In an entertaining game Perth Glory and Adelaide United played out a 0-0 draw at Members Equity Stadium on a barmy night in the west.
The Glory made four changes to the starting line up with Naum Sekulovski, Mimi Savic David Micevski and Mark Robertson replacing Jeremy Christie, the ill Stan Lazaridis and the suspended Ante Kovacevic, with Stuart Young dropping to the bench. For both Robertson and Mark Lee it was their home debuts for the Glory side. Adelaide made three changes with Skipper Ross Aloisi returning along with Travis Dodd and Angelo Costanzo. They replaced the departed Brazilian Romario and Greg Owens and Kristian Rees, who dropped to the bench.
The game started in warm humid conditions and it was the visitors who settled the quickest, a long throw from Richie Alagich found Fernando who headed just wide. The Glory were playing to deep and Adelaide were dominating, Dodd fired wide and after Jason Spagnuolo’s corner found Carl Veart in the box, his snap shot was well saved by Tommi Tomich.
The Glory settled and Simon Colosimo switched play intelligently to Lee on the left, his cross found Sekulovski who fired wide. The visitors continued to have the more of possession, and Veart played in Nathan Burns who should have done better from close-range, but his shot trickled past the post.
The two wide players of the Glory, Lee and Jamie Coyne were doing a good job at both ends of the pitch. Lee sent a great ball out to Micevski, whose cross was punched clear by Daniel Beltrame under pressure from Glory skipper Jamie Harnwell. The tempo of the game slowed as the hot conditions began to take its toll, Micevski fired wide for the Glory and Tomich had to be alert to push a Veart shot around the post.
The Glory suffered a blow in the 37th minute when Sekulovski dislocated his shoulder after an innocuous header, and he was replaced by Luka Glaves. Tomich came to the Glory’s rescue again just before the break after the lively Veart played in Fernando, but his shot was well saved by the alert Glory shot stopper.
It was a quiet opening to the second half, but the visitors had the best opportunities. For once Spagnuolo was being well held by Coyne, but on this occasion he did find Mathew Kemp down the right and his cross was only centimeters away from the on-coming Fernando.
Kemp was causing problems with his long throw ins and on the hour his throw fell to Fernando, whose shot on the turn was only inches past the post.
Both sides hit on the counter attack Leo Bertos did well to find Coyne who shot wide, and in the 65^th minute Aloisi was given time on the edge of the box, but his deflected low shot was saved well by the impressive Tomich.
The visitors had the ball in the net in the 74th minute with Veart finding Fernando who fired home, but the assistant had his flag raised for offside.
The Glory still searched for the elusive goal, Bertos fired a free kick straight at Beltrame and after good work from substitute Adrian Webster, Micevski fired wide. As the game entered the last ten minutes both sides had chances to win it. Veart flicked on an Aloisi free kick to Fernando but again the Brazilian fired wide, and Harnwell headed back a Tarka free kick and Glaves headed straight at Beltrame when well placed.
In injury time the visitors had the final chances of the game. First substitute Bobby Petta’s goal bound shot was deflected wide and from the resulting corner, poor marking gave Fernando the chance to win it, but he headed over.
The referees whistle sounded but the action wasn’t over. In an amazing incident Glory’s skipper Harnwell and the New Zealand midfielder Webster came to blows in the center of the pitch. Glory coach Ron Smith and several players spilt the two players up, with Webster sent into the rooms as the rest of the Glory players did their lap of honour.
After the match at the press conference, Smith said that the club will carry out a full investigation of the incident, however, it looked like a real case of Britney Spears Vs Christina Aguilera in a cat fight. The outcome of the investigation will be awaited with baited breath in Perth.
Adelaide has a must win game in round 19 when they entertain Queensland Roar at Hindmarsh Stadium on Thursday evening. The Glory entertains the minor league Premiers Melbourne Victory at Members Equity Stadium next Sunday afternoon.