Just over 14000 Perth Glory supporters and 5 Parramatta Power ones left the MES last night with little doubt in their minds as to just who is the best team in Australia.
The fact that Power keeper Bolton did not have to make a save (other than a disallowed goal) and that Power were in control for most of the match highlighted that fact.
Perth started the game with the surprising decision of playing Faria on Gumprecht. The fact that Faria was on the left of the field was surprise enough but to have him face to face with possibly the best midfielder in the country was just something that was impossible to fathom. It finished after just 36 minutes when Caceres replaced the ineffective Glory midfielder.
The first 15 minutes had the home side on top without creating even a shot at the Power goal and in virtually the first raid by the visitors, Gumprecht played a penetrating ball into the Glory box for Milicic to head into the path of Elrich who proceeded to gleefully slam the ball into the net from 12 metres, giving Petkovic no chance at his near post.
In the 23rd minute it was Petrovski, who did so much damage last week, receiving the ball from Milicic and turning sharply before firing in a shot that Petkovic saved.
Glory's first real shot was at the 25th minute when on a quick break Faria played the ball to Pondeljak on the half way line and he made fast progress towards goal before firing over the bar from 25 metres out.
For the rest of the first half Power dictated the play without creating or having to create much as Glory found themselves with a mountain to climb.
Just after half time most in the crowd thought that Glory had got a goal back when following a cross into the power area, Mori beat Bolton to the ball with a header that was forced over the line by Caceres. With Glory celebrating the Power players were complaining and insisted on referee Breeze consulting the linesman. After a few moments deliberating the referee disallowed the goal for offside.
That was to be Glory's last chance and things only got worse from there as in the 65th minute an excellent move by Power on the left wing finished with the ball being crossed into the middle where North unfortunately slipped and allowed Petrovski to smash the ball into the top right hand corner of the goal.
From that to the end of the match Perth could just not get a chance in on goal and even the introduction of Shroj with 14 minutes to go, surprisingly at Pondeljak's expense did not make much difference. A case of too little too late.
So Glory must now play a preliminary final at Subiaco Oval next Sunday against an Adelaide United side that beat South Melbourne. They will have to play it without the services of Brad Hassell who got himself sent off for apparent retaliation with 6 minutes to go.
Power on the other hand can go back to Sydney and await the outcome as they decide just where to play the match. All bets at the moment are on Parramatta Stadium for the Grand Final.