Glory v Adelaide

Playoff report by Tom NIedrich
Perth Glory v Adelaide United

Perth Glory returned to the realm of credible title contenders with an emphatic wiping of the floor with Adelaide United.

The gulf between second and third was very evident, as Glory was never troubled in a match that saw some key players finally hit form.

A certain spark that had been missing over previous weeks had been re-ignited and it was no less than a solid team performance that saw Glory put 5 goals past Adelaide to book their spot in the Grand Final at Parramatta Stadium next Sunday.

Despite an impeccable record against Adelaide, there was nevertheless a hint of trepidation in the minds of the fans, but that was to be dispelled after only a few minutes of match play.

Five minutes had passed when Mathew Bingley released Jamie Coyne on the right flank and Coyne took the ball on the bounce, placing a well measured cross into the box for an incoming Mori.

Morišs diving header was well parried by Scarsella but certainly set the tone.

Glory kept up the pressure, with Caceres in particular tearing up the defence on the left.

A fairly high boot that brought down Caceres in the ninth minute also brought on a free kick just outside the area.

Bobby Despotovski, returning from suspension and soon to be retiring, placed the ball into the back of the net.

1-0 to Glory and a collective sigh of relief echoed around the ground.

20 minutes had past and Caceres again featured, going on a greased lightning run through the centre and across to the right, before unleashing a strike that beat the keeper but also sailed over the cross bar. Meanwhile Aloisi engages in some roman-Greco wrestling with Mori but is somehow spared by a very lenient Lennie, only scoring a yellow card.

Adelaide then actually constructed a chance when Vidmar, from deep in defence, managed to find Goulding forward on the left who crossed to Budin, however Petkovic was there, earning his pay for the 300th time.

Adelaide again threatened after 32 minutes when a defensive stuff-about let Aloisi have a clear shot at goal only to be thwarted by Petkovic.

The next ten minutes again was all Glory, with Pondeljak, Mori and Bobby all trying their luck yet narrowly missing or having Scarsella getting in the way.

Halftime came with Glory already well in control and Adelaide having some work to do.

Things werenšt going to improve for the visitors though, only 5 minutes after the break a through-ball from bobby to Pondeljak demanded a frantic save by Scarsella, who just managed to parry the ball away to the side.

Then it got even worse for the visitors. Another defensive error saw the ball being merely poked through to Mori, who latched onto the ball, split the defence and coolly slotted the ball past the keeper and Adelaide were on the ropes.

Adelaide were not quite out for the count just yet as Budin proved when he again tested Petkovic with a long range rocket in the 54th minute, but Petkovic was up to the task.

Things than began to go downhill for Adelaide, as Pondeljak in particular found his form.

The knock-out then came in the 68th minute and involved Coyne who won the ball at the back, Bobby who got it through to Pondeljak who then crossed to Mori to finish what was a picture perfect passage of play. 3-0.

Nicky Mrdja came on in the 77th and straight away began to threaten, with his first couple of touches nearly paying dividends.

It was Pondeljak in the 80th minute who constructed the play that would lead to goal number 4, as he drew the keeper and then crossed to both Mrdja and bobby, either of which could have tapped in the ball, but it was left to bobby to finish it.

Both Bobby and Mori were resting on the bench by now, but the Glory was still not done.

Srhoj, who had come on for bobby made his mark with a splitting pass across the park to Mrdja who outpaced everyone and further punished a hapless Adelaide with goal number 5.

Eddie Lennie then saw no point in prolonging Adelaidešs misery by finishing the game right on the 90th minute mark.

Sydney, here we come!

P.S. commiserations to the dedicated Adelaide Fans who braved a 36 hour bus trip to cheer their team, and are, as we speak back on that bus and only half way to Kalgoorlie on a long, long, long journey home. See you next year, lads.