moved to within three points of the top six following a hard-fought 2-2 draw with A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners which was played out amidst appalling weather conditions in Gosford.

The pre-match downpour forced kick-off to be delayed for 30 minutes and when play did get underway, the Mariners started strongly and drew first blood through Marcos Urena.

Having taken a while to settle, Glory made it 1-1 just before the break as Bruno Fornaroli nodded home his seventh goal of the season and the visitors proceeded to control much of the second half, eventually taking a deserved lead through substitute Nick D'Agostino.

There was to be a sting in the tail, however, as Central Coast were awarded an 88th-minute penalty when Matt Simon clashed with Luke Bodnar and the home skipper successfully converted from the spot.

The penalty decision, which was made after a lengthy referral to the VAR, was hotly disputed by the Glory players at the time and by Head Coach Richard Garcia in his post-match media conference.

"I'm disappointed," he said.

"I thought the boys played really well.

"The VAR decision ruined the game, but I think the boys found some very good positions to score and I saw that hunger and fight that I feel we probably lacked in the last few performances.

"I didn't think it was a penalty.

"It's a hard one and the referees are trying to do their best.

"I thought it was a good challenge... he [Bodnar] went up for the ball and there was a clash of heads.

"I don't think I've ever seen that being called as a penalty in my life.

"But if we move on to Friday [v Western Sydney Wanderers] with the same mentality, I'm sure we'll do well."

The draw, Glory's first of the season, sees them remain in eighth spot, but with up to three games in hand on the teams above them, very much in the finals mix.

The Mariners appeared to adapt to the conditions more quickly than Garcia's side and created the first chance when Urena found a pocket of space in the box and the recalled Liam Reddy had to produce a smart block to keep the Costa Rican striker at bay.

Urena was not to be denied in the 25th minute, however, firing home from an acute angle after Reddy had gone full-length to keep out a skidding low shot from Daniel De Silva.

And it took a fine, last-ditch tackle from Bodnar, on his Glory A-League debut, to prevent the Mariners' number 12 from making it 2-0 moments later.

Glory's response came in the form of a half-chance for Andy Keogh who was unable to get enough contact on a free-kick delivered into the box by Neil Kilkenny, allowing Mark Birighitti to make a comfortable save.

As half-time approached the men in purple continued to force their way back into the game and were rewarded in the 41st minute when Kilkenny's enticing ball into the box picked out the lurking Fornaroli who found the net with a deft glancing header.

Clearly stung by conceding that equaliser, the league leaders came close to restoring their advantage almost immediately, De Silva drawing a strong save from Reddy before Oliver Bozanic's follow-up effort struck the post.

Glory duly began the second half more purposefully than they had the first, dominating in terms of both possession and territory and coming close to hitting the front when D'Agostino teed Fornaroli up after latching on to an Andy Keogh through-ball, only for the club's top scorer to attempt a Rabona-style finish which did not come off.

15 minutes from time, however, the visitors' pressure finally told.

Keogh was the architect, playing a cute, round-the-corner pass into the box and the onrushing D'Agostino needed no second invitation to flash a low shot between Birighitti and his near post.

At that stage, a third away win of the season seemed very much on the cards for Garcia's side, but it was not to be.

With two minutes left, Simon and Bodnar came together in the box and after the VAR ruled the collision worthy of a penalty, Central Coast's top scorer calmly sent Reddy the wrong way.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 2 (Urena 25', Simon 89') Perth Glory 2 (Fornaroli 41', D'Agostino 75')

Half-time: 1-1

Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Referee: Kurts Ams

Central Coast Mariners: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 4.Joshua NISBET, 5.Stefan NIGRO, 8.Oliver BOZANIC (c), 10.Daniel DE SILVA, 11.Jack CLISBY, 12.Marcos UREÑA (29.Alou KUOL 59'), 14.Daniel BOUMAN (6.Gianni STENSNESS 73'), 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON, 21.Ruon TONGYIK

Substitutes not used: 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 22.Michal JANOTA, 23.Dan HALL, 25. Matthew HATCH, 26.Jaden CASELLA

Yellow Cards: Clisby, Simon

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 8.Kosuke OTA, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 10.Andy KEOGH 38.Ciaran BRAMWELL 82'), 13.Luke BODNAR, 15.Brandon WILSON, 17.Diego CASTRO (C), 20.Carlo ARMIENTO (18.Nick D'AGOSTINO 46'), 23.Dane INGHAM (16.Nick SULLIVAN 46'), 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 19.Callum TIMMINS, 24.Daniel STYNES

Yellow Cards: Ingham, Lachman

Red Cards: None

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Despite dominating for long periods, Glory suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of a clinical Wellington Phoenix side in Sunday's clash at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.

