Glory v Sydney

A-League report by Ben Fitzpatrick
Perth Glory v Sydney FC

Perth Glory has thrown away a golden opportunity to record their first victory of the 2007/08 HAL season as they surrendered a 3-1 advantage to draw 3-3 with Sydney FC at Members Equity Stadium on Friday night.

The pressure is definitely mounting for beleaguered coach Ron Smith who must be wondering where his first win will come from after seeing his side throw away the three points with some careless defending that leaves their finals aspirations teetering on the brink of disaster with the Perth side now having recorded five draws and three losses from their opening eight fixtures.

Perth coach Ron Smith said he was heartbroken not to claim the club's first win of the season. "You do feel like you've lost the game even though it's a draw," he said. "I liken it to a heavy defeat. To be so close to getting an incredible three points and not getting it is disappointing. In the end I think we just panicked a bit, and it cost us."

For Sydney it was birthday boy Alex Brosque who was the hero as the enigmatic striker netted a brace, with his second coming with the last kick of the game three minutes into injury time. Minute's earlier and star Sydney midfielder Juninho crashed the crossbar with a curling free kick from 20 yards as the Glory looked to finally have the luck on their side.

It was the Glory who looked to do most of the early attacking with Colosimo doing his best to inspire the crowd with some animated hand gestures to raise the noise level.

Juninho should have done better as he burst into the box but his weak effort was easily saved by Tomich however Sydney then opened the scoring after the inconsistent Jamie Coyne failed to clear the ball before falling over, leaving Brosque with the chance to slot past the recalled Tommi Tomich to stun the small crowd.

The home side looked to regroup at half time and the perfect tonic came on 53 minutes as a bandaged Dino Djulbic headed down a Coyne lofted ball over the defence for Harnwell to volley home from 12 yards. Replays later suggested that Djulbic had a case to go for goal himself but unselfish play got the rewards for the Perth side.

The home supporters were dancing in their seats only six minutes later as Coyne was again the provider, this time for the lively Robinson who put it past Bolton to make it 2-1 with Glory striker Harnwell's miscontrol allowing Robinson to run through on goal.

What was scenes of celebration turned into scenes of jubilation as the Glory took a 3-1 lead after Mitchell Prentice's free kick took a hefty deflection off a Sydney defender in the wall and Bolton was helpless to stop the ball from nestling in the back of the net.

This is the new Glory however and it only took three minutes for the home fans to be brought back down to earth as Patrick saw his first effort weakly palmed back into the danger area by Tomich, the loose ball eventually finding its way back to the striker who made no mistake with the second.

Glory substitute Nikita Rukavytsya should have put the Glory into an unassailable 4-2 lead with 10 minutes left on the clock; the young attacker took a fine pass into the box but disappointingly rolled his effort wide of the post.

It was Juninho's turn in the 91st minute to take centre stage however the Brazilian's excellent free kick cannoned off the cross bar. Sydney fans needn't have despaired however, Patrick nodding down a deflected Rudan cross for Brosque to lash home from point blank range with the last kick of the game.