Four goal Keogh stars in Glory win
Andy Keogh wound back the clock on his 35th birthday, scoring four goals in Perth Glory's 5-1 thrashing of Western Sydney Wanderers at HBF Park on Sunday night.
Keogh, who remarkably hadn't scored in his previous 18 appearances this season, snared two goals in the first half and another two after the break to keep Perth's march towards a once-unlikely finals berth rolling.
The Glory's third win on the bounce draws them within three points of the top six, while the Wanderers now sit outside the finals places on goal difference.
Perth left the visitors reeling after just five minutes at HBF Park.
Diego Castro released Kosuke Ota down the left hand side and the full-back ripped a tremendous low cross into the path of Keogh to head home.
His second goal was one of the best of the season.
Keogh had headed the ball down to Bruno Fornaroli, who flicked it back.
He then smacked a long-range lob off the half-volley, over Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Margush, who was caught off his line.
Four minutes into the second half, Western Sydney found a foothold in the game through Bruce Kamau.
The attacker received the ball in space and with no Glory defenders moving to press him, charged forward and fired a cracking strike past a diving Liam Reddy.
But 15 minutes later, Perth regained their two-goal advantage from the penalty spot.
Wanderers defender Patrick Ziegler was sliding in to block Joel Chianese's cross but the ball flicked up and caught his arm, with referee Daniel Elder pointing to the spot.
Margush dived the right way but Keogh's drilled penalty proved unstoppable. rounding out his hat trick.
In the 72nd minute, Chris Ikonomidis' cross took a big deflection and drifted across goal but a leaping Keogh was on hand to tap home his fourth.
But Perth weren't done and deep into injury time, Osama Malik slipped a brilliant through-ball for Chianese, who finished clinically to complete the rout.
Coach Richard Garcia was naturally delighted with the night's work.
"There were very similar signs at the start of the season and we've had a difficult season and schedule," he said.
it's great to see the boys believe in the process and continue to fight and to have the confidence to go out and perform like that.
"We've continued to grow with our mentality and I really feel that the defensive players in particular have had a really steely mindset and that's really pleasing.
"It's good to see them, as a team, get behind each other and make sure that they're fighting for every ball.
The Glory are back in action against fourth placed Adelaide United on Wednesday night, another victory to put them on the verge of a top six spot.
IMAGE: The Daily Telegraph.