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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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Perth Glory FC

Diego Castro scored twice and Bruno Fornaroli bagged his sixth goal in as many games as Glory secured a 3-1 win over Brisbane Roar at HBF Park on Friday evening.

The Spaniard put the home side in front on 40 minutes with a stunning, curling effort only for Jack Hingert to head Roar level on the stroke of half-time.

But Fornaroli's thumping volley soon restored Glory's lead and Castro duly converted a cross from debutant Kosuke Ota to make it 3-1 and send Richard Garcia's men surging back into the top six.

Unsurprisingly, Garcia was quick to praise his side whose performance was all the more impressive given that they only emerged from a fortnight of home quarantine last weekend.

"It was a very good win," he said.

"The guys did did really well.

"It was a performance that showed they had been in quarantine for a few weeks and hadn't had much match practice, but to their credit, they stuck at it and kept pushing and the guys that came off the bench made the impact that was required.

"I'm proud of this team that is continuously pushing to go forward and continually challenge themselves to be on the front foot.

"We've always said that we wanted to play attacking football.

"I want us to be the kind of team that I would like to watch and the guys have really started to take that on board.

"They want to play that kind of football as well and at the moment they are really hitting their straps and are doing very well."

It was Brisbane who began the brighter in perfect conditions, Riku Danzaki drawing a regulation save from Tando Velaphi before Golgol Mebrahtu headed a Jay O'Shea free-kick against the top of the crossbar.

But Glory gradually grew into the game and hit the front when Nick D'Agostino surged towards the Roar box before shipping the ball on to Castro who cut in from the left and bent a right-foot shot into the far corner.

And although Hingert's powerful header from a Dylan Wenzel-Halls cross sent the two teams into the break on level terms, a quadruple substitution from the hosts, the first in A-League history, soon swung the momentum back their way.

Glory's second goal was a thing of beauty, Neil Kilkenny's raking cross-field pass perfectly cushioned into Fornaroli's path by Ota, with the Uruguayan then rifling a stinging half-volley past Jamie Young in the Roar goal.

And 2-1 became 3-1 seven minutes later, with Ota again the provider.

This time the former Japan international was released by Fornaroli and drove in a low cross which Castro brought under control with his first touch and fired into the net with his second.

That third goal secured another record for Glory as they became the first team in A-League history to score 18 times in their opening six games of the season and Garcia's side saw out the final quarter with a degree of comfort.

Match Details

Perth Glory 3 (Castro 40', 75', Fornaroli 68') Brisbane Roar 1 (Hingert 43')

Half-time: 1-1

HBF Park, Perth

Referee: Alireza Faghani

Perth Glory: 1.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 15.Brandon WILSON (6.Osama MALIK 61'), 17.Diego CASTRO (C) (16.Nick SULLIVAN 83'), 18.Nick D'AGOSTINO (24.Daniel STYNES 61'), 20.Carlo ARMIENTO (10.Andy KEOGH 61'), 22.Josh RAWLINS, 23.Dane INGHAM (8.Kosuke OTA 61'), 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 33.Liam REDDY (GK), 34.Mason TATAFU

Yellow Cards: Ingham

Red Cards: None

Brisbane Roar: 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 3.Corey BROWN, 5.Tom ALDRED (c), 6.Macaulay GILLESPHEY, 10.Riku DANZAKI (11.Joe CHAMPNESS 73'), 17.Golgol MEBRAHTU (33.Keegan JELACIC 73'), 19.Jack HINGERT, 23.Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 25.Rahmat AKBARI, 26.Jay O’SHEA, 27.Kai TREWIN (15.Jesse DALEY 78')

Substitutes not used: 1.Macklin FREKE (gk), 16.Joshua BRINDELL-SOUTH, 29.Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS,

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

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Perth Glory FC vs Melbourne City FC

Glory moved to within one point of the top six after first-half goals from Daniel Stynes and Dane Ingham, plus a late header from Nick D'Agostino, secured an impressive 3-1 win over last year's Grand Finalists Melbourne City at AAMI Park.

Stynes claimed his first ever A-League goal for the club to give Richard Garcia's men the lead in the 11th minute and although Jamie Maclaren restored parity later in the half, Dane Ingham's diving header just before the break put Glory back in front.