The men in purple created a string of chances, notably in the first half and yet found themselves trailing 2-0 at the break after Reno Piscopo fired home a fine individual effort and David Ball converted James McGarry's cross.

Another close-range finish, this time from Ben Waine, took Phoenix out to a 3-0 lead just short of the hour-mark and despite continuing to pour forward in the latter stages, Richard Garcia's men could find no way past an inspired Oliver Sail in the home goal.

The result leaves Glory a point outside the top six with two games in hand on five of the teams above them and while naturally disappointed by the result, Garcia was pleased with certain aspects of his side's performance.

"I'm encouraged that we're coming away from home and dominating games and we just have to tighten up going the other way," he said.

"To cop three goals on the counter is a tough one to take, the boys are not happy with that and we can only improve from there.

"It was one of those days when we lacked a bit of cutting edge in the final third and anything that we did have didn't seem to go in.

"On another day they all go in and you win comfortably.

"We know where we need to improve and the main thing is that we're coming away from home and putting in these performances where we are being dominant in that front third and we just need to be able to tighten up at the back end.

"The guys kept plugging away, they kept probing and trying to create chances, which they did, but it just wasn't our day."

The visitors all but monopolised possession in the opening 20 minutes, penning Phoenix in their own half for long periods and creating a string of chances.

Daniel Stynes and Bruno Fornaroli both saw goalbound efforts blocked by Louis Fenton and Tim Payne respectively before Brandon Wilson's fierce shot from the edge of the box drew a save from Sail and Andy Keogh fired the rebound over the bar.

The former Ireland international then had the ball in the net after latching on to a superb ball over the top from Neil Kilkenny, but his effort was ruled out for offside.

At that stage, Phoenix had barely mounted a meaningful attack and yet they found themselves in front on the half-hour mark when Piscopo strode forward from the centre circle and capped his strong run by arrowing an unstoppable strike past Tando Velaphi.

Within five minutes, the Kiwi side had doubled their advantage, McGarry making inroads down the left and whipping in a fine low cross which the lurking Ball despatched from close range.

Glory continued to look the more likely once the second half got underway and yet once again, it was Wellington who found a way through, Waine bagging his third goal of the season after Velpahi had done well to block Ball's initial cross-shot.

The men in purple almost mustered an immediate response, Kosuke Ota finding Fornaroli with an inch-perfect cross, but the in-form Uruguayan seeing his header and follow-up effort superbly saved by Sail who also blocked a Stynes shot during the epic goalmouth scramble that ensured.

Substitute Osama Malik was next to try his luck for Glory, the midfielder's deflected bicycle kick forcing another acrobatic save from Sail, but it was the hosts who ultimately came closest to scoring the fourth goal of the afternoon, the impressive Piscopo denied by Velaphi in a one-on-one situation and then firing centimetres wide from the edge of the box.

Match Details
Sunday, 7 March 2021
Wellington Phoenix 3 (Piscopo 30', Ball 35', Waine 59') Perth Glory 0
Half-time: 2-0
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Referee: Adam Kersey

Wellington Phoenix: 20.Oliver SAIL (gk), 2.Liam McGING, 5.James MCGARRY, 6.Tim PAYNE, 7.Reno PISCOPO, 9.David BALL (12.Matthew RIDENTON 90+1'), 10.Ulises DAVILA, 14.Alex RUFER, 16.Louis FENTON, 18.Ben WAINE (17.Tomer HEMED 77'), 23.Clayton LEWIS (8.Cameron DEVLIN 67')

Substitutes not used: 1.Stefan MARINOVIC (gk), 13.Charles LOKOLI-NGOY, 15.Mirza MURATOVIC, 21.Joshua LAWS
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 8.Kosuke OTA (22.Josh RAWLINS 65'), 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 10.Andy KEOGH (18.Nick D'AGOSTINO 65'), 15.Brandon WILSON (6.Osama MALIK 57'), 17.Diego CASTRO (C), 23.Dane INGHAM (16.Nick SULLIVAN 57'), 24.Daniel STYNES (20.Carlo ARMIENTO 75'), 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 13.Luke BODNAR, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)
Yellow Cards: Castro, Stynes
Red Cards: None

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Bruno Fornaroli's sixth goal in seven games was not enough to prevent Glory from suffering a first home defeat of the season as they went down 2-1 to league leaders Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday evening.

