• SportFM

Glory finish season with draw



Perth Glory's 2020-21 season has ended with a whimper, playing out a 1-1 draw with cellar dwellers Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium.


Having started their three game road trip to conclude the home and away season needing to win two if not all three matches to make the finals, Richard Garcia's men were unable to secure the three points necessary in any of the matches with Wellington, Brisbane and Newcastle, drawing two and losing one.


Perth finished in ninth spot and failed to win any of their last nine away games, keeping just two clean sheets.


The point for the drawn result lifted Newcastle off the bottom on goal difference, above Melbourne Victory, with each club to play Premiers Plate winners Melbourne City in their final game.


The Jets had plenty of possession but as has been the case so often this season, their final ball into the box and finishing was inaccurate.


After an uneventful first 20 minutes, Glory striker Bruno Fornaroli illuminated the game with a moment of pure class.


He unleashed an unstoppable shot from close to 25 metres, scoring from Perth's only first half attempt on target.


The goal sparked Newcastle into life, with Goodwin, also impressive in his substitute debut against Central Coast last match, galvanising this side and the home crowd.


Twice in as many minutes, the Jets' youngest ever player got himself into scoring positions with smart footwork, only for Perth goal keeper Tando Velaphi to save both shots.


Velaphi also foiled the teenager in stoppage time at the end of the first half, while a few minutes earlier Roy O'Donovan headed a corner wide.


But in the 70th minute, Angus Thurgate ran onto a fine pass from the excellent Lucas Mauragis, with his shot flicking off substitute Jonathan Aspropotamitis into the net.


Newcastle pressed for just their second home win of the season with Goodwin coming close twice and substitute Valentino Yuel off target with two more attempts.


Perth almost snatched a winner in stoppage time, but Diego Castro's close-range shot was saved by goalkeeper Jack Duncan.


The Jets had a couple of penalty calls rejected early in the second half, after Goodwin continued to threaten with a 49th-minute header, which went wide.


Goodwin fell In the area after tussling with Luke Bodnar, but VAR upheld the decision of referee Adam Fielding not to award a spot-kick.


A minute later, Matt Millar tumbled in the penalty area after coming close to Bodnar, but the Jet was booked by Fielding for simulation.


It was a tame end to an A-League season that failed to reach great heights for the Glory, left to rue inconsistency and a challenging schedule due to the ever changing landscape caused by coronavirus and government travel restrictions that left them on the road for long periods, finishing with a nine win, seven draw and ten loss record.


IMAGE: SBS World Game.