The visitors were then forced to weather a sustained period of home pressure midway through the second half before D'Agostino climbed highest to nod home Neil Kilkenny's free-kick and ensure that the club's unbeaten run against City at AAMI Park would be extended to nine games.

Despite the game being their fourth in just 11 days, the men in purple fizzed with energy throughout an end-to-end contest and Garcia was understandably delighted with his charges' display.

"They deserved that tonight because they put in a lot of hard yards," he said.

"We've still got a long way to go to be the team that we envisage as a group.

"That'll come in time and with a lot of hard work, I'm sure we'll get there.

"We're still growing our fitness after such a hectic schedule and you see that players are getting fatigued not only in our games, but in other games as well.

"So that's part and parcel of it, but it's pleasing to know that the guys had the mentality tonight to see it through the whole way."

In a lively opening, both sides went close in the space of a minute as Ingham headed a Kilkenny corner against the crossbar and City skipper Jamie Maclaren fired wide when sent clean through on goal.

The former Glory man soon went even closer to breaking the deadlock, turning Naoki Subaki's low cross against the foot of the post.

The visitors' response to that let-off, however, was instant, Bruno Fornaroli and Diego Castro combining to tee up a shooting opportunity for Stynes whose rasping effort took a deflection and flew into the bottom corner.

There was no let-up in the pulsating pace of the opening period as Subaki again picked out Maclaren, only for last season's Golden Boot winner to place his header over the bar.

The next major chance fell Glory's way, Josh Rawlins delivering a teasing ball across the face of goal which Castro, at full stretch, was just unable to force home.

Then, in the 33rd minute, Maclaren finally bagged the goal he'd been threatening from the outset, converting from close range after Craig Noone's curling, left-foot shot had struck the post.

But Glory reacted well to the setback and just before the break, regained their lead.

The shape on Kilkenny's free-kick demanded a finishing touch and Ingham provided it, with the VAR eventually adjudging that the New Zealand international had timed his far post run to perfection.

2-1 almost became 3-1 within three minutes of the restart, Kilkenny finding Castro whose low cross-shot just eluded the sliding Bruno Fornaroli at the back post, but City also continued to threaten on a regular basis and only a fine, reflex save from Tando Velaphi prevented Adrian Luna from levelling it up on the hour-mark.

Connor Metcalfe was next to go close for the hosts when he headed over the bar and yet just as Patrick Kisnorbo's side cranked up the late pressure, D'Agostino struck to seal the points for the visitors.

Kilkenny was the provider once again, bending in a trademark pinpoint free-kick which D'Agostino climbed to meet with a powerful header that cannoned into the net via the foot of the post.

Match Details

Melbourne City FC 1 (Maclaren 33') Perth Glory 3 (Stynes 11', Ingham 43', D'Agostino 84')

Half-time: 1-2

AAMI Park Stadium, Melbourne

Referee: Chris Beath

Melbourne City FC: 1.Tom GLOVER (gk), 2.Scott GALLOWAY, 9.Jamie MACLAREN (c), 11.Craig NOONE (13.Nathaniel ATKINSON 74'), 14.Naoki TSUBAKI (23.Marco TILIO 54'), 16.Taras GOMULKA 10.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER 56') 18.Connor METCALFE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Adrian LUNA, 22.Curtis GOOD, 36.Kerrin STOKES

Substitutes not used: 3.Scott JAMIESON, 17.Stefan COLAKOVSKI, 33.Matthew SUTTON (gk), 43.Alec MILLS

Yellow Cards: Good

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 1.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 17.Diego CASTRO (18.Nick D'AGOSTINO 64'), 19.Calllum TIMMINS (15.Brandon WILSON 36'), 20.Carlo ARMIENTO, 22.Josh RAWLINS (16.Nick SULLIVAN 60'), 23.Dane INGHAM, 24.Daniel STYNES, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 88.Neil KILKENNY (C)

Substitutes not used: 21.Bryce BAFFORD, 33.Liam REDDY (GK), 34.Mason TATAFU

Yellow Cards: Aspropotamitis, Sullivan

Red Cards: None

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