Glory stun Reds in comeback win
Perth Glory has kept itself in touch with the top six with a remarkable come from behind win over Adelaide United at HBF Park on Wednesday night.
Trailing 1-0 at the break, late goals from Bruno Fornaroli and Chris Ikonomidis gave Richard Garcia's side a huge victory in the context of their season, triumphing 2-1 in front of 3,523 fans.
The result leaves Perth equal on points with Brisbane Roar (sixth) and Western Sydney Wanderers (seventh) separated only by goal difference, the roar with a game in hand on both opponents hunting their finals spot.
The fourth-placed Reds held a deserved advantage with 13 minutes remaining thanks to Kusini Yengi’s first-half goal but an equaliser by Bruno Fornaroli was quickly followed by Ikonomidis’ winner as Glory and showed their determination to keep their top-six hopes alive.
Carl Veart’s side were seeking to edge ahead in the race for second place and a Finals Series bye, and their coaches’ best laid plans seemed to be working when Yengi, coming into the side to replace the sidelined Tomi Juric, hit his fourth goal of the season in the 28th minute with the Reds totally dominant in the first half.
Perth coach Garcia sent on captain Diego Castro in a triple half-time substitution but Adelaide continued to control possession and create the better chances but the wasteful away side could not finish off the resolute hosts, with Fornaroli marking his 50th game in Glory colours by heading his 11th goal of the season in the 78th minute to reignite Perth’s unlikely charge for post-season football.
With Perth's energy lifted and confidence flowing, Ikonomidis capped off his 50th competition appearance by lashing in a volley with four minutes left on the clock to continue the 26-year-old’s fairytale comeback since returning to action last month following a series of devastating injuries.
Glory coach Richard Garcia hailed his side's fighting spirit in what was their third straight victory.
"I'm very pleased for the group," he said.
"They dug in and showed fantastic resilience to come back and to win in the end is testament to them and their togetherness.
"It's fantastic to see them working so hard even when things aren't going according to plan.
"For me, that shows great courage, great resilience and great togetherness.
"They fought hard to keep it at 1-0 and come into the half-time break just one goal behind.
"We then regathered our thoughts and went back to being us and that was very pleasing tonight."
Perth finish their seven game road stretch with a Sunday evening match up with Macarthur at HBF Park as part of round 22 of the A-League season.