Perth Glory has sealed their place in the 2016 A-League finals, as they managed a win over Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night. Perth won the match 2-1 to seal their place in the finals and keep hopes of a home final alive, while the Jets could well end up second last if other results don’t go their way.
Nine minutes in to the match, Newcastle had a good opportunity to open the scoring when a corner was whipped in by Leonardo. That saw Morten Nordstrand running to try and get on the end of it, but Perth Glory responded well, clearing the ball off the line.
Nordstrand and Leonardo linked up well, allowing them to set up a chance out wide for Ryan Kitto, in space on the wing. That allowed Kitto to hit a curling strike, which looked to beat the keeper but it went high and wide to let Perth off.
It was clear how Perth Glory were going about the match, as they looked to get balls forward to target man Andy Keogh. That saw them bypass midfield and the Jets able to deal with the predictability of the play easily.
Newcastle should have hit the lead in the 27th minute after some good work from Kitto on a counter-attack. Kitto took the ball away from Ante Covic and looked for Nordstrand but the Perth Glory defense worked well and got possession away from Nordstrand.
Three minutes from half-time Perth Glory had their best chance of the match so far when Shane Lowry was fouled, but saw his ball come out to Diego Castro. That allowed Castro to shoot, but the effort was deflected, falling to Richard Garcia whose effort was well saved by Mark Birighitti, keeping it scoreless at half-time.
The second half was much more in favor of Perth Glory, but it also saw fewer goalmouth chances as the two sides struggled. Far too often that final ball was over hit throughout the half, allowing the defence simple clearances.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 72nd minute when a header from Dino Djulibic lead to a scramble in the box. That ball fell to Krisztian Vadocz, who was able to easily slam the ball home from close range, giving Perth Glory the opener.
It should have been level with 11 minutes to play after some great work from Jason Hoffman set up the opportunity. He sent in a cross, which Ante Covic got a hand to, but saw the ball fall to Leonardo who scuffed the shot before Kitto also missed the ball, letting Glory off the hook.
Newcastle were made to pay for that missed opportunity in the 88th minute after Keogh broke through the Jets defence before being brought down by Nigel Boogaard. That saw Boogaard shown a straight red card, in a simple decision, before Keogh stepped up and buried the penalty.
In stoppage time the Jets pulled a goal back after an Andy Brennan through ball sent Kitto clean through on goal before he was taken out by Dino Djulbic. Djulbic was then sent off, allowing Nate Poljak to hit the penalty, which Covic got a hand to, only for it to hit the back of the net. But it was only a consolation goal, as Perth won 2-1.