Perth condemn Wellington to sixth straight loss

by Jeremy Ruane
with the compliments of

Hyundai A-League – Season 12 – 2016/2017 – Round 2
4:00pm, Sunday 16 October, 2016 – East Perth Oval

Perth Glory FC 2 (Castro 48’, Marinkovic 60’)
Wellington Phoenix FC 0


Perth Glory overcame Wellington Phoenix 2-0 in front of 11,209 fans at NIB Stadium on October 16 to leave the beaten side bottom of the Hyundai A-League standings after the first two rounds of action.

The visitors started with a hiss and a roar, and Perth were forced to scramble to survive in the early stages, as Wellington, primarily through Guilherme Finkler’s set-piece prowess, pressed for an early goal.

It didn’t materialise, however, and the home team gradually grew into the contest, creating their first opportunity in the tenth minute. Josh Risdon and Andy Keogh linked on the right, with the latter’s cross picking out Diego Castro. He evaded one challenge in the penalty area, but found three opponents too many to cope with.

Six minutes later, Wellington’s best chance of the opening half saw Roly Bonevacia send Michael McGlinchey racing through towards goal, only for Liam Reddy to come charging out of his penalty area to clear the ball off the midfielder’s toes.

Perth’s best chance of the half came in the 25th minute, with Nejbosa Marinkovic picking out Castro, who sent a shot fizzing narrowly past the far post some twenty minutes before their next opportunity materialised.

Reddy sent the ball downfield, and Castro’s pursuit of a seemingly lost cause saw him gather it in near the corner flag, from where he evaded a challenge before crossing to the near post. Chris Harold just beat Glen Moss to the ball, but was unable to direct his effort on target.

It was the home team which began the second half brightly, Rhys Williams sparking a lovely move down the left which featured a back-heeled pass from Keogh to Castro, who returned the favour with a first-time pass which allowed the striker to gallop down the wing and deliver a first-time cross.

Racing in to meet it was Harold, who went tumbling in the goalmouth as he was clipped from behind by the retreating figure of Adam Parkhouse. Referee Daniel Elder pointed to the penalty spot, from where Castro confidently opened the scoring, sending Moss the wrong way.

The Wellington ‘keeper smothered a Rostyn Griffiths shot soon after, before he was also guilty of giving away a penalty. Griffiths made in-roads down the left before steering the ball inside to Keogh, who scythed between two defenders to leave himself one-on-one with Moss.

The striker looked to round the ‘keeper before rolling the ball home, but Moss sent him sprawling in a vain attempt to save at Keogh’s feet. Thus it was that Keogh looked to make amends from twelve yards, but his spot-kick was a shocker, and easily saved by Wellington’s ‘keeper.

Wellington’s first threat of the half was provided by Finkler, who produced a delightful piece of footwork to evade three challenges on the right before seeing his low drive turned round the post by Reddy.

This resulted in a corner, which was headed clear by Harold and ignited a counter-attack, Risdon’s right wing rampage its key factor. The fullback eventually pulled the ball back to the edge of the penalty area, from where Marinkovic slammed the ball into the roof of the net from fifteen yards – 2-0.

Straight from the kick-off, Costa Barbarouses sought to get Wellington back in the contest, but after beating three opponents he was unable to direct his shot on target, highlighting once more the visitors’ downfall in this match – execution of the final pass or shot.

That said, they came desperately close to halving the deficit fifteen minutes from time. Substitute Hamish Watson gathered a clearance on the left and picked out Roy Krishna with a cross which invited the Fijian to unleash a close-range header.

He duly did so, only for Reddy to pull off a stunning reflex save to divert the ball over the bar. From Finkler’s resulting corner, Marco Rossi directed a header just past the post.

Moss smothered a twenty-yarder from Harold before Krishna shot straight at Reddy seven minutes from time, after which the game was marred by an over-the-top studs-up challenge on Moss by substitute Joel Chianese in stoppage time.

It was an incident which left the goalkeeper hobbling after treatment, while the perpetrator got away without being at least booked for his role in proceedings, which prompted the exchange of a few heated words before the final whistle confirmed a record sixth successive defeat for Wellington, who are the only team yet to score at least a point in this season’s A-League.

Match details

Crowd:  11,209

Perth Glory FC: Reddy (gk); Risdon, Djulbic, Williams, Warren (booked, 62) (Mills, 70); Harold (Chianese, 89), Griffiths, Wilson (booked, 43) (Smiljanic, 77), Marinkovic (booked, 34); Keogh, Castro

Wellington Phoenix FC: Moss (gk)(booked, 59); Tratt, Durante, Rossi (booked, 50), Parkhouse (booked, 47) (Doyle, 57); Bonevacia (Watson, 68), Lia (booked, 32), McGlinchey (Rodriguez, 57); Barbarouses, Finkler, Krishna

Match  5/10
Pitch  7/10

Referee  3/10  Daniel Elder
Assistant Referee 1:  Josh Mannella; Assistant Referee 2:  Matthew Southern; Fourth Official:  Adam Fielding

Players points:
3.  Castro (PG)
2.  Risdon (PG)
1.  Marinkovic (PG)