Perth Glory secured a famous 2-1 win against Sydney FC after a tough week to give them a huge confidence boost ahead of an uncertain period.
Two moments of magic were the difference for the Glory in a low-quality affair, with minimal guilt-edge chances for both sides.
Andrew Redmayne couldn’t gather Jack Clisby’s shot from distance, allowing Adrian Sardinero to pick up the loose ball and tee up Brandon O’Neill. The former Sydney FC midfielder swept the ball past Redmayne and a number of sky-blue shirts to give the Glory the lead and their first goal since December 5, 2021.
Bruno Fornaroli was able to cap off the performance when he found space to finish from Antonee Burke-Gilroy’s low cross, going clear as Perth’s top goal scorer this season.
O’Neill conceded a late penalty to give Sydney FC hope, but Caceres conversion was too little too late.
It’s the first time Perth Glory have won away to Sydney since February 2016. Head coach Richard Garcia was on the Glory bench that day, whilst Andy Keogh is the only survivor from that team that was also in tonight’s matchday squad.
OPPORTUNISTIC IN ATTACK
Despite having fewer shots, Perth were the more clinical team on the night, showing that the quality they have in their forward players is enough to beat any team in the league.
Their creative struggles appeared to continue in the first half, with a flash shot from distance from Burke-Gilroy the only real sight of goal Garcia’s men could produce.
However, after standing firm under pressure from the home side, the Glory were able to fashion some more opportunities in the second half and were clinical when they got their clear-cut chances.
Daniel Sturridge’s introduction emboldened the visitors, and he very nearly helped extend the Glory’s advantage within minutes, spinning past two Sydney midfielders before playing a chipped ball into the feet of Sardinero, who was denied by the onrushing Redmayne.
As Sturridge starts to reach top gear, the Glory could still be a dangerous team this year.
KAMSOBA SYDNEY’S CREATIVE SPARK
Sydney’s creative woes continued as they failed to challenge a previously shaky Glory defence, and Kamsoba was at the heart of anything positive.
His rejuvenation under Corica has caught many by surprise, and despite not getting any reward, he was one player that could walk off the pitch in a blue shirt with his head held high.
His ability to wriggle past the Perth full-backs caused headaches, and he had a couple of shots flash narrowly wide of goal.
However, Corica still has to figure how to get the best out of the rest of his forwards, a task made all the more difficult as age catches up with Milos Ninkovic, Sydney’s talisman for the last seven years.
CAMERON COOK IMPRESSES ONCE MORE
The Alice-Springs native has had a busy start to life in the A-Leagues, being called into action on several occasions.
Injuries to Brad Jones and Liam Reddy have propelled the 20-year-old into the spotlight, and has continued his good form after the extended break over Christmas and New Year.
His handling for such a young goalkeeper is remarkable, exuding confidence and rarely looking troubled, whilst his shot stopping ability is there for all to see.
He had a quieter game tonight than he did against Brisbane, but another solid display will have strengthened his grip on the starting jersey.
Even with Reddy available once again, it would surely make sense for Garcia to continue with Cook between the sticks to help him get further minutes and accelerate his development.
A-League Men, Round 10: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Sydney FC 1 (Caceres 90+3m)
Perth Glory (O’Neill 55m, Fornaroli 85m)