The visitors strode out to a 2-0 lead in the first half courtesy of an early close-range finish from Matt Simon and a powerful header from Marcos Urena and although Fornaroli nodded home a Kosuke Ota cross midway through the second half to set up a grandstand finish, Glory's sustained late pressure failed to produce an equaliser.

Richard Garcia made four changes to the side which started Friday's win over Brisbane Roar, handing Mason Tatafu a starting A-League debut and later giving fellow-Academy product Ciaran Bramwell his first taste of senior action off the bench.

And the Head Coach felt that there were plenty of positives to come out of what was keenly-contested game.

"Tonight, as much as the result was against us, I thought we played some good football and were actually on the front foot for most of it," he said.

"Again, we've got to tighten up the sloppiness at set-pieces and a few things defensively and just be a bit more focused on what we do without the ball.

"I made a few changes to try and rest a few bodies and we had six under-23s in the starting side, so when you're playing and relying on a lot of young guys, they're not always going to be firing on all cylinders.

"I still thought they played well and gave a good showing of themselves, but it definitely helps when those older guys come on and steady the ship a little bit.

"It's a tough schedule and we've got to be wary of how we manage the guys."

The Mariners took the lead with their first attack of the game, Stefan Nigro heading a half-cleared cross back into the box, Daniel Bouman flicking it on and Simon chesting the ball down with his first touch and drilling a shot past Tando Velaphi with his second.

There was another worrying for moment for Glory shortly after the opening goal when Urena burst through on goal, but a perfectly-timed tackle from Darryl Lachman prevented the Costa Rican from getting his shot away.

Glory's response came in the form of two dangerous crosses from Daniel Stynes and Nick Sullivan, both of which flashed across the face of goal, before Urena fired narrowly wide at the other end.

Carlo Armiento was next to try his luck as the sides continued to go toe-to-toe, fizzing a shot over the bar after breaking to the edge of the box and Fornaroli was similarly off-target seconds later.

And yet it was the Mariners who found a way through once again just before the break, Daniel De Silva's free-kick picking out Urena at the far post whose thumping header gave Velaphi no chance.

2-0 almost became 3-0 early in the second half, Simon meeting an Oliver Bozanic cross with a deft glancing header which drifted centimetres wide of the far post.

But spurred on by the introduction of Ota, Diego Castro, Andy Keogh and Brandon Wilson, Glory lifted the intensity and halved the arrears just after the hour-mark.

Ota delivered a fine cross into the box which eluded Keogh but sat up nicely for Fornaroli who steered his header past Mark Birighitti.

Keogh then just failed to make it 2-2, sending his header from a Dane Ingham cross just wide of the target and Daniel Stynes miscued with the goal gaping after fine approach work featuring Fornaroli and Castro.

Glory continued to pile on the pressure in the latter stages, but the Mariners also threatened on the break and De Silva twice went close to marking the eight-year anniversary of his Glory debut at the same venue with a goal.

The last chance of the night fell Glory's way, Keogh forcing a Neil Kilkenny corner goalward before a cluster of Mariners defenders prevented Fornaroli from applying the final touch.

Match Details

Perth Glory 1 (Fornaroli 64') Central Coast Mariners 2 (Simon 6', Urena 40')

Half-time: 0-2

HBF Park, Perth

Referee: Daniel Elder

Perth Glory: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 16.Nick SULLIVAN (8.Kosuke OTA 58'), 18.Nick D'AGOSTINO (17.Diego CASTRO (C) 46'), 19.Callum Timmins (15.Brandon WILSON 58'), 20.Carlo ARMIENTO (10.Andy KEOGH 58'), 23.Dane INGHAM, 24.Daniel STYNES (38.Ciaran BRAMWELL 82'), 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 34.Mason TATAFU, 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 6.Osama MALIK, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)

Yellow Cards: Timmins, Castro

Red Cards: None

Central Coast Mariners: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 4.Joshua NISBET, 5.Stefan NIGRO, 8.Oliver BOZANIC (c), 10.Daniel DESILVA (22.Michal JANOTA 90+1'), 11.Jack CLISBY, 12.Marcos UREÑA (29.Alou KUOL 62'), 14.Daniel BOUMAN (26.Jaden CASELLA 72'), 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON, 21.Ruon TONGYIK

Substitutes not used: 3.Lewis MILLER, 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 23.Dan HALL, 32.Max BALARD

Yellow Cards: Kuol

Red Cards: None

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